Additive Community Spirit with Kristin Mulherin
This month, we sit down with Kristin Mulherin, Sr. Director of Product Marketing at VELO3D and Board Member of Women in 3D Printing. Tune in as we discuss the additive community spirit, visibility during the pandemic and 3D printing happy hours.
Listen to the full episode or read the transcript below.
Hi everyone and welcome to PowderHeads, a Carpenter Additive podcast. With each episode of PowderHeads, we bring you the minds of industry experts and delve into topics that are defining how additive manufacturing is making an impact on our world. In this episode, Ben Ferrar vice president at Carpenter Additive sits down with Kristin Mulherin Founder and President of Velo3D, a commercial strategy and market development consultancy focused exclusively on supporting the commercial arm of those within or looking to enter the additive manufacturing in the 3D printing space. Kristin has been part of the additive space for a while, and sits on the board of directors for Women in 3D Printing, a nonprofit global organization with over 15,000 members throughout more than 25 countries. Like so many in the AM field Kristin's journey through the industry has enforced the community aspects of those working in this space. Thanks for listening to PowderHeads and enjoy the conversation.
Ben Ferrar (01:09):
So, uh, Kristin, welcome to PowderHeads uh, tell us a little bit about your, your additive journey so far.
Kristin Mulherin (01:16):
Oh gosh. So it's been pretty, uh, diverse so far. I think that's, that's a big, um, reason why I'm, where I am right now working in the consulting business is so I started, uh, actually the additive journey with LP w where I, uh, obviously met you. Um, so I started out in the UK, I'd moved out to the UK. Um, I'd had a background in te science and advanced materials in the commercial side of things for a startup, uh, in Los Angeles, uh, which led to my, uh, taking a role with, uh, LPW. Um, and that was my entry into additive and it was really a great entry because you know, I went out there, um, and within about a month or so, you know, I was going to, uh, Formnext and it was really literally one of those moments where I recognized, uh, pretty much immediately that this is, this is where I wanna be.
Kristin Mulherin (02:05):
This is the world I wanna be in. This is the industry I wanna stay in. And, and I knew then that I would probably most likely or definitely never leave the additive space, um, was at least, uh, at least how I feel now for sure. Um, so that was a great introduction. I learned a lot about metal, additive manufacturing, um, you know, obviously the metal powders and all of the things in the whole ecosystem. I mean the metal powder uh, area is a great way to get into additive because you get to see the entire ecosystem. You get to work with the service bureaus, you gotta work with some machine builders, you get to work with all of the different end users and you, and you get to see from, from start to finish kind of the entire process. So I learned a lot in that role.
Kristin Mulherin (02:44):
Um, unfortunately I had to return to, uh, Portland for some family, uh, issues. Um, but at that point that's when I took a role with Thermo Fisher scientific. Um, and that was just entering in from another angle. And that was, uh, we were looking at the analytical equipment. So essentially, uh, they made electron microscopes and they were looking for somebody to help them sell those electron microscopes into the additive space. And we identified that they had these microscopes that essentially could analyze the powders as well as the final parts. And so it was a really interesting proposition. And so we worked together to kind of fine tune that, to create literally an electron microscope designed for additive manufacturing. Um, after there I ended up going over to HP, um, which was just an awesome opportunity. Um, I gotta help launch the metal jet printer. So again, it was a whole different part of the industry, uh, working for the machine builder.
Kristin Mulherin (03:35):
Um, after that, after the launch of the metal jet, I moved over to the MJF printer, um, and this is my first for, into the plastic side of things. And so when I was working on the MJF, I was working on building the market for the industrial vertical. Um, and again, that was something I hadn't worked on as much before. Uh, so it was, it was just yet another great learning experience. So at this point I had realized that, um, you know, I had gotten great contacts into the industry and a really good broad background. And, uh, I realized that was the time to start my consulting business. I wanted, I had started my roots in startups and I really like startups and I like working with, um, fast paced growing company. And uh, all of a sudden I was at HP, which is this big giant company. And I, I really, as I want to go back to my roots in terms of more of the, the entrepreneurial side of things. So that's where I'm at today.
Ben Ferrar (04:26):
Yeah. Great. And uh, I think anyone listening in the additive industry can relate to how infectious the industry is. Right? People, people get a taste of the additive industry and they want to, they want to be part of it. Right.
Kristin Mulherin (04:41):
Community, you know, it's, it's, it's really like, and I talk to people about this all the time, especially with regards to COVID. I mean, we all get together at these events throughout the year. And, and I, I feel like it's kind of like a weird little family reunion where you get to see people, you know, like you, you know, you're a perfect example and it's like, it's kind of weird. Um, not having that contact cuz we really are like a weird little family.
Ben Ferrar (05:04):
Yeah. I, I agree. I mean, and I think that, you know, some of the work that I've seen done in the last 12 months, right. And on, or even more in the last six months with the pandemic right. Has, has really broadened that community. Right. Because we Haven that family hasn't been dependent on meeting up at various shows. It's become a lot more digital and we're seeing more people come into the space. Is there, is there any advice that you'd give to people who are looking to build and start a career in additive? What would, what would you say to them and advise them?
Kristin Mulherin (05:41):
Oh gosh. Like if you're starting off really at the beginning, I think, you know, having, um, obviously some sort of technical background is gonna certainly help, you know, I mean, I think the people there's a lot of people in the out industry that don't have technical backgrounds, but I think it makes it certainly a lot easier if you do have, you know, an engineering background or something like that. Um, I think it'll just make, you know, it, it still is a pretty scientifically advanced and obviously, uh, industry. So that would certainly help. And I mean, with that aside, I think again, going back to the whole thing where the it's really a very much a community and, and, um, you know, is, and Ben actually, you, you, you were really inspiring for me actually, when I was at L P w because you knew so many different people and you, you had this cross section and, and I realized at the time, um, when I went to events with you that that was something that was really beneficial and something that was really valuable in terms of, uh, your success.
Kristin Mulherin (06:33):
And so it was really inspiring for me to actually kind of get out there more and get to know P more. And I think that's really, um, you know, that's how you find about opportunities. That's how you, you know, it's all about, it's a fast paced industry and you need to just continually be learning constantly learning, cuz it's gonna get move past you if you don't. And the best way to do that is to have as many conversations and get to know as many people as you can. I learn so much more from having even, you know, just like this even, um, conversations, you know, in meetings, conversations at events, conversations, wherever, but the more people you talk to, uh, the bigger background you're gonna get and the more you're up to speed you're gonna stay. So I think, you know, outside of, you know, preparing yourself with a technical degree, I think getting to know as many people as you can in the industry is gonna be one of the best ways to, to, um, really get yourself ingrained.
Ben Ferrar (07:22):
Yeah. And I think, I think that that's welcomed within the additive industry, right. There is an openness and collaboration, which is really about driving the industry forward, which is which, you know, one of the reasons why I like working in additive so much, um,
Kristin Mulherin (07:36):
How, yeah, I, I think as well, just on that, on that note, the out is that, um, the thing that's really interesting that I talk to you about and just to kind of further emphasize that point is one conversation I have with people all the time is, you know, uh, especially when I was at HP people say, oh, isn't, aren't, you know, aren't you competitive with carbon and, and you know, all these other companies and one, not really cuz you know, they're different technologies. And so, you know, we're, we're really not, but even if we were, I think the thing that's really cool about the additive industry in general is I don't think even people who really literally are direct competitors view it that way. You know, there's a lot of service bureaus out there that do a lot of the similar things, but at the end of the day, um, it's, it's an industry it's kind of like us against them and us being the whole industry. We need to educate the general population in the general manufacturing space to be able to adopt this technology. And we do that kind of together. And I don't feel like there's, there's, there's really compared to other industries. It's not that competitive competition. And so people are really open to share information because the more we can grow together as like an entire group, you know, there's enough business out there for all of us, if we can get, if we can get the technology adopted.
Ben Ferrar (08:43):
Yeah. Get it, get it converted over, I guess. Uh, when I look at your career and now your involvement in, in women, in 3d printing, I think that's a perfect example of knowledge sharing and also, you know, community support. How, how did you get into women in 3d printing?
Kristin Mulherin (09:02):
Well, I got into the 3d printing, um, couple years ago, uh, and it's, it's when I was still at HP. Um, and they were, it was kind of in a stage of where it was really starting to grow. Um, it'd been around for a few years, um, and there were a few chapters around and the closest chapter at the time was down in San Francisco and I'm here in Portland. Um, and uh, I obviously, you know, that's quite a long trip to go to a happy hour, cuz it originally was originally was just pretty much happy hours. Uh, and so I reached out to the founder nor Tory and uh, said, you know, I'd like to start a chapter here in Portland. Um, so that's how I got involved in the first place. And at the time there was like 20 something chapters around the world.
Kristin Mulherin (09:40):
And now we have over, uh, 65 chapters in over 25 countries, um, on all six continents, um, there's about, you know, over 15,000 members, men and women that come to the different meetups that we have. Um, and it just kind of really voted in that, that, that timeframe. Um, and, uh, it's cool. Like one of the things that I always tell people about when I first started the chapter here in Portland was you don't think of Portland as a hotspot of, uh, additive manufacturing. Uh, but it was amazing. Cause I, I, I did the very first event and we had like, you know, 60 people show up and they were from all over. We had, you know, and I didn't even realize it. And of course, you know, obviously we have HP, but there's 3d systems here. There's Intel, there's Nike. Um, and then there's all these other, like there was this small shoe company that's coming out. That's really cool. Um, and then just a lot of different, smaller things, but they were all, um, manufacturing base, additive people. And it, I just, I had no idea idea that there were that many people in Portland that were involved in additive. And so it was really, really eye-opening for me.
Ben Ferrar (10:44):
Yeah. I guess, uh, I guess when people see an opportunity right. To share ideas, people are drawn to it. Um, what's the most exciting thing that you've, you've seen then in the last few months?
Kristin Mulherin (10:58):
Um, I think probably the most exciting thing for me right now is, uh, seeing the heavily investment in 3d printing. I think, you know, I think it's really cool again. I think, um, you know, the pandemic has given visibility to 3d printing, unlike anything else. And I was talking to somebody just the other day, um, and that's not in the, just somebody in, in Portland in general. And they said, and I, they were asking what I do and I told 'em I worked in 3d print and they said, oh wow. That's, you know, that's a great place. That's an exciting place to be right now. And it was cool because it was someone who has nothing to do with manufacturing or industry, but they've seen it in the media. You know, I think there's been a great opportunity, you know, it, I hate to say opportunity cuz it's obviously based on, you know, something horrible, but I think, um, we've gotten a lot more visibility, uh, as a result of the pandemic and it's nice to see that being recognized. And then also this, all this heavy investment that's come into a lot of the companies there's been these really big, uh, fundraising rounds. Um, and I think, you know, if we can keep this momentum going, I think it really speaks volumes in terms of where we could possibly go in 20, 21 and, and going forward, I think we got a big, we got a big, uh, nudge, big push from all of this.
Ben Ferrar (12:10):
Well, I think that, that the pandemic is made people in a lot of industries have to think laterally, right? And so if, if I think back 12 months to what people saw as the benefits of additive manufacturing, right? It would, it would go this, you know, it wouldn't go very deep, right? You'd be talking about things like lightweighting or, um, mass customization. Now people are starting in other industries, right? Both pollen around metal additive. We're seeing other benefits come through like, you know, improving liquidity by reducing inventory levels or, um, you know, lead time becoming a huge factor because of the disruption in, in various supply chains. You know? So if people convert that, that gives some huge benefits, what, uh, what is the, the biggest driving force for your customer base and the people you talk to for, for bringing on additive at the moment?
Kristin Mulherin (13:08):
I think the biggest thing I'm seeing right now, um, uh, and it's definitely one for the, uh, service bureaus more than anything is reducing the risk, the supply chain risk. Um, I think that is that's huge, you know, it's, it's, you know, with the pandemic we saw these really long lead times, as you mentioned. Um, and we've been able to demonstrate that, you know, the distributed manufacturing onsite manufacturing, um, not needing to wait for parts from China. Um, the whole, uh, reduction of risk is really, I think, a big, uh, feature. And like you said, I don't think people were talking about that prior to the pandemic. It was really, like you said about lightweighting and, and uh, complex designs and things like that. And now people are realizing, look, it doesn't have to be that. Um, and I'm speaking, I'm doing one of these, uh, woman in 3d print printing panels in a couple weeks.
Kristin Mulherin (13:56):
And one of the women she's actually, um, they focus exclusively on, uh, obsolete and spare parts, um, that they can't get. Uh, and that one's, we've been talking about for a little while, but it's also kind of been brought to the forefront, um, that we can, it doesn't necessarily have to be redesigned. And it was the first time I'd actually heard that. And a while, cause everyone says, you know, oh, these parts, they have to be totally redesigned for 3d printing. And I've always agreed with that until I spoke to her and she's like, look, we don't need to do that. And it's still valuable to us cause we wanna just, you know, recreate parts of are obsolete or whatever, and we need them right now and we can't wait a couple weeks. So it's, it's interesting.
Ben Ferrar (14:34):
It's, it's a tool to enable people to make their businesses more agile. Right. As well. Which
Kristin Mulherin (14:39):
Exactly, yeah. That's a really good way to put it.
Ben Ferrar (14:43):
Yeah. I, I mean, so are you, are you able to allude and talk about some of the things that you're working on currently that, uh, that are the people listening would find interesting?
Kristin Mulherin (14:53):
Um, I mean right now, um, you know, I do spend quite a bit of time with a woman in 3d printing and we're putting on this conference in January. So, um, it was gonna be a live conference, much like everybody else's, um, with the intention of being at, in the us, um, this year or I guess January, and then we are gonna alternate from year to year between the us and Europe. So we can make sure we can capture our entire, you know, as much of our, uh, membership as possible. But instead of course it's gonna be virtual like everything else. Um, but it's pretty exciting. I mean, we have pretty much, we have over 80 speakers already signed up, um, and it's all female speakers, uh, and it's pretty much all of the, you know, uh, senior leadership, uh, that you can think of in the industry we've got speaking, which is, again, one of the, the silver linings of all the pandemic stuff is we wouldn't be able to get all those people to Denver. Uh, if we were doing it live, whereas with this, we got, we have people from Asia, Europe, the us, and we can get a really great, fantastic, uh, group of speaker for the event. So that's pretty exciting.
Ben Ferrar (15:54):
Yeah, that's exciting. I mean, I guess this year, right. Especially with some of the things that have happened around the world, right? The, the whole diversity has really moved up the agenda in a lot of boardrooms across the country. Right. And people who, who weren't necessarily putting that as a priority for, for the businesses, it's really, it's really com uh, women in 3d printing was, you know, almost ahead of its time. Right. In terms of, you know, what it's been trying to do from inclusion and diversity. I mean, I, I, you know, my, my appreciation goes out to the success that they had because it's created a real platform. Um, what do you think is, what do you think, is this the biggest reason for that success?
Kristin Mulherin (16:42):
Um, you know, I think it's, again, it's kind of like it's being part of a group. Um, I think it's part of the community. Um, it's, you know, there's, it's all about inclusion and I wanna make sure that it's really clear it's, you know, a lot of people ask me, um, a lot of men ask me, can they come to the events? And we're like, of course, you know, and I always tell people, you can't, you know, we're all about inclusion and diversity. And we can't do that with the exclusion of half the population that makes no sense. So, you know, it's all about it is all about inclusion and we wanna have everybody it's, it's, it's bringing everybody together. It just happens to be a platform for women, um, to give a platform to women that they might not have otherwise. And then, you know, within that, you know, the, the board of directors, me and the four other women, I mean, we're like, again, we're like a little mini family and, and then we have all of the ambassadors, you know, there's 65 or 65 to 70 ambassadors around the world, and we're a little community and we get to exchange information and we get to, um, exchange information in a way that's different than you would normally.
Kristin Mulherin (17:41):
And it's also people outside of your organization. So even though we have corporate sponsors, nothing is, is, you know, it like the, uh, when I was at HP, it wasn't an HP chapter. It just happened to be the HP sponsored some of our events. So we get to have a lot of conversations outside of our organizations, which I think a lot of people struggle to do in certain organizations. It's very inward thinking, and this gives you an opportunity to talk to people from, you know, maybe your competitors or, you know, people who could be so suppliers or customers. It's just, again, it's just giving people more of a, a, a local community to deal with, to work with.
Ben Ferrar (18:15):
Yeah. And it keep like, like you talked about the broader additive industry and the connections that are formed there as, you know, smaller companies become big organizations. I, I recognize right. That for, for people that could be a huge challenge in finding that connect within their own organizations. And I think it really enables people to, to, you know, grow their network and, and also personally develop.
Kristin Mulherin (18:40):
I mean, if, if you exactly, and, and I think, you know, one thing as well, that we're trying to do is with, especially with kind of the, the newer, the younger generation, people were coming straight outta school. Like I look back on when I graduated from school and I had no idea what the various options were for me. I graduated, you know, with the degree in material science. And I knew I wanted to do something to do that was commercial and BA in material science, but I didn't really know what that was, but we, I think what we're doing as well is we're giving people terms of what are the options for your career, like what these are the paths you could take, and this is how you might wanna take that path. Um, I, and I, I, I feel like if I would've had this, when I was in my twenties, it would've been such amazing opportunity to have that visualization of where I could go.
Ben Ferrar (19:29):
Yeah. I think that's, I think that's a really, a really good way of put it. Right. Uh, I mean, there's a lot of people who would change the decisions they made in their career if they'd had better insights.
Kristin Mulherin (19:40):
Probably, you know, seeing, I think everyone would right.
Ben Ferrar (19:44):
See, but, but I guess it's only through seeing what other people have done and learning from other people's mistakes or learning other people's successes that, that people can, can have that it can feel. And especially in a time, right, with the pandemic where people probably feel a lot more isolated than, than they, or people could feel more isolated than they did previously, without being able to visit and meet face to face. I think the digital platform that's been created now as com it, it will never go away. Right. People, people will, you know, keep up with what's happening now in the digital world. And I, I think that it's only, uh, an opportunity for platforms and, and organizations like women in 3d printing to get stronger. Right. And become more, more inclusive.
Kristin Mulherin (20:34):
Totally. I mean, I, I think, you know, you, we hear a lot of people talk about zoom fatigue and how everyone's getting really tired of being on video. But I feel like it's been, you know, in some regards, I feel like it's been a great thing to have happened because, um, I think we have a lot more, you you're face to face here a lot more than we would be, and we get to see each other more on video than we would if we, you know, if we had to wait until a mug and Forex to see each other, you know, how, you know, you wouldn't get to know people as well as I have in the last six months, I've gotten to know so many people so much better than I, I would've in other other circumstances.
Ben Ferrar (21:09):
Yeah. I mean, taking a, taking a call on FaceTime. Right. I, I don't think I would've done, I, I don't think people would've done that with customers and suppliers a year ago, but now they, now they probably would. Right.
Kristin Mulherin (21:21):
Ben Ferrar (21:23):
So, um, in terms of the, the consulting that you're currently doing, is there, is there focus to what you're doing or where do you feel you really add value?
Kristin Mulherin (21:34):
Yeah. So, um, one, uh, the thing that I add value, the thing that drove me to start doing this in the first place was that I recognized that I had a very broad background, um, across 3d printing. And it's something actually at one point. And I really thought, oh, you know, I wasn't sure, you know, I, I consider myself a generalist and I thought for a while I thought, oh, that's not very good. I, you know, I know about everything, but I'm not too deep into anything, but I know about the entire I've had experiences in both plastic metal, ceramics, uh, 3d printing. I've worked with all the different printer technologies. Um, and I've worked with all the different site of the industry. And, you know, I didn't recognize that for a long time, but what huge, what a huge advantage that was and what a huge benefit it was.
Kristin Mulherin (22:18):
Um, and when I did, that's kind of when I realized that being, you know, doing my own consulting made sense. And so instead of focusing on, um, you know, a very specific, um, area of, um, consulting, I kind of took a different route. And what I said is I'm gonna focus on a very specific industry and that industry being 3d printing, additive manufacturing, and, um, utilize that I'm a generalist across all of the industry, but focus on pretty much any kind of the commercial aspect of, of those businesses. So whether it's, uh, go to market strategy or lead generation, or, um, you know, executive marketing strategy, um, essentially anything to do with the commercial strategy of any 3d printing company out there. So, you know, I work with startups that need help with a go to market strategy, and I can work with, you know, multi-billion dollar companies that are looking to actually enter the, the 3d printing space, which is similar to what I I did at, uh, Irma Fisher. So it, it, it's pretty broad in that regards, but the one common denominator is, or the two common denominators are, uh, 3d printing and, uh, the commercial arm of the business.
Ben Ferrar (23:24):
And, and so I guess it's, uh, it's a really interesting insight that you have, right? Because you, there's not many people that have the experience and look across metal and polymer, which out of metal and polymer interests you more and why?
Kristin Mulherin (23:40):
Oh, gosh, that's a really good question because, you know,
Ben Ferrar (23:42):
But you're talking to a hard metals guy.
Kristin Mulherin (23:45):
I know, I know. And it's,
Kristin Mulherin (23:47):
And it's it's, and of course that's where I got my start with on the metal side of things. And, um, and I think being a material scientist by nature, you know, material scientists focused more on the inorganic things, whereas organic is gonna be more the chemists. So, um, my heart, you know, my heart and soul lies with metal cause that's where I started and that's, I got, um, and I, and you know, it is it's there. I think the industry is very much a family with the exception of metal and polymer.
Kristin Mulherin (24:13):
They are pretty split down the middle.
Kristin Mulherin (24:16):
Don't cross that line, you know, it's kind of unusual to cross that line. Um, so, you know, they obviously bring totally different things. I think I think metal, um, I think it's gonna be so interesting and I always, I always did kind of lean that way, but the more I get into plastics, the more excited I get about plastics, because there's so much opportunity. Like there's two different things. I mean, there's a lot of opportunity in metal, but I find the metal side of things more interesting from an engineering and science perspective. Whereas the plastic side of things, there's obviously the, there's a lot more materials. There's, you know, there's thousands of potential materials for plastics, um, and the applications and, you know, uh, the potential for the plastics is really hu is really huge in terms of a broad, uh, product base where metal is more specific.
Kristin Mulherin (25:03):
I think they have the equal amount of potential, but they're, they're different kinds. And so it's tough to say, I mean, I like working in both. I really, really do. I really enjoy both, but I have to say recently my, my work has been predominantly focused more on, uh, the plastic side of things and to some degree ceramics as well, I think, um, I'm really excited to see what wind ceramics does kind of catch on. It's still, you know, very much R and D phase, but I'm excited to see that come to life a bit more as well.
Ben Ferrar (25:29):
And, and what industry areas and, and applications are you seeing in ceramics where you think that additive could really take off?
Kristin Mulherin (25:37):
Well, I mean, I think it's really big on the ceramic cores. I think that's really where it's being used now. Um, but, uh, you know, aerospace space, I just saw an article this morning on you sending a ceramic printer to the international space station, which I can't wrap my head around. I need to, you know, I, I, I'm very curious about that in terms of how you print in zero gravity. Um, and, uh, but there apparently there's lots of the, the articles about there's lots of benefits, uh, being able to print in zero gravity, um, in terms of density and things. And I just, I think that's fascinating. So, um, obviously space and aerospace is a big application ultimately for, for ceramics.
Ben Ferrar (26:13):
I remember a conversation that I had with a, a CEO a number of years ago, right. Of a, of a UK based leading engineering company. And he always had this huge desire to break into a human market. Right. And 3d printing sort of went through that, that consumer curve, 3d printing at home almost 10 years ago now. But do you think that with the advancements of, of additive in the polymer space that we could be, you know, we could be, uh, closer to a time where we're gonna have more 3d printed objects and parts in people's lives than, than exist today?
Kristin Mulherin (26:58):
I think definitely. I think it is gonna come, that will come back around. I mean, I know for example, uh, you know, you think of like form labs, form labs, you know, have kind of the low, the cheaper printers, um, and, or low cost I should say would be probably more appropriate. Um, and, uh, they, they, they have apparently had booming business during the pandemic because those kind of printers they're lower cost. And, you know, they're still not like user, they're not maker know price point, but they are, uh, lower cost. And, uh, so a lot of people brought those in during the pandemic, again, this mitigating risk and mitigating the risk from the supply chain. So I think we're definitely moving that direction. And I think there's definitely a lot of opportunity that will come from it. Um, uh, but yeah, when we get in back into the kind of the consumer space, I think we'll definitely once, once the industry, I think, I think this is the right way to come at it. So once it's accepted, I think on a manufacturing, uh, scale, I think we can then kind of come back to doing the, the general consumer
Ben Ferrar (28:00):
Yeah. Be is, I guess it would be interesting to think, right. That when there's a time where people have 3d printed parts in their life, that they don't even know are 3d printed. Right. I, I think, uh, that will be the true measure of success. Right. Whereas now, nowadays there's almost a premium, well, there's a premium, right. You know, and a lot of the, you know, decorations or, you know, household items, a 3d printed people probably paying a premium to be able to say they're 3d printing, 3d printed, but we will reach a time. I, I would envisage, especially with polymer where, uh, you know, the, the cost makes sense and the, you know, the customization makes sense that people are buying it, not because it's 3d printed, but it just happens to be,
Kristin Mulherin (28:48):
They had those Gillette razors remember a couple years ago at Christmas, you know, that was the, the big thing. And, and they're definitely, um, and those were, they weren't cheap, but they weren't outrageous. I don't think, um, you know, so that was kind of, I think the first foray into that sort of thing, I think Christmas gifts, uh, personalized Christmas gifts are gonna cause that's the right volume as well. Cause it's only a, a short, short period of time. Um, and, uh, and eyeglasses and things like that. There's, they're, they're, they're starting to come into play. Um, for sure. So I don't think we're too far off.
Ben Ferrar (29:19):
Yeah, no, well, that'd be really interesting to see. So, uh, well, I really appreciate you, uh, you joining us today. Thanks very much for being with us and, uh,
Kristin Mulherin (29:28):
Ben Ferrar (29:29):
I, uh, hopefully we'll actually be able to meet up at some point in, in 2021.
Kristin Mulherin (29:35): Gosh, I hope so. Yeah, for sure.
Thanks very much to Kristin Mulherin for giving PowderHeads some of her time. Her personal story is helping to both drive the AM industry as well as make it more inclusive is a great lesson on building thought leadership. She's a rare talent with experienced spanning manufacturing with both metal and polymer materials and her insight into the two is notable. If you have questions or comments about what we discussed in this podcast PowderHeads, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our podcast page at www.carpenteradditive.com/powderheads. We continue to build an archive of all of our interviews there as well as additional material that provides insight and perspective on modern day additive manufacturing. PowderHeads is managed by Carpenter Additive and its parent company Carpenter Technology, a global leader in specialty alloys for over 130 years. Our goal is to help solve their most challenging material process problems. Learn more at CarpenterTechnology.com. Thanks again for listening and keep building!