Interview with Jordan Pelovitz

Jordan Pelovitz is a 3D computer graphics artist and industrial design designer, with a BFA in Industrial. He has taught 3d printing and design to the public for over five years, both locally and internationally. Throughout his career, he has worked on a variety of design applications, from automotive to aerospace and has used a unique blend of software to accelerate innovation in both the physical and digital worlds.
To this end, he has explored techniques for developing implants using game art tools, new 3d segmentation techniques and is currently developing a low cost, 3d printed prosthetic toolchain for manufacturing in underserved areas. His talk will center around this last endeavor and what it takes to design from the ground up for 3d printing. Jordan is currently 3DHEALS Boston community manager, as well as a speaker for the upcoming 3DHEALS Boston event.

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

Jordan:I first encountered 3D printing when I was maybe 14 or 15 and making 3D models of spaceships for a video game I liked. I found out about this thing called “Additive Manufacturing”, saved up some money and sent my 3D file off. A few months later I received an inkjet/cornstarch model in the mail; my mind was blown; here was something that had only existed on the screen, in my hands. At the time I remember thinking just that it was really cool – and something that I’d keep an eye on as I grew up.

Jenny: What inspired you to start your career?

Jordan: While working at a 3D printing company I had the opportunity to visit the NYU College of Dentistry. It was there I saw how they were using 3D printing to print surgical models for pre-surgery planning. What I was especially excited about was how they have then printed copies of those surgical models to walk their students through the exact same surgeries after the fact. While I was there I was able to use my 3D background to help them clean up some of their MRI scans before sending them to the printer. I never thought that my 3D skills could help save someone’s life and from then on I’ve been especially interested in bringing the 3D art & design community together with the medical communities.

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

Jordan: I’ve been really interested in the work that nTopology and Relativity Space have been doing.

Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?

Jordan: Wanting to see my ideas become a reality and make a positive difference in the world.

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

Jordan: The biggest obstacle I usually face is articulating the value that I and other 3D graphics artists can bring to companies looking to manufacture products or deal with 3D data. Typically the first thought of most people is “we need an engineer”, and I’m trying to change that by becoming a community manager at 3DHeals, writing posts about how you can create cranioplasty implants using game art tools and generally trying to engage with these highly technical communities as much as possible, speaking their language as a designer while also making them aware of the benefits CG artists can bring and the unique abilities of these highly technical skillsets.

Jenny: What do you think is (are) the biggest challenge(s) in 3D Printing?

Jordan: The biggest challenge in 3D Printing, in general, is in finding applications. There’s a lot of great technology out there for manufacturing with almost any material, but so far the slow speed and high cost per unit vs. more traditional manufacturing methods have held 3D Printing back from moving out of the concept and into practical use. With bioprinting in particular or medical applications in general, 3D Printing is perfect because it offers highly customizable one-off products. However regulatory concerns and needs for further testing are slowing both down.

To be honest I think that, besides picking up the speed of both the printers and the regulatory environment, one of the best things for 3D Printing would be to shift away from the traditional product lifecycle of use/throw away/buy new. A manufacturing lifestyle built around 3DP would require artisans in different areas to produce bespoke solutions that are meant to last. This is difficult and expensive, but I think the benefits to the industry and the planet would be worth it.

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


  • Get us off the hydrocarbon economy in time to save as many species as possible.
  • Give us the most practical socioeconomic system for distributing resources and representing people across the planet. Also, make in the USA affordable. Are those two wishes? I think education counts as a resource.
  • Transfer Jeff Bezos’ bank account to me so that I can build lots of cool stuff and live somewhere nice with my wife and three cats, dog and fish.

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

Jordan: Work on stuff outside of school. I know, you get to school and you pay all this money and a lot of people expect that that education would arm them for what’s out there. You need to be self-driven, working on your own ideas and projects. That’s how you get the fleshed-out body of knowledge and work that makes you stand out amongst your peers. It’s also how you start talking to people in the industry (by showing off your work, going to trade shows, etc.) that gets you connections so you can find your first job.

In terms of bad advice, I’m not sure I can remember any. I would say probably the idea that you have to go to college. Not saying you shouldn’t, just saying you don’t have to. The student debt load will be more of a burden than you can imagine starting out.

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?

Jordan: Talk to computer graphics artists. No one knows more about working with digital geometry data than they do. Let’s work together!

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

Jordan: When I bought my own copy of a professional 3D modeling software (Modo, by The Foundry).

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

 Jordan: I got a Makergear M2 3D printer. Three or four years ago they were top of the line, but they’re riddled with so many weird engineering decisions and are so finicky after this time, every time I try to start a print it’s an ordeal to set up.

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

Jordan:  I went freelance for a year after getting laid off, traveled out to California to find work/have a vacation. It worked out OK but I would have waited on the trip in retrospect!

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

Jordan: I like to do 3D modeling, work on the 3D printed prosthetic leg project I’ve got going on, build cabinets, spend time with my family and play video games. Outside of work, I’m really passionate about the environment, politics, and technology. 

Jenny: What is your favorite quote? Why?

 Jordan: Never let an opportunity pass you by. My dad told me that when I left for college and it’s shaped my life ever since.

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

Jordan: To me it means the opportunity to use 3D modeling and 3D design skills to help people around the world and make meaningful differences in their lives. Eventually, I’d like to expand this to animals, too. 🙂 

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