This week we celebrated International Women’s Day, and while we are all for celebrating women, a once-a-year list of women in additive manufacturing (AM) is just not enough. Equal opportunities and equal rights are something we strive for all year round. Here at LEO Lane, two out of our three founders are women, Lee-Bath Nelson and Tessa Blokland. We interact daily with women professionals in the ecosystem, so today’s post is a just-another-day showing the work done by women in AM on a regular basis – on March 8th and on every other day of the year.
Advocating for an Ecosystem
We talk quite a lot about AM as an ecosystem, a network of companies, entities, and expertise growing together, collaborating to achieve mainstream implementation of AM. Here are two women heading such efforts. Michelle Bockman is the General Manager and Global Head of 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing at HP. HP is a veteran of the 2D printing industry and has only entered 3D printing a few years ago. Still, the company has positioned itself as a key player in the ecosystem from the get-go, spearheaded by Bockman. It appears that Bockman sees the importance of pushing the entire ecosystem forward. Through partnerships and collaborations, HP builds a base for itself as a company as well as for widespread AM growth.
Another key player in the ecosystem is EOS. With 30 years of experience in the 3D printing field, EOS is also an advocate for a collaborative AM ecosystem, through collaborations as well as supporting startups. A few months ago Marie Langer, daughter of EOS founder Dr. Hans J. Langer, was appointed as the company’s new CEO. Langer is determined to bring AM to mainstream production while enabling responsible and sustainable manufacturing. “By its very nature, AM is sustainable by delivering new resource efficiencies, lightweight designs, longer product life, reconfigured value chains, and inventory waste reduction. At the same time, for EOS additive manufacturing is and will always be responsible manufacturing – and we will actively pursue further sustainability efforts as we progress,” she states. We salute their efforts and achievements. From our experience at LEO Lane, ecosystem is a key-word: additive manufacturing has to provide an end-to-end solution, it only makes sense that all parts involved in the supply chain need to work together.
Tessa Blokland is LEO Lane’s Industry Expert & Co-Founder and has a diverse background in Industrial Design as former editor of Frame and from her years as Relationship Manager at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Blokland sees the AM ecosystem both from the design point of view as well as the industrial – two parts of a whole. This gives her a unique perspective of the entire process from start to end, difficulties and opportunities. Sarah Goehrke is another voice in the AM ecosystem providing a unique perspective. Goehrke, a well-known Journalist in the field, owns an editorial services company dedicated to AM (Additive Integrity LLC), she is Managing Editor of Fabbaloo and is on the Board of Directors of Women in 3D Printing (more below). The articles she writes are often thought-provoking and insightful, both providing an in-depth understanding of the AM ecosystem as well as a unique perspective. It’s essential for a growing field to have these perspectives, out of the box yet with a true understanding of the box, advocating for AM without shutting an eye to the shortcomings, seeing those shortcomings as needs to be addressed rather than roadblocks.
Giving a Voice
As in many fields relating to manufacturing, there are fewer women than men. It’s not easy to level the playing field, give a voice and inspire change. Nora Touré is a powerful voice for women in AM as the Founder of Women in 3D Printing and VP of Ivaldi Group. In recent years Women in 3D Printing has become a platform featuring the accomplishments of fellow Women AM professionals, it’s also a source of information featuring job opportunities as well as an enabler of discussion, hosting panels and sessions in many of the AM ecosystem events. Really, every day is Women’s Day at Women in 3D Printing, thanks to Touré.
While the platform provided by Touré is a source for inspiration in itself, there are a number of women journalists in the field that provide constant insights into the AM ecosystem. Sarah Goehrke (also mentioned above) as well as, Stephanie Hendrixson, senior editor for Additive Manufacturing Media and, of course, Laura Griffiths, TCT Deputy Group Editor, are just a few of these voices. Of course, these voices don’t necessarily have to come from journalism and media – engineers, researchers or CXOs, so many are an active part in bringing AM and Women in AM forward.
There are so many talented women worth celebrating especially in the AM ecosystem, too many to list here. Tell us about yourself, a coworker, a woman in AM you admire for our next post on this subject. For more insights and information follow us on LinkedIn or subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates (up top EOS LaserProFusion additively manufactured part).