Kristin Mulherin is the President of AM-Cubed, a commercial growth and market development consultancy focused exclusively on 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Her time in 3D printing has included commercial roles within HP, LPW Technology, and Thermo Fisher Scientific. At LPW (recently acquired by Carpenter Powder Products) she was the Chief Commercial Officer, leading a team of marketing and sales professionals while representing commercial activities as a member of the Executive Board. Most recently, she helped launch the Metal Jet printer at HP and was on the market development team for the Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) printer. Kristin received an MBA in Marketing & Finance from USC, a M.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from UCLA, and a B.S. in Ceramic Engineering from the University of Washington. After living and working globally, from Los Angeles to Manchester to Bangkok, Kristin returned to the beautiful Pacific Northwest in 2013 to make a home with her family and enjoy all the weird and wonderful things Portland, Oregon has to offer.
Kristin, could you let us know about your background and your journey to Additive Manufacturing?
After completing my Master’s degree in Materials Science, I worked as a Materials & Processes Engineer in aerospace. But I always knew that I wanted to work on the commercial side of a technically innovative company, so I pursued an MBA and joined an entrepreneurial advanced materials company as their Commercial Director. We specialized in specialty metal powders, among other things, which led to a natural progression into metal additive manufacturing.
Due to my previous experiences in the UK, I was connected to LPW Technology and soon joined their team as the Chief Commercial Officer. It was a fantastic place to begin in AM! At LPW, they view additive manufacturing “from the perspective of the powder” which means I worked with all aspects of metal AM (QC software, productionization hardware, machine builders & end users). As metal powders are so intrinsic throughout the AM ecosystem it was great exposure to the complete metal AM workflow. Within a few months I attended my first FormNext and I knew it was the industry in which I would remain for the rest of my career.
What is AM-cubed and what is the story behind it?
AM-Cubed is a commercial strategy and market development consultancy focused exclusively on supporting the commercial arm of additive manufacturing and 3D printing businesses.
Having developed a breadth of experience across such a diverse array or roles within AM, I felt it was time to make my dream of owning my own company a reality, and so I created AM-Cubed. I felt there was a need for a resource that could help companies navigate the AM industry, and find their most equitable position within it; that is the essence of AM-Cubed. From large enterprises looking to enter the AM space, SMEs looking to grow an existing presence, or start-ups looking for help with their go-to-market strategy, we help companies optimize their customer approach. We help grow their business through executive market strategy, competitive intelligence, digital content strategy, and targeted business development initiatives.
Our breadth of experience within the additive manufacturing ecosystem allows us to deliver bespoke services that general consultancies cannot offer.
To date, what would you say is your greatest achievement in Additive Manufacturing?
Without a doubt, it’s starting my own company. My strong professional network has led to an incredible first year of high growth with fascinating clients. I’ve honed my expertise across metal, polymer and ceramic technologies even further, and expanded my network exponentially. We just brought on two new employees and are interviewing for a third. I can’t wait to see what the year brings us!
Have you run into any challenges from being a woman 3D Printing?
I started my career in the defense industry, where being a woman was certainly not as common as in other industries. At times I did feel like a bit of an outsider. But, being early in my career, I felt more pressure to fit in and I hadn’t yet come to realize the under-appreciated value of being different. That aside, I have found the 3D printing space in general to be very accepting. I think it has a lot to do with the idea that innovation can only be accelerated with diverse thought, which I think everyone recognizes is necessary in such a fast-growing industry.
What makes the 3D printing industry particularly interesting for you?
It’s on the forefront of the current technological revolution and moving very fast. 3D Printing is being incorporated into every manufacturing industry and with that brings new things to learn every day. But, it’s still a comparatively small industry and I’m proud to be a part of the group of people that are leading the charge. Every facet of the industry is intertwined in such an interesting way and being so small you get to see and speak with the people getting things done firsthand. I can’t wait to see what innovative leaps are made in the industry this year as compared to just last year, and you can’t say that about many industries.
What advice do you have for women looking to get started in 3D Printing?
Get involved in your community and be true to yourself. Talk to as many people as you can at industry events, as well as your local Wi3DP events. It’s amazing what you can learn from one simple conversation. There are so many brilliant women in this industry, all from varying backgrounds. Find out what makes you unique and run with it. This is an industry that values uniqueness over fitting in and presents so much opportunity to those that can harness that.