Dawn Morse is the co-founder of Holodeck 3D Studios, a 3D photography and printing studio.
Nora Toure: Dawn, you had quite an exciting career with Bay Area startups before retiring and launching your 3D scanning studio, Holodeck 3D Studios, could you let us know about your background and what brought you to 3D printing in the first place?
Dawn Morse: I was the head of Investor Relations for a number of start-up companies in Silicon Valley for various technologies (disk drives, semiconductors, and flat panel displays) and worked on several IPOs. The most notable was raising $800M in private rounds, but this one never became public due to the dot.com crash.
Discovering 3D printing was really a fluke. For five years, my husband and I were actively looking for a business to start. We wanted to retire from the corporate world, but we didn’t want to give up the benefits of keeping up with technology, staying engaged with people and staying motivated. Like most boomers, we didn’t like the idea of being “retired” or unemployed. We wanted to be Funemployed.
We looked at several business opportunities – buying a winery, starting a laser tag center, running a small B&B. But, it wasn’t until I was on a business trip to San Francisco when I discovered 3D printing. My father, age 85 at the time, had just received a 3D scan of himself and his siblings. The 3D print was amazing. It was a perfect replica of my father … right down to the pen in his pocket! I came home with his sculpture (which, by the way, I never returned) and told my husband that this was the business we were looking for!
My husband, also from start-ups in biotech, started to research 3D scanning and printing. After a lot of research, we made a trek to Berkeley to talk to the founders of Twindom. We were the second company in the U.S. to buy one of their ‘photogrammetry’ systems. A year later, we bought our second mobile system. Major improvements were made to the portability of the system. We no longer needed a 400 lb server rack and they reduced the weight of the capture system from 800 lbs to 400 lbs. So, lugging the system to events and setting up is now a breeze!
Nora Toure: Could you explain furthermore what HoloDeck 3D Studios is and the services that you are providing?
Dawn Morse: Holodeck is the portal to the digital world. We create digital assets (via scans, photos or modeling)
3D photography and printing of people and pets
3D photo booth rental
2D photo conversion to 3D model (for people and pets)
3D scanning for objects, clothes, auto, marine, mechanical and industrial parts
Animation and character creation
3D laser crystals (using a photo, our artist gives the photo a bit of a 3D accent)
Custom printed heads for LEGO mini-figures (your head on your favorite superhero)
Read the rest at Women in 3D Printing