Interview: Steve Cory, Founder of Objex Unlimited 3D Printing Studios

Steve Cory founded Objex Unlimited 3D Printing Studios in 2011 and is currently president of Objex Unlimited Inc., a complete 3D solutions provider with a wide range of printers, scanners, and services. He was educated at the University Of Waterloo, obtaining a Bachelor of Mathematics, and currently lives in Oakville. Steve has a wide range of expertise in 3D Printing and associated technologies. Steve will be speaking at our upcoming 3DHEALS Toronto event.

Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing? What was that experience like? What were you thinking at that moment?

Steve: First real encounter was an article in The Economist in April, 2011.  I was blown away by the possibilities – having a background in machining, I knew how long prototyping took and how inefficient is was and saw nothing but growth in the industry.

Jenny: What inspired you to start your journey in 3D printing ?

Steve: It was almost like a religious call.  After discovering the possibilities and the potential, I couldn’t think of much else for months until I got my first professional printer and started Objex Unlimited.  I am so lucky that my job is my hobby – do what you love and you never work a day in your life!

Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey in 3D printing (bio-printing/bio-fabrication)?

Steve: My late business partner was a huge inspiration, he had a much bigger vision then myself. Having a business that focus on engineering parts and artistic works, I find myself VERY INSPIRED by people in healthcare who use this technology to make people’s lives better.

Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?

Steve: I love experimentation and trying new things.  With the equipment and team I have we can make almost anything, and we do.  Our customers give us some incredible challenges that we love to take on – especially if nobody else can/will do so.

Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions?

Steve: Technical issues with printers is a challenge – especially when under the gun for quick turnaround.

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)?

Steve: The biggest challenges today are lack of design skill (this is being addressed in the education system) and VASTLY INFLATED expectations from customers/users based on incomplete or misleading information, especially on YouTube.

Jenny: If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be?

Steve: World Peace. Cure for Cancer. A Stanley Cup for the Toronto Maple Leafs (or something maybe a bit more altruistic and global)

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

Steve: You can do anything with enough smarts, time and money.  Do not give up easily. Tenacious problem solving is the number one skill we look for.

Don’t expect the world to be handed to you without paying your dues.  As the old saying goes – Hard Work beats Talent when Talent doesn’t work hard.

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?

Steve: This technology lets us customize health care solutions faster and better then ever before – but to get the best results, it is critically important to focus on the overall workflow, not just the design and not just the production.

Jenny: What were/was the best investment you made in 3D printing/bio-printing/bio-fabrication?

Steve: The first machine I ever bought (Fortus 250) which is still running 8 years later – ironic since I sell a competitive brand but I love the robustness of that machine.

Jenny: What were/was the worst investment you made in 3D printing?

Steve: The Projet 4500 colour plastic printer.  That machine was a disaster.

Jenny: What was/is the biggest risk you took in your career?

Steve: Leaving a high paying, stable career in Operations Mangement to do my own thing with no security and no guarantees.

Jenny: What do you enjoy in your spare time? What are you passionate about outside of your work/3D printing?

Steve: My job is my hobby as cliché as it sounds, and I love experimenting.  My family is very musical, and I play the guitar a bit, and I’m a huge hockey fan.  But aside from family time and the occasional boys night, I’m usually in the shop – because I want to not because I have to (usually).

Jenny: What is your favorite quote? Why?

Steve: “Those who say ‘I can’ and those who say ‘I can’t’ are usually correct”.  Because it’s true.

Jenny: What does the word “3DHEALS” mean to you?  =)

Steve: A slick way to brand our technologies/processes to make it more relatable for the rest of the world who don’t know what we can do!