Interview with Sanjana Narayanan on Promoting 3D Printing and AM via Youth Webinar Series

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In this interview, Sanjana Narayanan, Student Ambassador for Women in 3D Printing, explains the significance and role of the Youth Webinar series in the development and contributions to 3D printing.

You have a passion in 3D Printing and AM and have developed a Youth Webinar Series to promote the technology. Can you take us through the Webinar series concept on what exactly it’s all about and its intended scope?

The Women in 3D Printing Youth Webinar series is meant to introduce students to the wide applicability of 3D technology to various industries and inspire them to learn about additive manufacturing. Many students believe that 3D printing and design is restricted to engineering disciplines, but, in reality, the technology is being used in many other fields, such as culinary sciences, medicine, and visual arts.

Each segment of the webinar focuses on a woman who has successfully applied 3D printing technology to a specific industry. It highlights their journey into additive manufacturing and their accomplishments. Our goal is to use these role models’ stories to inspire students of all ages and help them learn about the opportunities that they can pursue in additive manufacturing.

What strengths have you drawn from the Youth Webinar Series that could be of interest to our audience wishing to pursue 3D printing?

These webinars have given me opportunities to meet such inspiring women from around the world. Each guest has offered valuable insight into their unique experiences and their vision for the future of 3D printing. Perhaps the most valuable part of each webinar is the presenter’s advice to students looking to involve themselves in this technology. Every guest has been very supportive of this initiative, and many have identified the need to incorporate 3D printing into mainstream school curricula. In fact, some of these women have reached out to schools and offered to teach additive manufacturing courses, while others have developed their own educational material for kids.

As an Ambassador with Women In 3D Printing, how has the organization made use of the webinar series?

As of now, the Youth Webinar Series is the main student-focused content offered by Women in 3D Printing. These webinars are featured on the organization’s website and YouTube channel. This initiative has spearheaded the youth wing of Women in 3D Printing, and we are continuously developing more content to help students and educators.

How do you see or view the impact of the Youth Webinar Series in promoting 3D printing in developing nations, especially in Africa?

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with some accomplished women from Africa, all of who have worked on exciting and innovative 3D printing projects. A common trend that these women and women from other countries have mentioned is that students only have access to 3D technology in college, and most 3D printers are mainly available to engineering students. Through the Youth Webinar Series, I hope that we can reach companies and educators in developing nations and potentially work with them to make this technology more accessible to younger students.

We cannot talk about 3D printing without mentioning the COVID-19 pandemic. Are there any initiatives or solutions that have derived from the webinar series in combating COVID-19?

Though I have not specifically addressed the COVID-19 pandemic in these webinars, I am aware that many additive manufacturing companies have offered their resources to healthcare workers in need of personal protective equipment and nasopharyngeal swabs. In fact, some students with access to 3D printers have also started printing face shields for essential workers.

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