3D printing was once only seen as a technology reserved only for professionals. It was difficult and expensive to obtain a system before desktop 3D printers began proliferating at the start of the last decade. However, today, 3D printing is booming, and while we know that it is being used by nearly every major manufacturer in the world at some level, it is also extremely popular on TikTok.
Though this may be the case, you might not know it just from seeing articles on LinkedIn. Nevertheless, these users may be making just as much of an impact in the 3D printing industry, with TikTok as their platform of choice.
As a 3D printing TikToker myself, I had the pleasure of interviewing my colleagues Sarah Hunt, Melissa Kaye, Kerrika Marshall, Breanna Wright, Britt, and Lewis Derogene. In my conversations with them outlined in this series, I was able to learn about their processes, their outcomes, and how we can attract more women to the world of 3D printing. Check out part one in this series here.
Britt (she/her), aka @SithLord_Britt on TikTok, is a popular 3D printer, cosplayer, and maker, with over 13,000 followers on the platform.
@sithlordbritt Oversimplified for the sake of the platform but please do a lot of diversified research and keep up to date. Happy to help where I can. #cosplay #3dprintok #3dprinting #fyp ♬ 原聲 – buqicrew_official
A self-described “Professional Nerd”, Britt originally had a medical background, working as a paramedic. She is still driven by a passion for science and biology. An avid cosplayer, Britt’s 3D printing journey began after researching new and better ways to achieve finer details for her popular costumes. She started with resin printers before diving into FDM 3D printing.
Britt prints everything from cosplay parts, toys for her children, practical prints for her home, and gifts to give away.
Melissa Kaye (she/her), aka @Cookie.Cad on TikTok, is co-owner of Cookiecad, a company that not only enables customers to design and 3D print custom cookie cutters, but also sells its own line of filament. The company has over 3,000 followers on TikTok and counting.
@cookie.cad Create your own cookie cutters at cookiecad.com #3dprinting #printtok #3dprinted ♬ Cute – Prod by Rose & Artsounds Chill
Previous to launching Cookiecad, Kaye was a professional pastry chef at a commercial bakery. She then went off on her own, baking custom cakes and cookies for special events. To set her designs apart, Melissa often needed unique shapes for her projects, which is where 3D printing came into play.
@cookie.cad Octopus obsession?? #3dprinting ♬ Original sound – CosplayGoth
At the time, her husband Nathan worked as CTO of his software company and bought a 3D printer in 2013. After discussing how 3D printing could be used to create custom cookie cutters, Cookiecad was born. Key to the business was software that converts artwork into 3D printable files that can be downloaded and printed. Soon other bakers were interested in her designs, turning to them for their own cakes and cookies. After creating an Etsy shop, Melissa struggled to find the pastel colors so ubiquitous in the world of traditional cookie cutters. She took matters into her own hands and designed a line of filaments to bring her own hues to life.
In addition to offering 3D printing tips, Cookiecad’s TikTok channel consists of 3D printed toys and other 3D models to showcase other designers in the industry. The company also boasts a popular Discord channel, which has generated an important community for her business.
“We figured it would be great to have a space where people can gather and troubleshoot issues, learn about Cookiecad software, show off prints using our filament, and be able to connect to others interested in 3D printing,” Kaye explained.
In the next installation in this series, we learn about 3D printing molds for artists and full-scale Star Wars droids.
3DPrint.com and SmarTech Analysis are hosting Additive Manufacturing Strategies in New York City on February 7-9, 2023. Register for the event here to learn from and network with the most exciting companies and individuals in AM.
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