Oh, the places you'll go in the 3D printing industry: October 2018 marked my first-ever visit to Israel.
Happy New Year!
2018 is officially over, and what a year it was in additive manufacturing. With new technologies alongside advances in established processes, with new applications and materials, new participants and partnerships, and "serial production" abuzz, the year has left quite an impression.
Retrospectives and predictions are everywhere in 3D printing media this week. I'm getting personal here.
In 2018, I took a major leap. I chose to leave a comfortable position as the Editor-in-Chief of an established industry site and forge a new path. While perhaps a keyboard may not seem as daunting as a machete, it's still a trick to clear new pathways. It was the right choice for me, and I've been incredibly fortunate to have excellent company along the journey so far.
Badges from three years of reporting as the Editor-in-Chief of 3DPrint.com.
From a supportive partner encouraging me to not just follow my dreams but build completely new ones to a rockstar designer helping to build my branding (Haley Mortensen is remarkable for any illustration/design needs) to trusted bankers and accountants checking my paperwork, establishing Additive Integrity LLC was a group effort. It takes a village to raise a business.
Actually getting down to the business of the business was something of a relief following all the behind-the-scenes work.
Through Additive Integrity, I appreciate a unique position to curate my partnerships and it is an utter pleasure to be working today with a remarkable pool of talented people around the world.
Team Fabbaloo in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Marney, me, Kerry, Emelia.
In August, Fabbaloo officially relaunched as I joined that team as the new Managing Editor. Working with Kerry on the editorial side and with Marney and Emelia on the business end has been a refreshing delight. Fabbaloo remains my primary client and main focus through Additive Integrity. On a day-to-day basis, I'm curating, editing, scheduling, and writing Fabbaloo content. We publish daily, but we're not a "daily news" site, per se; there are several excellent publications in the 3D printing space that offer looks at the press releases, and we're positioning ourselves a bit differently. Kerry launched Fabbaloo in 2007 (!) and we're taking that extensive industry-watching experience to dig in to what makes the industry tick. Interviews, insights, analysis, predictions, comparisons: we're having a great time exploring the hows and the whys behind the whats. For Fabbaloo, I've already gone from Canada to Chicago to Israel to the UK to Germany to report straight from the world of additive manufacturing. Look for more to come in 2019 as we have some things in store with new partnerships, more feedback-based content, and more on-the-ground exploration.
I've also been enjoying the opportunity to work with other great media sites: major thanks to Davide and Tess for having me pop in at 3DPBM and to Anatol and Mathias for the chance to weigh in each week at All3DP with an industry digest. Later in the year, I appreciated the opportunity as well to sign on with Forbes.com as a regular contributor. I look forward to continuing to get un-hyped 3D printing perspective to broader audiences. Even if their style guide does make me hyphenate "3D".
Away from the media but not the keyboard, through Additive Integrity I've also been able to work directly with the industry itself. From blogs to bylines, it's been an interesting experience to see from the other side of the table as I work with several 3D printing companies for their editorial needs. Within a week of launching this site, I was almost overwhelmed by inquiries. I'm sorry to say I've had to turn down opportunities to work with some interesting clients, but heartened to see the demand for content creation in this industry. That there's so much need to convey so much messaging -- and especially that every project brief has specifically called out the need to cut through hype -- is a strong point underscoring the phenomenal growth in this space.
Speaking at the International Symposium of Additive Manufacturing Taiwan, August 2018 [Image provided by event organizers]
In 2018, I also added speaking to my to-do list. It turns out through the last several years devoted entirely to 3D printing, I've gained some perspective on this industry. Sharing this through publication is my go-to, but there's something very special about speaking engagements in communicating more immediately and directly. I can also pretend that I'm using my theatre degree, which is nice. In 2018, I appreciated invitations to, for a few examples, speak in Taiwan as a keynote presenter talking trends in 3D printing for production; in an online manufacturing summit with Dassault Systèmes moderating a panel focusing on women in manufacturing; and in Boston as a panelist at Markforged's Additive Manufacturing Day. I learned that I love speaking on panels. I also joined ASME in New York City at the end of the year to work with industry experts on the early stages of developing a new metal additive manufacturing course. I have been loving participating in these conversations, both onstage and behind closed doors. I hope to be fortunate enough to continue to share insights and experiences (very open to inquiry) in the coming year.
The Women in 3D Printing Board of Directors at formnext 2018: Dana, Nora, and me.
While not directly Additive Integrity-related, my other major industry announcement for 2018 was joining the inaugural Board of Directors of Women in 3D Printing, alongside Founder Nora Touré, the VP of Strategy at Ivaldi Group, and Dana McCallum, Head of Production Partnerships at Carbon, as Wi3DP officially became a nonprofit organization. I'll continue to write the (now semi-annual) Diversity for Additive Manufacturing reports, as we look to gain and share perspective on the shape of the workforce in this dynamic industry. We need more diversity: we need more women, we need more people of color, we need more people from different cultural and educational backgrounds. Women make up a notable minority of employment in 3D printing, and still face discrimination. As Wi3DP marked its own milestones in 2018, adding local ambassadors around the world and gaining nonprofit status, the now four-year-old organization continues to grow -- and 2019 should have some fantastic things to come. Nora and Dana embody some of the very best the 3D printing community has to offer, and it is such a pleasure to work alongside them to further the messaging as women support women and we hopefully see gaps narrow.
2018 wasn't just a milestone year, but a year full of milestones.
On an actually personal-personal level, it's also been a crazy year. My two best friends both got married -- two weeks apart. I was both their honor attendant, first a matron of honor and then a best ma'am, and it was an adventure fitting all around them (missing TCT Show to be in Georgia, and heading to the airport hours after the second reception to fly to Israel). My dad was also diagnosed with cancer this year, and right after my mom's extensive knee replacement he had major surgery in December. Everyone is healing well, and we're gearing up for my dad's next surgery later this month.
My husband and I toast Kara and Chris in September; Greg and Megan's wedding party ready for a proper wizarding duel in October [photo: The Portrait Dude]; my sister and I saw our dad off to surgery in early December.
For my part, I am so grateful for each and every opportunity to have arisen, and consider myself so truly fortunate to work frequently with wonderful partners, collaborators, and teams.
Many thanks to the teams at Fabbaloo, All3DP, 3DPBM, Forbes.com, Women in 3D Printing, and the companies I've created content for; to the communications and marketing teams who reach out with interviews, invitations, and announcements; to the event organizers gathering us all together; to the engineers and designers making remarkable headway; to the community of makers who have always been at the heart of 3D printing and embody such a spirit of creation; to readers of my work who have given me a voice; to my husband, Paul, who is the best human I've ever known; to the journalists it's always a joy to see at events and keep up with digitally between. Thank you all for being brilliant.
Let's see what 2019 has to offer. The best is yet to come in 3D printing: may this new year provide the basis for the next steps on this long journey.