Lindsay has over a decade of marketing experience, working with both B2B brands like Aflac and US Foods and classic B2C brands like Betty Crocker and Lucky Charms. She is currently the Director of Marketing for Fast Radius, leading the company’s brand strategy and creative efforts. Lindsay resides in Chicago with her husband and two flat-faced dogs.
Lindsay, could you let us know about your background and what brought you to 3D printing in the first place?
I spent the last decade working in advertising agencies. I worked with clients across the spectrum – from government to B2C to B2B. I really started getting deep into B2B work in the last three years or so of my career. That’s where I met my current manager – Brian Simms, the head of Sales and Marketing at Fast Radius. Brian was a client of mine. When I saw that he had an opening on his team at Fast Radius to lead marketing efforts, I was definitely intrigued. While I had worked in B2B for a while I had never worked in manufacturing. After spending a few hours with him talking about the company and the vision, I was blown away. I knew it was something I needed to be a part of. There are very few chances to be a part of something that will redefine critical industries – being in additive manufacturing is one of them.
Can you describe your very first experience with 3D Printing?
Honestly, my very first experience was here at Fast Radius. Prior to coming here, I never really thought about how parts and products were made. Now, it’s a major thing I think about! I remember the first tour I took of our factory and being blown away but what we could make possible.
What differentiates Fast Radius from other additive manufacturing companies?
I don’t want to seem hyperbolic, but there isn’t anything like Fast Radius on the market today – truly. Our goal is to help manufacturers make new things possible. We believe manufacturing is incredibly important, not just for the things it physically makes, but for the things it makes possible – the human experiences of safety, health, connection, and enjoyment. It’s our mission to help companies continue to do that really important work by shepherding them through the next era of advanced manufacturing.
So, we are full-service partners with companies across product lifecycles, from application discovery, to design, to making those products in our factory, all the way to fulfillment. Many companies offer these singular services, but hardly any provide all of these in an integrated way. All of this is underpinned by a proprietary software system that we’ve developed that’s driving meaningful data insights at every point in the journey. The work we’re doing here is truly transformative for our customers.
You are also Women in 3D Printing Chicago’s and Milwaukee’s ambassador. What can you tell us about the Great Lakes’ community and what makes it unique?
It’s no secret that the Midwest isn’t as much of a 3D printing powerhouse as the West or East Coasts, but we’re really proud of what’s growing here. The Midwest has been a long-standing hub of manufacturing and production – especially here in Chicago. It’s exciting to see this new wave of Industry 4.0 taking over the region to shape the next generation of manufacturing. A lot of members in our chapter came up through traditional manufacturing companies and are finding their way to industrial-grade 3D printing. We are all here because we see what’s on the horizon and want to be a part of this sea change.
Why did you decide to become a Women in 3D Printing ambassador?
When you look around the halls of any manufacturing company, it’s easy to see that this is a pretty male-dominated industry. The same is true for additive manufacturing. But, the future doesn’t solely belong to white males. It also belongs to people of color, it belongs to women, and it belongs to gender non-conforming people. That’s an incredible, inclusive future! It means that as we are bringing diverse people to the table, we’re also bringing in diverse points of view and thinking. I joined WI3DP to help promote inclusivity in this industry and empower a new era of advanced manufacturers.
To date, what would you say is your greatest achievement in Additive Manufacturing?
This is a funny question for me because I don’t do any of the engineering or operations! I try to contribute to our team’s success by making sure our stories are being told and that potential customers are understanding the value that additive manufacturing can have for their business.
Recently, I worked with a customer called Bastian Solutions (subsidiary of Toyota Advanced Logistics) to jointly tell a story together about the work we did. Fast Radius helped Bastian Solutions develop a product where 45% of the final parts will be made with additive here in our factories. We helped cut 2 years off their product development time and saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars, all while bringing a new product to the world. Developing this case study wasn’t just for our benefit, it was really to help bring Bastian Solutions’ really important work to the world. It was an honor to be able to work with them to tell this story at scale.
Have you run into any challenges from being a woman in 3D Printing?
What’s interesting about my role is that I’m in a segment that’s traditionally operated by women. People come to expect that a woman will either be running or operating marketing for a company. In that way, I don’t run into similar problems that I know my colleagues in engineering or operations might. However, I think it’s unfortunate that there are these expectations that women will work in certain siloed roles versus more on the tech or engineering side. This is a barrier we definitely need to break down.
What is the most impressive or impactful use of 3D printing you’ve seen so far?
I am consistently blown away by what’s happening with lattice design and foam replacement. It’s unlocking completely new ways of making things that people use every day – from shoes (like Adidas and New Balance) to football helmets, to vibration dampeners and more. This application is only really made possible because of industrial-grade 3D printing technology and design techniques and fulfills so many promises of additive, like the ability to customize products at scale or make previously unmakeable geometries.
What makes the 3D printing industry particularly interesting for you:
- As a business person?
The business of manufacturing is important – and additive manufacturing is fundamentally changing how we do that. It’s exciting to be part of something with so much growth potential.
- As a woman?
For a really long time, manufacturing has been considered a boys’ club. But literally EVERYTHING about how we make things is changing. It makes sense that women have a seat at that table as we head into the future.
What do you think of the 3D printing industry today? And how would you like to see it evolve?
I don’t have a technical point of view about the industry, because that’s not the function I serve. But from a communications perspective, I’d actually like to see all of us ditch the term “3D printing.” It’s rooted in novelty and old assumptions. We’re a serious manufacturing option, so we should create the language around our industry that forces people to take us seriously. That’s why I almost always use the term “additive manufacturing” instead.
In your opinion, how could we encourage more women to become involved with 3D Printing?
I think getting women involved in this industry means inspiring meaningful confidence. We do that by investing in STEM education from an early age, but also by bringing young girls into environments of making, engineering, or into places where they see how they can provide storytelling capabilities to support those functions. Manufacturing and engineering are often “low vulnerability industries”; everyone feels like they have to have all the answers. There are so many studies that show how women will only take risks in their careers if they feel 100% qualified to do so. We need to break down those assumptions. You don’t need to know everything. You just need to be smart, curious, and willing to try. This industry belongs to those who love making new things possible. Women are definitely part of that cohort.
Favorite 3D tool (could be a software, machine, material…you name it)?
SIL material – lots of squishy toys on my desk thanks to SIL!
Favorite moment in your day job?
Doing our quarterly content brainstorms with the engineering and sales teams – love hearing everyone’s perspectives as we tell stories together!
What’s on your 3D Printing wishlist for the next 5 years?
More printers that allow me to capture time lapse build videos – ha!
Another inspiring woman you’d like us to interview?
Dr. Hallee Deutchman, Director of Materials and Technology at Fast Radius, and former materials scientist at Blue Origin.