The 3D printing industry is a male-dominated industry, but it’s gradually changing. These are the 35 most influential women in 3D printing.
Since its inception the 3D printing industry has been male-dominated, reflecting the global picture across the engineering and manufacturing sectors in general. However, with the progression in gender equality, this situation is gradually changing. Moreover, as the 3D printing industry grows in size and reach, it also continues to grow in demographic diversity and inclusivity.
Here we recognize a number of the most inspirational and influential women working in the 3D printing industry today. Each of them is contributing to the industry in different ways and helping to shape the way 3D printing has a positive impact on design, engineering, manufacturing, personal 3D printing, education and biotechnology.
1Jennifer A. Lewis
Professor at Harvard & Founder of Voxel8
Who is she? Professor Jennifer Lewis heads up the Lewis Lab, which is responsible for many new developments and innovations in the field of bioprinting and materials science. It generally focuses on the directed and self-assembly of soft functional materials, which are extruded through pneumatic extrusion systems.
As well as publishing breakthrough research on multi-material bio-printing of capillary networks, Professor Lewis also founded Voxel8, which uses a unique pneumatic extrusion 3D printing technology to build functional electronic devices.
More on Prof. Lewis here.
Sculptor and Jewelry Designer
Who is she? Bathsheba Grossman is one of the very first artists to explore the possibilities of direct metal 3D printing in jewelry, creating amazing products like the Klein Bottle Opener, the Ora Pendant, and the Cuttlefish Pendant. These items are some of the most recognizable and popular in the entire landscape of 3D printed things.
More of her work over here.
Global Marketing Manager at Stratasys
Who is she? As the global VP of Marketing at Stratasys, one of the first and largest companies in the world of 3D printing, Arita is among the most influential people in the industry. She previously held the same role at Objet (the company that merged with Stratasys at the end of 2012) and has led the company’s marketing activities since 2010, including introducing the new J750 platform earlier this year ahead of the new two new 3D technology demonstrators for industrial manufacturing.
More on Arita Mattsoff here.
CEO & Co-founder, SOLS
Who is she? Kegan’s history in the 3D printing industry began at Shapeways. Here she worked in various roles, before leaving to set up SOLS to fulfill her vision to bring nascent technologies to the consumer market.
As founder and CEO of SOLS, Kegan is leading a company that builds orthotic products to improve fit through 3D scanning and 3D printing technology. SOLS flagship product MAPP3D is the end to end platform for mass customization behind ExoSOLS and SOLSRx.
More on Kegan Schouwenburg here.
Professor at Mediated Matter Lab, MIT
Who is she? MIT professor, PhD, designer, architect, artist, Neri Oxman has received many more awards and recognitions for her creative talent than we can list here.
Many of her artistic experiments push the boundaries of 3D printing technology, often in collaboration and with the support of industry leader Stratasys. Among the most talked about and influential projects of the past five years are highly intricate multi-color, multi-material and multi-density objects made with Stratasys’ Connex3 PolyJet technology and extrusion 3D printing with glass.
More on Neri Oxman here.
VP, Medical Devices Healthcare, 3D Systems
Who is she? Katie has been working with advanced 3D software and 3D printing for more than ten years. Originally with Medical Modeling, she moved over to 3D Systems when the company was acquired in 2013. Today she is vice president of the medical devices, healthcare division that focuses on a holistic ecosystem approach to improve healthcare for individuals by providing medical professionals with the tools and customization that improves patient outcomes.
More information here.
Chief Marketing Officer of Mcor Technologies
Who is she? On her Twitter account, Deirdre McCormack describes herself as “Wife, Mother, Business woman…..3D Printing enthusiast!”
Prior to becoming a part of the 3D printing industry, Deirdre gained transatlantic experience with companies such as Panavision New York, Golden Books Entertainment, Carlsberg, Vodafone and Cadburys in a variety of marketing roles. However, since 2006, she has been a vital member of the Mcor team, working alongside her husband (CEO, Connor) and brother in law, Fintan. This independent, family-run 3D printing company operates out of Ireland. In her role, she has launched two flagship products and brought Mcor to success in several business/marketing awards.
She also scooped silver in the 2015 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, in the category of Female Executive of the Year – Business Products.
More on Deirdre McCormack.
8Iris Van Herpen
Fashion Designer and Artist
Who is she? Pushing the boundaries of 3D printing in high fashion is not as unique as it once was. However, back in 2010, Iris Van Herpen was the first high-profile fashion designer to incorporate 3D printing into her collection, and continues to utilize the technologies in increasingly innovative ways.
Many of her collections — which have been exhibited on the catwalks of Amsterdam, London and Paris Fashion Weeks since 2010 — focus on the implementation of generative design brought to life by industrial 3D printing technologies. Just a few of the highlights include Quaquaversal, Hacking Infinity, Biopiracy, Wilderness Embodied and Voltage and Hybrid Holism. She has also collaborated with Neri Oxman.
More on Iris van Herpen at her website.
Co-Founder & CEO, FATHOM
Who is she? Michelle Mihevc is co-founder and CEO of California-based 3D printing company FATHOM, which she founded in 2008 with her business partner Rich Stump. Following year-on-year growth, FATHOM now boasts a 70-person team that provides comprehensive 3D printing services to a wide range of clients as well as platform sales. Michelle was named in the 2016 San Francisco Business Times’ List of Most Influential Women in Business, and Fathom has ranked four years in a row on the Inc 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies.
More information here.
VP Maker Media, Co-Creator of Maker Faire
Who is she? Sherry’s vision and passion for the maker movement, together with that of her business partner, Dale Dougherty, is self-evident and provides much of the drive behind the global Maker Faire series and MAKE magazine. An all-inclusive brand, 3D printing is just one tool that features heavily within the maker ecosystem, but it has been strongly embraced, and Sherry has been a keen advocate.
More of her on her Twitter account.
Designer and Artist
Who is she? Wipprecht is an artist, designer, curator and lecturer in electronic couture. Many of her creations make intensive use of 3D printing, often in collaboration with 3D printing service Materialise.
She has worked with the Black Eyed Peas, SuperBowl, Eurovision, as well as Audi, Volkswagen and more. Famous 3D printed incarnations include the Smoke Dress and Spider Dress. She is also curator of the TECHNOSENSUAL ‘Where Fashion meets Technology’ exhibition.
More on Anouk Wipprecht at her website.
12Virginia San Fratello
Co-founder Emerging Objects, Assistant Prof. at San José State University
Who is she? Together with partner Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello is leading materials research in 3D printing, especially with an eye toward architectural and housing applications.
They founded the Rael-San Fratello architect studio, as well as Emerging Objects, a studio that focuses on experimenting with new materials for binder jetting technologies (in collaboration with 3D Systems). She was the recipient of Metropolis Magazine’s Next Generation Design Award for her Hydro Wall concept.
More on Virginia San Fratello at her website.
Co-Founder Nervous System
Who is she? In 2007, Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg founded Nervous System. The generative design studio works at the intersection of science, art, and technology. Jessica Rosenkrantz graduated from MIT in 2005 and holds degrees in architecture and biology. Afterward, she studied architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Jessica draws inspiration from natural phenomena, which then is coded into patterns and generative processes. The result can be unique and affordable art, jewelry and housewares. Worth taking a look.
Head of Production Partnerships at Carbon & VP Additive Manufacturing Users Group
Who is she? Passionate about 3D printing, manufacturing and developing relationships, Dana applies this passion ardently in both of her business roles for Carbon and AMUG. She has played a vital role in establishing Carbon as a serious contender in the 3D printing industry with its CLIP process and increasing range of plastic production grade materials. At AMUG Dana has been central in organizing, planning, promoting and executing this hugely well-attended annual conference on additive manufacturing for the past two and a half years.
More on her work here.
+Lab, Professor at Politecnico di Milano
Who is she? Professor Levi has been a Full Professor at Milan’s Politecnico University, Chemical and Materials Engineering Department since 2007.
In 2013 she founded the +Lab, which employs engineers, designers, researchers and makers to forge a multidisciplinary approach to 3D printing. It’s a place where teaching, research, and design are blended to develop innovations in materials and technology. Pro Levi is also actively collaborating with the green divisions of Italian energy giant ENI.
More on Professor Levi right here (Italian only).
CRP Group, CEO Energica Motor Company S.p.A.
Who is she? Eng. Livia Cevolini has served in multiple roles at CRP Group, an Italian family run business based in Modena since 2002. The company provides engineering services, including industrial 3D printing, largely for the automotive industry. CRP also developed and commercialized the proprietary WindForm material product line for 3D printing. Since 2013, Livia has served as Chief Executive Officer of Energica Motor Company S.p.A. while retaining a directorship at CRP.
More information here.
Assistant Professor at MIT EECS
Who is she? Stefanie Mueller was a Ph.D. student at Hasso-Plattner Institute in Germany and has worked on many impressive projects. Among them are the Protopiper, a hand-held fabrication device that allows users to sketch room-sized objects at actual scale. Or the LaserStacker, a 3D laser cutter that allows users to fabricate 3D objects with an ordinary laser cutter through a cut-weld-heal-release process. Lastly, there’s the generative software WirePrint and faBrickator, a Minecraft-type approach to designing 3D printed objects.
Now, Mueller is an Assistant Professor at MIT EECS (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science).
More on Stefanie Mueller at her website.
Creator of Women in 3D Printing
Who is she? Nora Toure works in San Francisco for 3D printing service Sculpteo as a sales manager. She also created the business group “Women in 3D Printing“, featuring leading women in our industry. The group has a website that profiles female influencers in the 3D Printing industry, plus a series of meetups featuring female speakers and a Linkedin group.
More information on Nora Toure’s Women in 3D printing here.
Who is she? Eva Wolf, bachelor of science in Business Management, worked for 15 years in the government bond field. Then she discovered 3D printing through her husband and hasn’t looked back since. She co-founded Airwolf3D, a California-based company selling 3D printers, filament, and educational support. They also offer a custom-made and well-received 3D printer called AXIOM. Airwolf’s customer base includes Boeing, John Deere, Raytheon, Saleen Automotive and Honeywell, as well as schools and home hobbyists. Nearly half of the Airwolf3D staff is women.
In an interview with Women in 3D Printing she stated that “female intuitiveness and creativity is a definite advantage for any tech company.”
More on her company at Airwolf3D.
20Louise “Loubie” Driggers
Who is she? Louise Driggers, better known as “Loubie”, describes herself on her Thingiverse page as “British techie moved to Texas in 2013. Now a full-time freelance artist. Interested in articulation and assemblies. Fan of support-free models.”
She’s a prolific and brilliant designer, with creations ranging from ornate secret lock boxes to beautiful dragon models. She also made an important point about intellectual property rights with her “Sad Face” model when a third party sold her work on eBay without her permission or consent. Read the full saga here.
More on Loubie’s Thingiverse page.
21Limor “LadyAda” Fried
Founder of Adafruit
Who is she? One of the women that best represents a new generation of makers and designers, Limor Fried was the first female engineer on the cover of WIRED magazine and has received countless awards for her entrepreneurial achievements.
Fried founded Adafruit as a place for learning electronics and making the best-designed products for makers. Adafruit has since grown into the leading online retailer for maker projects, with over 50 employees in the heart of NYC with a 15,000+ sq ft. factory. It has also expanded its offerings to include tools, equipment, and electronics.
More on Limor Fried at Adafruit.
Designer and Lecturer
Who is she? Fashion designer Danit Peleg rose to international media attention when her clothes collection went viral, which was entirely 3D printed using flexible materials and desktop Witbox 3D printers (supplied by TechFactory and BQ). She’s also a proficient public speaker and has held talks all over the world, including TEDx, to illustrate her lateral thinking approach.
More on Danit Peleg here.
MD, MPH, Founder of 3D4MD lecturer
Who is she? Dr. Wong is Harvard-educated public health physician, innovator, educator lecturer and pioneer in 3D printing medical devices in austere environments.
She carried out several experiments involving 3D printing and space exploration with NASA and launched the first 3D printing learning activity for students and teachers at Canada’s only Challenger Learning Centre. She is also a frequent contributor to various media outlets including ABC News, Forbes, and the Huffington Post.
More information on Julielynn Wong right here.
Founder of Octoprint
Who is she? With the open source Octoprint software, Häußge developed a “snappy web interface for your 3D printer”. Using a Raspberry Pi, you can add a 3D printer to a wireless network, lets you control and monitor your prints, and even provides webcam features — and it’s totally free. Incredibly, she developed the Octoprint in 2012 over a two-week Christmas vacation… and it’s taken over her life ever since.
More information on Häußge and Octoprint right here.
Interaction Designer & Founder Continuum
Who is she? Mary Huang founded Continuum in 2011 and heads up the brand today. Described as part design label, part lab, Continuum has been a pioneer in ideas such as software based fashion collections and 3D printing. Mary says that she likes “prototyping my way toward solutions, both in code and in physical form” and 3D printing plays a central role in her work.
More information on Mary Huang and Continuum right here.
Who is she? Artist Darlene Farris-Labar is currently an associate professor at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, where she works in their 3D object design lab and encourages students to use technology in the field of art and design.
Her latest works mirror the natural world, the theme being our relationship to the natural environment and the question of sustainability. Her current projects are 3D printed “illustrations” of rare plant species that Farris-Labar says will soon be extinct. She says she’s trying to “capture the vulnerable, beautiful little species that are throughout our land… and give people a documentation of plants and flowers that may one day not be around.”
More information on Darlene Farris-Labar here.
Vice President of Marketing and Member of Leadership Team, Rize Inc
Who is she? A marketing professional with extreme gravitas, Julie is also addicted to the 3D printing industry and has a long pedigree in driving brands to successful penetration. She was originally at ZCorporation, then briefly at 3D Systems following the acquisition. At this point, she took a time out before coming back to the 3D printing industry as director of marketing for Mcor. Now she fulfills that role for newcomer Rize Inc, which introduced its zero post-processing 3D printing technology this year. You can bet that if Julie is onboard, it won’t be long before Rize rises to prominence.
More information on the Rize website.
COO at Zortrax
Who is she? Karolina Bołądź is the Chief Operating Officer of Zortrax, a company with a strong reputation for reliable 3D printers for home and office use. She sees the Zortrax product line becoming “more and more professional because we see that there’s a huge gap between home 3D printing and industrial printing. At the same time, we have a huge startup community, small and medium businesses – everyone wants to create innovative new things.”
More in All3DP’s interview here.
Astronomer and Author
Who is she? Joan Horvath is an American astronomer, aeronautic scientist, writer, and entrepreneur. She worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for sixteen years, in the technology transfer office and on the Magellan and TOPEX/Poseidon flight projects. She cofounded the 3D printing company Nonscriptum LLC, and has written a lot of 3D printing books you should seek out — they’re aimed mainly at teachers, scientists, and parents.
More details on Joan Horvath’s website.
Design and Business Lead at Mixeelabs
Who is she? Nancy Liang is the design lead at Mixee Labs, a web-based service that allows users to create customized 3D prints without modeling expertise or even owning a 3D printer. Before that, she ran the Materials Product Group at Shapeways.
Liang is passionate that customization matters — it’s not only an edge that 3D printing has over traditional manufacturing, but it adds value. She explains: “When I was in 2nd grade I created an ashtray in my school’s art class… My parents didn’t smoke and it was a really kind of ugly and misshapen piece of clay but… my Dad still has it in his office because it has value.”
More on her work on Mixeelabs.
Architect & Fashion Designer
Who is she? Behnaz Farahi is a renowned architect and fashion designer with a focus on interactive environments. Specializing in 3D printing and robotics, her ultimate goal is to enhance the relationship between human beings and the surrounding environment through natural motion.
Farahi has worked with Autodesk, Fuksas Studio, and 3DSystems. Her work is both aesthetically beautiful and dynamically interactive. For example, the 3D printed Caress of the Gaze wearable is a dress that is able to detect when someone is staring at it. Her latest revealed work, called Aurora, is an interactive kinetic ceiling that responds to corporeal movement below it. One of the great artists in this Women in 3D Printing list.
More of Farahi’s work can be found on her website.
Who is she? Bioartist Amy Karle also uses 3D printing technology to express the relationship between the human body and mind. Like Behnaz Farahi, Karle was an Autodesk Pier 9 Artist in Residence.
In 2016, we covered her ambitious goal to grow her own exoskeleton, starting off with a 3D bioprinted hand. The project meets somewhere between art and biology. Her 3D printed hand scaffold is made of a biodegradable hydrogel, meaning that it will disintegrate over time. She intends to seed stem cells onto that design, eventually growing tissue and mineralizing the print into actual bone of the same shape. Prior to that, Karle had done some amazing work by creating music with her mind through an electroencephalogram (EEG) neuroheadset.
More of Karle’s work can be found on her website.
33Anne Marie Shillito
Co-founder of Anarkik Creations
Who is she? Anne Marie Shillito is the co-founder of Anarkik Creations, an award-winning haptic 3D modeling software.
Shillito’s haptic design software allows you to create 3D models with the touch of your hand. Her state-of-the-art 3D modeling tool makes the creative process much easier for artists and designers who struggle with CAD. Anarkik’s signature haptic mouse creates a fully touch-oriented 3D design experience, bridging the gap between amateur designers and 3D printing. Originally known as jewelry designer from Scotland, the forward-thinking innovator is also working to integrate her 3D modeling program into STEM education.
More information on Anarkik’s software can be found on their website.
Founder & CEO of Urban3D
Who is she? Annielle Guedes is the founder and CEO of Urban3D, a Brazilian startup that aims to reduce the cost of materials and construction time by up to 80 percent with 3D printing.
Urban3D isn’t just your typical construction startup. Using high-tech materials, 3D printing, and robotics, Guedes’ company wants to create sustainable housing at one-tenth the cost and ten times the speed as traditional construction. Her ultimate goal is to eliminate homelessness over the next 15 years by creating adequate housing for the 3 billion people in the world without a roof over their heads.
More information on Urban3D can be found on their website.
Founder of MirrorMe3D
Who is she? Carrie Stern is the founder of MirrorMe3D, the first company in the world to bring 3D printing to the cosmetic surgery sector.
Back in 2015, Dr. Carrie Stern launched the New York based startup MirrorMe3D. The aim of her medical company is to make 3D printing technology both accessible and affordable to cosmetic doctors across the world. MirrorMe3D offers patient-specific models that gives patients a better idea of the procedure they’re about to undergo, as well as the final cosmetic results. Stern has authored over 30 peer-reviewed publications that focus on the use of 3D technology for plastic surgery.
More information can be found on the MirrorMe3D website.
License: The text of "35 Most Influential Women in 3D Printing" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.