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5 Women You Should Know About in the World of 3D Printing
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By Shanie Phillips | Inside 3DP

NOTE: This is a companion piece to 5 Men You Should Know About in the World of 3D Printing.

Lets hear it for the ladies! While compiling a brief list of influential people in the 3D printing industry, I noted that nearly all of the people sticking out seemed to be men. I did some further research and found to my delight that there are actually quite a few women having a huge impact on the field. Here are 5 women who are changing the face of 3D printing, one layer at a time.

Neri Oxman – Researcher, architect, designer and more at MIT Media Lab

Israeli-born Neri Oxman has significant achievements both in biomedical research and in art and design. Listed as one of Fast Company’s Top 100 Most Creative People in 2009, Oxman received her PhD in design computation as a Presidential Fellow at MIT where she went on to study the relationship between fabrication technologies with matter and environment. Oxman, who encompasses architecture, design, computer science and 3D printing in her work, is now the Sony Corporation Career Development Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the renowned MIT Media Lab where she directs the Mediated Matter Design Group.

Check out a video of the multitalented Oxman and her work below.

Grace Choi – Founder of Mink

30-year-old Korean Grace Choi, a Harvard Business School Alum, can literally change the face of the industry. Choi invented a 3D printer for makeup called Mink that she debuted at theTechCrunch Disrupt NY Hackathon in May. The Mink printer lets you choose any color you’ve seen on a digital photo and print it into wearable makeup in that precise shade within a matter of minutes. It essentially turns your laptop or iphone into a beauty store with an unlimited inventory of shades.

Mink has received worldwide praise, with many hailing it as a potential disruption to the $55 billion cosmetics industry. Choi admitted to rejecting numerous offers from venture capitalists due to conflicts of interest, telling Forbes, “I am interested in building the future, not companies.” You go girl.

Watch the CNN Money interview with Choi below and see the Mink in action.

Jennifer Lewis – Researcher at Harvard’s Wyss Institute

JLew is so cool, she has her own lab named after her. The Lewis Lab at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has conducted groundbreaking research in bioprinting. This year alone, Lewis and her team printed a balsa wood mimicking material and created complex living tissue cell constructs complete with blood vessels. The latter is a major breakthrough in bioprinting as it provides direction for future research to establish appropriate living environments for 3D printed artificial cells and organs to function in.

Leila Ladani – Researcher at UConn, NASA’s Space Flight Center and more

Leila Ladani has quite the resume. The Iranian-American has conducted research for NASA, the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Research Institute, and she has even received funding for research directly from the National Science Foundation. Not to mention the fact she holds two patents and is a leading member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Ladani was previously doing research on additive manufacturing at the University of Alabama but traded that post in to join the recently opened Pratt & Whitney Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center (which we also wrote about here) at the University of Connecticut. She is now an associate professor of mechanical engineering there, and she attributes her transfer to UConn as being based on the school’s large investments in 3D printing research and equipment. This was featured previously on our list 13 Universities Investing Heavily in 3D Printing.

Ping Fu – Entrepreneur and 3D Systems CSO

Ping Fu is a Chinese-American entrepreneur who founded a 3D software development company called Geomagic in 1997. In 2013 3D Systems acquired Geomagic and Fu became 3D Systems’ Chief Strategy Officer, a position she still holds today.

How did Fu get into 3D printing? She says she saw Chuck Hull, 3D Systems Co-founder and the inventor of stereolithography, give an SLA demo in 1996 and from that moment she was hooked.

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