Women in the 3D printing world: meet Tanja Schelling from 3D Systems.
Women and 3D Printing
The International Women’s Day is celebrated today, March 8. On this occasion, we decided to honour a female personality from the 3D printing sector. Above all, the aim is to make people understand how women are moving this revolution in a predominantly male world. According to a study last year, only 13% of the additive manufacturing market consists of women. However, the proportion of female profiles has been steadily increasing in recent years.
Meet Tanja Schilling, director of global campaigns for 3D Systems
In which way women can add value to the 3D printing world? Would you say there is always a « women touch » in what we do, even in the 3D printing world?
In my view women have a different angle to look at benefits that could come from technology, and this does not only benefit our industry. Women tend to see the bigger picture, think outside the box and detect use cases many men might not have thought of. For the simple reason that they have a different way to look at the world and the impact new technology can have on humankind and how it will help us evolve and mature as a civilization.
How could we encourage more women to become involved with 3D Printing?
As 3D printing evolves and market adoption increases I think we will see more women in this field. Engineering is still dominated by men, although the share of women tends to increase. We need to understand that 3D printing is not limited to engineering. The industry would benefit from more diversity and different perspectives when it comes to problem solving and new approaches. In addition, I think we need to encourage girls to go for tech studies and drive innovation early on, I think there is still a lack of access for girls.
What would you like to see realised thanks to the 3D printing in the next years?
3D Printing could be a major solution for disaster relief and space exploration. Imagine you could print essential goods, housing or offer services in areas hit by a disaster or in a refugee camp. Logistics are ways easier and help will be delivered a lot faster. The United Nations is including 3D Printing in their earthquake response plans right now, including printing customized pipe parts for sanitation infrastructures. The same applies to medical use cases, 3D printing is capable of getting essential medical tools into the hands of doctors on site within hours. The possibilities are endless, and we are just at the beginning.
Any fun stories you would like to share?
It’s funny, heart-warming and astonishing at the same time – we printed a prosthesis for a penguin who had lost his leg last year. I thought this was a great and fun story!