Continuing our Meet Our Partners interview series, this time we had a chat with Dave Gaylord, Vice President of Product and Technology at MatterHackers. All the way from sunny Southern California, Dave told us all about his interesting background in 3D printing and where he hopes it will take us in the future.
When, how, and why was MatterHackers founded?
“MatterHackers was founded in 2012. Some of the founders are software guys and they tried to use 3D printers back in 2010/2011/2012. They saw that one of the biggest gaps was actually software and its ease of use, so they took the opportunity to write some while, at the same time, selling some filament on the side – getting lucky in terms of being in the right place at the right time. That kind of snowballed into hardware, and then MatterHackers is where we are today!”
Where does your love for 3D printing come from?
“My experience in 3D printing actually comes from a little bit of a previous life, prior to retailing and helping communities to succeed with 3D printing. I was a medical device engineer, so I’ve used 3D printers for the last 18 /19 years. I went to university at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to do a mechanical engineering program, where I learned how to use 3D printers and then, obviously, it became a huge tool as an R&D ad manufacturing engineer to be able to succeed at designing, tooling and manufacturing medical devices. So that’s where my experience comes from. And because of that, MatterHackers is well-positioned to be able to have those types of conversations with customers who are looking to get into 3D printing and really up their skills in 3D printing.”
To whom would you recommend our BCN3D printers and why?
“The BCN3D line of 3D printers are just beasts of machines! They’re big machines that are very capable, especially with the IDEX technology. That’s always been a staple of the BCN3D early printers, as well as the ones that you have most recently launched. That remains a staple of the technology of BCN3D; to be able to use dual extrusion for bright and brilliant colours, early on and even more so, recently being able to use dissolvable support materials for a higher output. Also, because of the IDEX, outside of dual extrusion, are the mirror and duplication modes which turn any desktop into a real, actual factory – which is really awesome.”
How do you see the future of 3D printing?
“The future of 3D printing is bright! I think there’s still a lot of games to be had, obviously the market keeps growing and it’s growing really quickly. People that are adopting the technology right now are not early adopters in any way, it’s actually becoming much more mature, and becoming a staple of, sort of, an engineer at a desk certainly has access to a 3D printer in some way and I think that will become more prevalent.
I think the future of it, as MatterHackers sees it today, is really around materials and at our base we are a materials company. When we try to solve anybody’s issues, the conversations that arise and the solutions that they are trying to get to are very material based. Someone who wants to print something, often has an application that requires certain material properties.
So, as much as the equipment is becoming, you know, leaps and bounds better every moment of every launch, I think the conversation comes down to materials and actually the equipment is just gonna be this thing that gets less in the way in terms of any user succeeding.”
So now I have a very important question for you… the next time it’s possible to safely visit us in our offices in Barcelona, what’s your drink of choice?
“I find that I’m a chameleon when I drink, in that, wherever I am I will drink whatever the locals are drinking. So certainly in Barcelona I’ve had a lot of good wine, I’ve had a lot of good cava on the beach, gin and tonics and sangrias…so anything the locals are having! Which I’ve certainly participated in before, and I am very excited to again, hopefully soon!”