On one hand, Magalie Steinmetz worked for 10 years in a rail transport company as project leader. During a few breaks in her professional activity, she met a 3D printing enthusiastic partner. As she likes the entrepreneurship and creative activities, she decided to set up a workshop.

On the other hand, Pascale Chabal, comes from computing field. She was giving computer courses when she began to have an interest in 3D printing. What was a passion, became her professional activity.

Then, the two women met and thanks to their various and technical experiences, they have founded a digital workshop, named A3D L’atelier numérique. Located north of Lyon (France), they offer many services regarding digital production such as trainings, the use of different 3D printers and laser cutting for prototyping and Architecture among other things.

Could you let us know about your background and what brought you into 3D printing in the first place?
Magalie: After 10 years as project manager at Alstom Transport, I wanted to embark on entrepreneurship because I began to feel trapped by protocols and processes in this big company. I took advantage of my parental leave to focus on my interests and as I’m someone who like creativity and innovation, 3D printing appeared as obvious to me. So I decided to create A3D with an Associate Professor of Mechanics’ friend. Next I meet Pascale and after 6 months working together on trainings, she joins the company and we open the workshop together.

Pascale: After 10 years in a big company, I made a professional retraining in 2013. I chosen to give computer courses and discovered 3D printing. I was hypnotized by 3D printer and I bought a machine to my hobby. Three months later, I bought another one… and my meeting with Magalie convinces myself to found a digital workshop witch was specialized in 3d printing.

What was your very first experience with 3D Printing?
Magalie: I was amazed to create a single object from a 3D file. My first objects were bracelet and gear lever printed in one time without needing assembly. It was very exciting !

Pascale: I bought a little 3D printer because I was fascinated to build a unique object. My first print was utility object for my house. I was very proud to create something which did not exist !

How did you came to build A3D, the Digital Workshop ? Could you explain furthermore what A3D is and the services that you are providing?      

Magalie: A3D – The Digital Workshop is a digital manufacturing workshop specialized in 3D printing and laser cutting. A space dedicated mainly to professionals, for rapid prototyping, architecture, design, communication or advertising objects, trophies, but also Datadock approved training courses (3D Printing, Laser Cutting, digital tools).

Currently we have at the Atelier :
– 7 3D printers including 5 FFF printers, 1 SLA printer and 1 large format FFF printer with a print volume of 1 cubic meter.
– 1 laser cutting to cut and engrave all types of organic material (wood, PMMA, leather, fabric, glass engraving … and so on) with a cutting surface of 900x600mm
– 1 vinyl cutting
– 1 3D scanner
So we could manufacture prototypes (for industry, design offices, designers), make architectural models, make goodies, trophies or objects of communication with these several technologies.

A3D – The Digital Workshop is also a coworking collaborative space.

Pascale: Once upon a time a meeting between two women which had the same passion. We decided to create A3D L’Atelier Numérique to develop and democratize 3D printing. Our workshop is a fabrication laboratory and living space : we have a coworking space and we are a training center too.

Our trainings are systematically personalized and adapted to the customer. Our different formations are the following :

– 3D printing and 3D modeling beginner level and expert
– Laser cutting level beginner

– digital tools (social networks, website, newsletter creation … etc …)

What is your role in the structure (A3D)?     
Magalie: I manage the commercial and marketing part of the company, the strategic development and the customer relationship.I also take care of some technical trainings.

Pascale:I like to be in workshop. I manage production and have a technical role for example to test new material.I give trainings in digital and 3D printing. I do the financial management too.

Do you have any (fun or not) story about your career to share with us?
Magalie:OK fun so…

One time a psycholog ask me to print a clitoris on 3D printers for training with women !

Pascale: The best think I printed was Antigravity Arm Floats for a young girl which name is Alyssa. She was 4 years old and had SMA (spinal muscular atrophy) type 2. I worked on this project during few months and I was very happy to build it. In this project I saw how 3D print can help person with a disability.

What makes the 3D printing industry particularly interesting for you:
As an entrepreneur?
Magalie: Entrepreneurship allowed me to reveal myself in different fields, like commercial and leadership. Moreover, 3D printing is a very big challenge today in several parts (industry, medical and next production) and I am very proud of participating to it !

Pascale: I like challenge and this domain evolves perpetually. I discover new 3D printers and news materials. I’m very interested to new challenges. We received a new very big 3D printer which build volume of 1m3. So new challenges has came for me and I love it!

As a woman?
Magalie: I need to prove to everybody that woman (even with 4 childrens !) can realise her dream with entrepreuneurship and although the course is not without diffuculty it’s worth being experienced !

Pascale: I’m a creative woman and 3D printing offer lots of creating project. I like technical project too. Each project is different from others. So I can realize me in my job.

In your opinion, how could we encourage more women to become involved with 3D Printing?
Magalie: I think we are more creatives. Besides, we are very respected in this very masculine and technical world.

Pascale: A women regard is different! It’s our role to change mentalities. 3D printing is a both a technological and creative domain. So it’s perfect for women today.

Thank you for reading and for sharing!

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