Lizz (Hill) Wiker grew up in the Pacific Northwest where she spent her days learning, crafting, designing and making.
Her long time love of textiles and sewing led her to New York where she pursued an education in Textile Development and Marketing and Accessories Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Two years after graduating, Lizz landed her dream job as a hardware developer at Coach Inc and spent several years developing hardware, traveling overseas to work with hardware suppliers and ultimately trained herself in Rhino 3D. Since working in 3D software, she has been able to fully realize her love of conceptualizing, engineering and 3D printing hardware for fashion accessories.
Nora Toure: Lizz, could you let us know about your background and what brought you into 3D printing in the first place?
Lizz Hill Wiker: In 2008 I was hired as a Hardware Developer at Coach Inc. During my first week on the job, I was introduced to the only person at Coach who was working with 3D technology at the time. He had a commercial 3D printer which printed in castable wax and was using Rhino and Solidworks to create (primarily) wax models of jewelry designs which he sent out to be casted locally for prototyping.
As soon as I saw him working in Rhino, I knew that THAT was the path I wanted to take my already hardware-focused career in. After a couple of years of learning the business and getting up to speed with the ins and outs of metals manufacturing, I trained in and taught myself Rhino 3D and transitioned into a full-time role as a 3D modeler, eventually overseeing the team that currently handles 3D prototyping for Hardware and Jewelry categories for Coach Inc. today.
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