Women in 3D Printing Chapter Widens Its Reach

NILES, Ohio – When a job offer to work in 3D printing in Youngstown came along for Emily Hawthorn, she decided to come back from Pittsburgh and join the Youngstown Chapter of Women in 3D Printing

“It’s a great opportunity to get to meet some more people and share knowledge,” Hawthorn said at a Women in 3D Printing event Thursday evening at MiMe Global LLC at the Eastwood Mall. “Your creativity can take you far. Just pursue it.”

Hawthorn graduated from Youngstown State University in 2018 and now works for BDI Additive, a division of Bearing Distributors Inc., as the lead additive manufacturing project engineer. 

The Youngstown chapter of Women in 3D Printing started a year ago, said Ashley Totin, co-ambassador and project engineer at American Makes. The chapter had held its monthly meetings at local restaurants and bars, but it has been working in recent months to meet at local 3D printing companies, she said.

Women in 3D Printing is an international organization in 16 countries, said Cynthia Rogers, co-ambassador and founder of Triad Production, which manages social media for America Makes. The Youngstown chapter was the organization’s first in the Midwest, she said. 

“We wanted to establish it here because Youngstown is becoming the center for additive manufacturing for the Midwest,” Rogers said. “Initially, it was established to promote women in 3D printing, but it’s now diverse. We host these events looking to draw in a lot of different people to learn more about this industry and its potential.” 

Events like this enable the collaboration of people who may not meet on a daily basis, Totin said. 

“This will encourage people to embrace what’s going on in Youngstown and that there’s new manufacturing happening,” Totin said. “Hopefully these events will inspire people to join, get out and see what’s going on.” 

MiMe is a 3D printing business that creates custom figurines from highly detailed pictures taken in the store. Owner Renee Malutic opened the store after winning the inaugural Cafaro Co. Small Shop Showdown in June and joined the chapter last month.

The goal of the event was to not just to raise awareness for MiMe, she said, but to bring imore involvement and understanding of 3D printing to community members. Nearly 40 people joined Malutic on tours of her store and were scanned in the photo booth to see how the technology works.

“3D printing has been around since the 1980s, but it hasn’t been publicized very well,” Totin said. “This will help the industry as a whole.”

It’s good to educate people about new technologies because there are constant innovations in the sector, said Patrick Bailey, director of the gBeta and gAlpha programs at the Youngstown Business Incubator.

“I like coming to these kinds of events because women can do the same thing as men and we can bolster female founders, female engineers and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” he said.

The Youngstown chapter previously met at JuggerBot 3D and their next stops include Fitz Frames and Humtown Products, Totin said. 

“Hopefully, we go to every single 3D printing company in the area,” she said. 

Pictured: Women in 3D Printing Youngstown Chapter co-ambassadors Cynthia Rogers and Ashley Totin joined MiMe founder Renee Malutic, center, for the groups’ monthly meeting.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.