Stacey DelVecchio, F.SWE is President of Stacey D Consulting, focused on the business of additive manufacturing. She is a technical advisor with the Society of Manufacturing’s Additive Manufacturing Community and an industry peer review panelist for Oakridge National Labs Manufacturing Development Facility. She is our Women in 3D Printing Guest #283!
Stacey, could you let us know briefly about your background and your journey into Additive Manufacturing?
In 2014, my employer of 25 years, Caterpillar, made the decision to increase their investment in additive manufacturing to be sure they stayed current with this emerging technology.
I was just coming off a special assignment during my term as the world-wide President of the Society of Women Engineers and was looking for a new assignment in the company.
While I had no experience in additive, I did have 25 years of product development and manufacturing leadership in the component area at Caterpillar. They felt my background was a good fit for me to lead the efforts in this area, creating a strategy and then putting the strategy in place.
I did this role for five years, before retiring from the company and starting my own consulting business, focusing on deploying additive in the industrial sector.
To date, what would you say is your greatest achievement in Additive Manufacturing?
My greatest achievement in additive was the establishment of the additive manufacturing group at Caterpillar and the resulting 3D printed production parts.
Have you run into any challenges from being a woman 3D Printing?
I think any woman in a STEM field has certain challenges, but when I look back over the 30+ years I’ve been an engineer, the challenges I’ve faced are trivial compared to those of the women that went before me. And thanks to their efforts, these challenges are manageable.
There’s always room for improvement, more in some areas than others, but the rewording work and constant innovation in a field such as additive far out way any issues I may have encountered.
What is the most impressive or impactful use of 3D printing you’ve seen so far?
I continue to be fascinated by the advances in printing for the medical industry, especially where a 3D printed part is being used in the body.
Printing these implants from scans of the body so they are a perfect fit is something that just can’t be done in any other way. Amazing.
What advice do you have for women looking to get started in 3D Printing?
If you’re interested in getting started in 3D printing, regardless of your gender, you need to just take the first step and start learning.
If there isn’t a specific opportunity in your current employer, join a Maker Lab in your local community or school. Or download some of the free design software and start experimenting with design to print.
Taking the initiative to learn on your own in these areas will go along way in showing you are truly interested in the technology when the opportunity for a job in this area presents itself.
In your opinion, how could we encourage more women to become involved with Additive Manufacturing?
The biggest encouragement we can offer is to be visible to the public about what we’re doing as women, even if it’s uncomfortable.
Women need to see that there is a great community of women in this field and they also need to hear about the technical achievements that are happening all the time. Share your story any chance you get.
Anything exciting coming up you’d like us to know about?
In June 2021, my book “Women in 3D Printing: From Bones to Bridges and Everything in Between” will be released.
The book provides insights into the possibilities, realities and challenges of the rapidly evolving world of 3D printing. Contributors cover the applications for 3D printing, available materials, research, and the business of additive manufacturing from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.
The book highlights the contribution of women leaders in additive manufacturing, inspiring women and men, girls and boys to enter and apply themselves to world of 3D printing and be a part of bringing the true potential of 3D printing to fruition.
The book features contributions of prominent female engineers, scientists, business and technology leaders in additive manufacturing from academia, industry and government labs.
Favorite 3D tool?
Favorite moment in your day job?
Providing a 3D printed solution for something that could not have been done any other way.
What’s on your 3D Printing wishlist for the next 5 years?
10X improvement in metal printing repeatability
Another inspiring woman you’d like us to interview?
Mihaela Vlasea – Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo