Shashi Jain is an IoT Innovation Manager at Intel Corporation, pathfinding new applications for Intel technology in IoT, Machine Learning, and VR. He’s passionate about generative design for medical products and the e-NABLE Community, delivering 3D printed prosthetic hands to anyone in need. He will be a speaker at #3DHEALS2018.
Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing? What was that experience like? What were you thinking at that moment?
Shashi: My first encounter with 3D Printing was through an Intel project, a new business initiative. We were building a new kind of computing device and the plastic enclosure was 3D printed. It was a complex design given life in a brittle plastic but was one of the most remarkable things I’d ever seen.
Jenny: What inspired you to start your journey in 3D printing (bio-fabrication/bio-printing)?
Shashi: A few years after my first encounter with 3D printing, I was closing up a small software startup and decided to take a break to explore something new. I remembered my experience with 3D printing and decided to buy a desktop 3D printer to experiment with. My first printer was a small DLP printer built from a kit I found near my hometown in Kansas. From there, I printed dozens of small trinkets and useful bits like cable organizers. The print volume was quite small, so I decided to invest in an FDM printer- a MakerBot Replicator 2. Long story short, I soon had a stable of three printers and decided they needed to make money, so I started MatterCompilers.com, a reseller and consultant to startups in 3D printing.
On the healthcare 3D printing side, I was able to team up with UNYQ to put a sensor in their Align 3D Printed Scoliosis brace. We learned that visualizing data can help with patient compliance, but were surprised that the same data could be used to optimize the design of the brace. The key insight is that a person’s own data can be used to optimize a product for lifestyle instead of just strength or weight as we do today.
Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey in 3D printing (bio-printing/bio-fabrication)? This can be a mentor, a patient, a celebrity, anyone basically. You can name more than one as well.
Shashi: The e-NABLE movement has been a source of constant inspiration. Ivan and Jen Owen did something magical for the world in showing them they could manufacture devices that change an individual’s life. The people whom I’ve fitted prosthetic hands inspire me as well. Each has had a transformative journey that I’ve been lucky to share. One, a boy named Juan, transformed from a reserved, anxious kid into a person driven to give back, all during the course of fitting him with a Spiderman-themed hand.
I’ve been very inspired by Eythor Bender and the crew at UNYQ, who have literally changed the discussion from Stigma to Style for prosthetics and orthotics wearers through 3D printing.
Lastly, I’ve been greatly inspired by my friends and colleagues in the Portland 3D Printing Lab community, a Meetup I created a few years back, which has over 1250 members and has done a number of cool group projects like #CrowdCow and #RodinRemix.
Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?
Shashi: I’m motivated by the thought that personalization of physical products at scale is possible. We can have products that work best for us using data we collect daily. IoT and 3D Printing together are making that possible.
Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advice you heard should they ignore?
Shashi: Never stop learning, particularly from those who have more experience. You don’t have to take all the advice, but learn how to make it work for you. Last, spend the time to solve actual problems that people are experiencing. Ideas are great, but finding real problems to solve is better.
Jenny: What were/was the best investment you made in 3D printing/bio-printing/bio-fabrication?
Shashi: The best investment I made was to build a community around 3D printing. I’ve learned so much from the members of that community and how to mobilize enthusiasts in early technology. We’ve also engaged in projects that pushed the boundaries of crowd printing and art.
Jenny: What were/was the worst investment you made in 3D printing/bio-printing/bio-fabrication?
Shashi: I’ve worked with a few companies that have failed, but honestly I’ve learned something from each one, so there wasn’t a catastrophic failure. I have had my fair share of bad early 3D printers, though.
Jenny: What do you enjoy in your spare time? What are you passionate about outside of your work/3d printing?
Shashi: I’m passionate about entrepreneurship as a career. I teach an invention curriculum using Innovation and entrepreneurship methods to high school students via the TiE Young Entrepreneurs program. The curriculum I’ve designed is taught to over 1000 students annually across the globe in 30+ cities.
Jenny: What is your favorite quote? Why?
Shashi: “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” – Mexican Proverb
New technologies and approaches to problems are often dismissed or buried by incumbents. Innovators must learn to seed and grown in any conditions no matter how far they are buried. Life will find a way.
Jenny: What does the word “3DHEALS” mean to you? =)
Shashi: 3DHEALS = 3D HEALS = Dream, Design, Deploy Healing technology