To be a smart company requires a smart approach to business, and a major part of Carbon‘s approach to maintaining its place as a noted smart company is in paying close attention to the people behind its business operations. While partnerships are a critical way to advance technology and see it put into best-use scenarios with key collaborative partners, these relationships don’t simply build themselves; enter Dana McCallum, Carbon’s Head of Production Partnerships.
McCallum, a Cleveland native, has created quite a name for herself through her tireless efforts in building on collaborative opportunities set to advance the overall 3D printing industry. Through work with Carbon, industry associations, and in direct relationships, she is a great example of a motivated, driven professional — and it was great to finally meet her in person last week at TCT Show and connect to talk about her experiences and drive for the future as we continue to highlight the individuals behind the business of additive manufacturing.Can you tell us briefly about your educational/professional background, and how you came to work in the 3D printing industry?
What was it about Carbon that drew you to work with this company; what keeps it a good fit?
“I graduated from Miami University in Ohio with a Strategic Communications degree in 2011. During the summer going into my senior year of college, I sought out an internship opportunity and was fortunate enough to have landed [due to mutual connections] a marketing internship at an injection molding company, Thogus. Around the same time I started my internship, Thogus' CEO, Matt Hlavin, started rp+m, a 3D printing service bureau located in the same building as Thogus. After completing my internship, I was hired on to create the marketing departments for both Thogus, rp+m and their sister company, JALEX Medical.
Not having any background or knowledge on injection molding and 3D printing, I was able to create my own training, which included spending time in program management as a liaison between our customers and operations as well as worked as an operator for a few shifts. I surrounded myself with great mentors, completed daily research on manufacturing and also got heavily involved in the industry.”
“When first meeting Phil DeSimone at Euromold in 2014, he was showing me videos of the Carbon process. I really questioned whether the videos he was showing were real and at the time there were not many parts to see. The following year at AMUG, I was able to see parts and they were the first parts I had seen in the additive industry that looked like injection molded parts and they didn't break. The combination of seeing the potential of what Carbon's technology and materials had, as well as the people and talent in Redwood City drew me to leave Ohio and move across the country with my husband, Tom, one week after we returned from our honeymoon.
What excites me the most about Carbon is we are creating a new category in manufacturing. We are a simplified injection molding machine without the need of a tool, which allows us to produce complex geometries as production parts. We are able to educate the world on a process that can address the production story that people have been trying to accomplish on polymer technologies. My team's goal is to educate and inspire a new way to manufacture products. It is rewarding to speak with executives and engineers at companies about our process, see their eyes light up and discuss production projects they have been wanting to try, however never had the materials and platform to do so.”
We’ve heard the development of the SpeedCell system was in response to customer requests for more features; what has the response been since the introduction?
There’s a lot to unpack in the announcement of Carbon’s work with adidas; can you share some of your thoughts on that partnership?
“We have had a very positive response on the SpeedCell launch. When creating the M2 and Smart Part Washer, we made sure to keep our focus on production. Having a larger build volume and a faster way to clean parts will increase throughput and reduce labor costs. In addition, we have cell layouts where they can be automated with robots. We want our customers to be focused on designing production parts, and we [Carbon] will provide the technology, software and materials to make everything a reality.”
“The partnership with adidas has been fantastic. Talk about a talented team. Within one year and dozens of iterations, adidas was able to bring a new shoe to market using additive. To give some insight, typically they can only complete few ite