Interview: Lee Dockstader, Director of Vertical Market Development of HP

(What does the word “3DHEALS” mean to you?)

“An amazing group of people coming together to improve the quality of life for those in need.”

Lee Dockstader is the Director of Vertical Market Development of HP’s new 3D printing business.  He is engaging the global product development process to grow additive manufacturing across verticals including Aerospace, Automotive, Medical, Dental, Life Sciences, Consumer and Retail. Emphasis is on developing production applications for HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology.  Before HP, Lee held several positions during his 18-year career at 3D Systems including VP of Business Development, VP and General Manager of the Stereolithography Products Business Unit and VP and GM of the Asia Pacific region. Before 3D Systems, Lee worked for three years at 3D/EYE Inc, a leading-edge 3D software company as a sales and distribution manager. For 11 years he held a variety of sales and marketing positions at Hewlett-Packard. During this period, Lee spent three years as program manager for HP’s Asia mechanical engineering CAD business, based in Hong Kong. Lee attended the West Point Military Academy and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from UCLA.

Lee Dockstader will be speaking at the Seattle event!

Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing? What was that experience like? What were you thinking at that moment?  
Lee: I had just joined 3D Systems in 1997 and on my first day at work at a trade show I met a person who was setting up a 3D printing facility at an automotive company in Malaysia.  He ended up buying two 500mm size machines that were powered by an argon gas laser tube that output a whopping 250mW. Two machines cost $1.4 million dollars. Today you can get a Formlabs system that outputs that power for under $5K!!
Jenny: What inspired you to start your journey in 3D printing (bio-fabrication/bio-printing)?  
Lee: I joined 3D Systems to start up their direct operations in Asia with the HQ in Hong Kong.
Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey in 3D printing?   
Lee: Chuck Hull, the pioneer of 3D printing hired me. That was pretty inspiring at the time.
Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?
Lee: I like to see the end to end solutions put into production.  
Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions?
Lee: There just aren’t many examples of true production for low volume applications.  HP’s second generation color 3D printer has over 140 unique parts inside that are 3D printed and even with HP, it was hard to implement and justify.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm by HP Color Printer

Jenny: What do you think is (are) the biggest challenge(s) in 3D Printing/bio-printing? What do you think the potential solution(s) is (are)?  
Lee: Education on how to implement 3D printing for low to medium volume plastic parts is still one of the biggest obstacles.
Jenny: If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be?  

  1. Always be happy
  2. Good health to the end for my wife and I
  3. Able to fly

Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advice you heard should they ignore?

  1. Work Hard / Play hard
  2. Do more than you are asked
  3. Make your boss look good
  4. Ignore most things HR say you have to do to advance your career.  I told my kids a career is like kids picking teams for a ball game at recess.  Two kinds of kids get picked. The ones that can hit the ball out of the park and the ones you like to play with.  Companies are just the same. Whenever there are new projects or reorganizations those are the two types of people who get picked.  

Jenny: What were/was the best/worst investment you made in 3D printing/bio-printing/bio-fabrication?
Lee: I bought pre-IPO stock for Align Technology at around $10 and sold 10 years later for a bit more than $20.  Today it closed at $380!! (Ouch)
Jenny: What was/is the biggest risk you took in your career?  
Lee: Left the 3D CAD business in the USA and moved to Hong Kong for 3D printing with 3D Systems.  At the time they only had resins that went limp in humid environments.
Jenny: What do you enjoy in your spare time? What are you passionate about outside of your work/3d printing?
Lee: Woodworking, Tennis, golf, and skiing
Jenny: What is your favorite quote? Why?  
Lee: You can’t 3D print stuff without 3D data.  3D printing isn’t about hardware. It is all about the parts and the applications.  
Jenny: What does the word “3DHEALS” mean to you?  =)
Lee: An amazing group of people coming together to improve the quality of life for those in need.  

You may also be interested in these interviews:

Interview: Professor Alshakim Nelson, Chemistry, UW

Interview: Dr. Jing Jianlong, Dental 3D Printing, China

Interview: Dr. Shweta Agarwala, Bioprinting


  • Clearly a Risk Taker, Sir!