Interview: Jeff Huber, Co-Founder and CEO of Standard Cyborg

Jeff Huber is Co-Founder and CEO of Standard Cyborg. He studied Economics and Industrial Engineering at N.C. State before dropping out to launch a startup. He most recently worked as a software engineer and Head of Product for another venture-backed startup. Jeff was born with Fibular Hemimelia and has been a below-knee amputee his whole life. Mr. Huber will be a speaker at the #3DHEALS2018 conference on April 20-21st, 2018. 

Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing? What was that experience like? What were you thinking at that moment?
Jeff: In 2008 – I was taking an industrial engineering class at NC State. The class was on manufacturing methods and we were learning about 3D printers. In that moment it clicked: prosthetics and orthotics is the perfect use case! I learned later that NC State had done a bunch of early work on medical metal 3D printing and osseointegration. I believe they had one of the first Arcam systems in the US.

Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?
Jeff: Leaving the world better than I found it
Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions?
Jeff: It’s very hard to build a great engineering team in Silicon Valley. I’m happy to say we’ve done it and are doing it, but it definitely takes longer than you would want!
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)?
Jeff: By far, ease of use. 3D printers are at least 100x more difficult than 2D printers. I think for them to go mainstream, that has to be overcome.
Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advice you heard should they ignore?
Jeff: Don’t copy other people – find what you uniquely can offer the world and go hard after that. You should ignore “follow” your passions. Passion is by nature ephemeral; instead, find the work that is meaningful to you. It’s an important nuance. Once you find it, become the best at it in the world. Then be ok moving the target 2 years later. You will never regret focusing very hard on something for 2 years. The “marshmallow test” is real.
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?
Jeff: Don’t forget the patient.
Jenny: What do you enjoy in your spare time? What are you passionate about outside of your work/3d printing?
Jeff: I’m an avid reader – reading at length about the philosophy of technology.
Jenny: What is your favorite quote? Why?
Jeff: “Look for surprises” – Unknown