April Staines – “Guess Who Fixes The Machines In My Shop? Me”

By on November 21st, 2018 in interview


 April Staines [Source: Women in 3D Printing]
April Staines [Source: Women in 3D Printing]

April Staines is a seasoned technology leader and passionate girl geek with over 15 years’ industry experience.

In 2012, April founded Open Source Prop Alliance. The Facebook group, which now has over 600 members, uses electronic media and 3D printers to design and create props and is constantly growing. The myriad of skills made her ideal to lead Girl Geek Academy’s world-first #SheMakes event in 2014, a makerfest on 3D printing and modeling for women.

A digital visionary, April designed and made her own 3D printer before they were even on the market. She is currently bootstrapping her own digital fabrication business, April Storm Props. her projects include 3D printing a 1:1 Scale R2-D2, as well as a human-sized robot for a locally produced movie.

On the speaker circuit, April has been a guest speaker at the Inside 3D Printing event in Melbourne since its inception and has talked at a number of other events, covering everything from movie props to STEM to digital fabrication and – of course – women in 3D printing!

Nora Toure: April, could you let us know about your background and what brought you to 3D printing in the first place?

April Staines: Back in the 90s when I first started my tech career I wanted to work in robotics, but back then jobs where virtually non-existent in Australia, so I became a software engineer and have been to the most part ever since but have always been passionate about tech in the physical world.

I guess I classify myself as a bit of a dreamer, I grew up watching science fiction thinking that one day I too would work in a space station or travel to distant planets, but the real world is a bit more realistic and one eventually relegates these dreams to the realms of fiction, or at least I did.

But as a software engineer, I am a bit more creative, artistic and out there than your average and combined with being a massive science fiction fan, I adopted many hobbies, including prop collections and started fabricating science fiction props myself.

Nora Toure: What was your very first experience with 3D Printing?

April Staines: I saw my first 3D printer Back in 2010 at a comic con in Melbourne. It was a first gen rep-rap and terrible by today’s standards but I immediately saw the possibilities as a tool to enhance my creative side into the physical world.

Read the rest at Women in 3D Printing

By Nora Toure

California-based Nora Toure is the woman behind “Women in 3D Printing”, a group dedicated to promoting and showcasing the use of 3D printing for women. She’s also the Director of Sales & Service Factory Operations at Fast Radius, and a TEDx speaker.