Interview with Chris LeCastillo, Stanford 3DQ Lab

Chris LeCastillo is the Innovations Manager for the Stanford 3D and Quantitative Imaging Laboratory, helping lead a team of nearly 40 under Shannon’s directorship. His extensive background in IT, 10 years in the medical field as a Radiologic Technologist, and education in Imaging Informatics and Health Leadership help him drive forward meaningful innovations in the 3DQ Lab like 3D Printing and Clinical AI. Chris also manages the XR Neurosurgical Navigation program at Stanford. Chris will be speaking at our upcoming virtual event focusing on Point of Care Additive Manufacturing.

When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing?

Chris: My first encounter with 3D printing was on the job, out of necessity since my manager at the time needed help with the program. Always interested in new ways to apply my skills as a 3D technologist, I was excited to jump head-first into the world of clinical 3D printing.

What inspired you to start your journey?

Chris: Again, I was introduced to 3D printing out of necessity, but I decided to fully invest after seeing all the different clinical applications and their potential to help patients.

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

Chris: Jane Matsumoto and Jonathan Morris, seeing what they have done with 3D printing at Mayo Clinic is truly an inspiration.

What motivates you the most for your work?

Chris: The opportunity to help patients.

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

Chris: Time; there are always too many things to do and never enough time.

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)?

Chris: One of the biggest challenges in 3D printing for us is meeting short turnaround times for patients who have surgery within days of their scan because they’re from out-of-town. While scanning in their hometown may make sense, the quality may not meet our standards so the next best option is optimizing the ordering workflow so any 3D print that is needed for surgery in less than a week is flagged as STAT.

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

Chris: Establish worldwide peace and unity, end worldwide food/water insecurity, and give humanity the ability to reverse the damage we’ve done to our planet and maintain it for generations to come.

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

Chris: Don’t stress about finding your life’s calling in college, sometimes it doesn’t come until later and that’s okay. Do what feels right for you and the rest will fall into place, even if it means not becoming the doctor, lawyer, or engineer that your parents want you to be.

Relative links:

3D Printing in Hospitals (On Demand, 2021)

Point of Care 3D Printing (On Demand, 2022)

Segmentation: The Real Struggles Behind Converting DICOM to Patient-specific 3D Printable Models

Interview with Shannon Walters, Stanford 3D Lab

3D Bioprinting for Regenerative Medicine : Part 1