Interview: Rik Jacobs

Rik Jacobs
Rik Jacobs is a founder and the former CEO of NextDent B.V. The company was founded in 2012 in the Netherlands as an independent subsidiary of Vertex Global Holding to complement the dental materials portfolio of its affiliate Vertex-Dental B.V., which has a 77-year track record in developing and producing traditional denture materials and products. Within four years, NextDent became the leading developer and manufacturer of biocompatible dental 3D printing materials. In January 2017, Vertex Global Holding merged with 3D Systems, a company that provides comprehensive Additive Manufacturing products and services, including 3D printers specifically designed for dental applications, print materials, on-demand parts services and digital design tools. Upon this merger, Rik became the General Manager of the Dental business. He holds a degree in International Marketing Management from NHL University of Applied Science. Mr. Jacobs 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?
Rik: This was in 2008 when I visited a hearing aid production lab using a Viper SLA printer and 3Shape software. I thought I have to be the first in Dental!
Jenny: What inspired you to start your journey/company/career/research in 3D printing (bio-fabrication/bio-printing)?

  • Freedom in Geometrics
  • New biocompatible formulations can be used
  • Sustainable solution
  • Improves oral care
  • Speed
  • Productivity

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.
Rik: Prof. Dr. Daniel Wismeijer (ACTA University Amsterdam).
Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?
Rik: To be innovative.
Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions?
Rik: Regulatory aspects in relation to getting these materials registered.
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)?
Rik: Mass adaption in a conservative niche.
Jenny: If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be?
Rik: Mass adaption.
Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advices you heard should they ignore?
Think out of the box!
Stick to the rules!

Jenny: If you could have a giant billboard to promote a message to millions and even billions of people in our community (i.e. healthcare 3D printing and bio-fabrication), what message would that be?
Rik: Always think in solutions and create partnerships.
Jenny: What were/was the best investment you made in 3D printing/bio-printing/bio-fabrication?
Rik: R&D and Regulatory.
Jenny: What were/was the worst investment you made in 3D printing/bio-printing/bio-fabrication?
Rik: None.
Jenny: What was/is the biggest risk you took in your career?
Rik: Investing all my money in it!
Jenny: What do you enjoy in your spare time? What are you passionate about outside of your work/3d printing?
Rik: Sports.
Jenny: What is your favorite quote? Why?
Rik: “It takes effort to win a game but it takes courage to change a game”- Michael Jordan.
Jenny: What does the word “3DHEALS” mean to you? =)
Rik: The Future.