This article originates from Women In 3D Printing and is part of our effort to support the use of 3D printing technology by women. The article is re-published with permission.
Irene Presti is the woman behind almost all of the current Latin America’s initiatives in 3D Printing. She co-founded Like 3D, a platform that provides design to 3d print solutions, but she also initiated and presides the Argentinian Association of 3D Printing and puts together the 3D Fashion Day every year. She also works on multiple other local events and dreams of exporting those events on a more international scale.
Nora Toure: Irene, could you let us know about your background and what brought you into 3D printing in the first place?
Irene Presti: I graduated in Visual Arts and Web Designer and have an 18-year experience in web design and programming. I have a passion for the combination of art and technology. To be able to realize a project or an idea. Two years ago with my partner (industrial designer), I founded Like 3D, a company of services of design and 3d printing. I also teach at the University 3D Printing.
Nora Toure: What was your very first experience with 3D Printing?
Irene Presti: My first experience was with the initiative to create an exoskeleton with robotics and 3D printing. Unfortunately, we could not develop this project because there are parts that we could not obtain in Argentina and the costs are high. Then we started printing technical aids for people with cerebral palsy (vessels adapted in order to take, adaptations for dishes and other objects that help you eat, prepare food or dressing).
Nora Toure: You created the Argentinean Association of 3D Printing. What services do you provide through this association and why should professionals in the 3D printing industry join?
Irene Presti: We are creating a network of people who are working in additive manufacturing in Argentina. We are promoting the technology across the country, participating in events, creating our own events at both the national and the international level. We do also create alliances with companies, other associations, governments, institutions…
Nora Toure: Why did you create the Association?
Irene Presti: The association arises from the need of grouping printer manufacturers, inputs and service providers with the aim of promoting this new technology that grows quickly even though people do not know about it. We also want to create a database of the people who work in manufacturing additive.
We also want to train and create synergies with other areas where this technology can be used: medicine, art, fashion, construction.
Nora Toure: Part of your activities, you do also put together the 3D Fashion Day. What can you tell us about it?
Irene Presti: The 3D Fashion Day was a parade with clothing made out of 3D printing, that is carried out with the aim of promoting 3D Printing. It was a marketing strategy to reach more people and to demonstrate all the possibilities that 3D Printing can offer.
We called on 14 fashion designers of Argentina, Colombia and Brazil. They designed in two dimensions and these drawings were then converted in 3D and then printed. There was a total of 29 outfits.
He had a lot of promotion and traffic at the global level (Italy, Spain, United States, Germany, Chile, Brasil, Uruguay, Colombia) as it was the first parade with printed clothing of Latin America.
Nora Toure: Why Fashion and 3D Printing?
Irene Presti: First, because I like the combination between design and technology, and second because it is a way to show all the possibilities that Additive Manufacturing can offer. And because it opens a door to the research in this area that I believe has a lot of potential not only as an end product but as a way to create footwear to measure, custom accessories, jewelry, etc.
Nora Toure: Anything exciting coming up you’d like us to know about?
Irene Presti: I would like to create an event as the 3D Fashion Day in other countries. Get together women in the 3D printing and create something global.
Nora Toure: Do you have any (fun or not) story about your experience in the industry to share with us?
Irene Presti: According to my experience and after analyzing this industry, I see that there are no persons trained to both design and print. The people who know the design programs still do not know how to print and those who know how to print and build their printers do not know of design. I believe that it is important to train in a comprehensive manner: design, hardware, software so that they can create a comprehensive project and encourage creativity through the use of the additive manufacturing.
I currently give classes of 3D printing in the National University of Technology in a course of 40 men and one woman, this class is the first to be dictated in a university in the city of Cordoba where I live, I, therefore, seems to incorporate women in this world who see it as unknown and that they think that it could make.
Nora Toure: As a woman entrepreneur, what is your biggest challenge? Any challenge specific to the 3D printing industry?
Irene Presti: The greatest challenge is to preside over the Argentinian Association of 3D Printing because it is something new and it is an industry that has mostly men.
Nora Toure: What was the most impressive or impactful use of 3D printing you’ve seen so far?
Irene Presti: I believe that the 3D bioprinting is what most striking.
Nora Toure: What do you think of the 3D printing industry today? And how would you like to see it evolve?
Irene Presti: I think that we need to train, educate, to show the possibilities of use of the additive manufacturing, as well as its limitations. I think that it has a lot of potential but still lack research, professionalization, and training.
Nora Toure: In your opinion, how could we encourage more women to become involved with 3D Printing?
Irene Presti: Creating projects that are of interest to women such as fashion or the art. Teaching to use printers and serve as creators of value in their daily work.
If you are interested in learning more about Irene, I recommend reaching out to her on Twitter!
Thank you for reading and for sharing!