Interview with Boyle Suwono, CTO of Structo, Singapore

Boyle Suwono, Structo Chief Technology Officer. As CTO, Boyle is responsible for building and scaling the technology development team in Structo, spanning from hardware, software, and material. He was responsible for the design and development of DentaForm®, a high throughput dental 3D printer with MSLA technology. He also was responsible for initiating, developing and delivering first-in-the-industry bespoke high volume fully automated 3D printing solution based on DentaForm®. He also co-invented Velox and Elements, first-in-the-industry fully integrated end-to-end 3D printing solution for consumer and industrial application respectively. He joined Structo from Schlumberger in 2014, where he was responsible for full system integration development of Crack the Paleogene (CtP), an ultra-high reliability downhole pump project for high pressure and high-temperature wells in the Gulf of Mexico. Boyle received his B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from the National University of Singapore. He will be speaking at the upcoming 3DHEALS Annual Singapore event on August 28th, 2019.

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

Boyle: Messy! My first real encounter with 3D printing was with Structo, and it was resin 3D printing. My thought was it was a pain to 3D print because of how involved and dirty the whole process is.

ClearCap uses Structo printers for large volume production of dental aligner models

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

Boyle: I wanted to be involved in a new exciting technology that is not purely software, and wanted to experience startup. My juniors back in the university started Structo and periodically asked me to join. After some point, I thought, let’s just do it. And there’s that.

Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey in 3D printing?

Boyle: No one in particular, but in general my colleagues in Structo. They are a bunch of hungry and passionate group of people who want to make a great product for the customers. Working with them every day is inspiring.

Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?

Boyle: To introduce new cool stuff to the industry that has never been done before. Velox is a great example of that – before Velox, post-processing is a given. It took someone from outside the industry to change that. And of course, to see plan comes together is always very satisfying.

Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work?

Boyle: Hiring. It is a constant challenge to get great people, and not just technical people. We are always on the lookout for great talents.

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)?

Boyle: Material and software workflow. Material, because that is the heart of 3D printing. The material needs to suit the application and is where the majority of the challenge is. In general, the property of 3D printed material is still inferior compared to another manufacturing method. Software workflow, because ultimately the users don’t want to work so hard to get something printed. Digital dentistry is a great example of that.

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

Boyle: Find a hobby, and even if you eventually can’t find one, at least you try many new things in the process. Having a hobby is a privilege and in my opinion, makes you that much more interesting. Bad advice? That everything you learn in school will be thrown away and is useless. I think this is taken totally out of context. In the technical field, at least, the fundamentals that are learned in school is very important, and for some reason, it seems to be less and less appreciated.

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

Boyle: Joining Structo!

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

Boyle: I really enjoy DIY projects. The most recent one was making my own wooden dinner table. Also playing guitar.

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

Boyle: 3D printing in the medical (and dental) industry!

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