Rachel Davis: “I Found My Passion For Polymer Science In High School”

By on April 22nd, 2020 in interview

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Rachel Davis [Source: Women in 3D Printing]

Rachel Davis [Source: Women in 3D Printing]

Rachel is a polymer scientist with five years of work experience formulating resins for stereolithographic 3D printing. 

She has a B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering and a B.S. in Writing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Rachel has spoken on panels about emerging materials and applications in photopolymer additive manufacturing. 

After working for Formlabs as a materials scientist and specialist, she now works as a Senior Chemist at Azul 3D in Chicago, Illinois. In her free time, Rachel writes, paints, and volunteers with a cat rescue organization.

Nora Toure: Rachel, could you let us know about your background and your journey to Additive Manufacturing?

Rachel Davis: My interest in 3D printing started with a love for polymer science as a high school student growing up on Long Island, New York. I was a firefighter at age 16, and this led to research in biodegradable flame retardant plastics. 

When I started looking for internships in my junior year at MIT, I met a materials scientist at Formlabs, Alex McCarthy, who was so excited about his work and just as enthusiastic about polymers and materials science as I was. I immediately applied for a materials engineering intern position at Formlabs.

I started as an intern at Formlabs in January of 2015. After graduating with a dual-degree in Materials Science & Engineering and Writing, I accepted a full-time Materials Scientist position at Formlabs. I moved to Berlin in late 2017 to work at the Formlabs Berlin office while taking graduate courses in polymer science. 

At Formlabs Berlin, I helped in various departments, including business development and marketing. I helped develop and implement training programs for over 50 employees on customer-facing teams. I also assisted in teaching about photopolymer materials selection to customers who came to the office for extra training.

In 2019, I joined a start-up out of Northwestern, Azul 3D, as a Senior Chemist to work on the development of 3D printing resins for high-throughput additive manufacturing. As typical of working at a small company, I wear many hats at Azul 3D. My responsibilities outside of the lab include managing several social media accounts and assisting in writing technical papers and grant applications. 

Last year, I was a panelist at a Photopolymer Additive Manufacturing Workshop at NIST in Boulder, CO, on an “Emerging Materials” panel. This past March, I was a panelist at RadTech’s UV+EB 2020 Conference in Florida on an “Applications in 3D Printing” panel.

Nora Toure: To date, what would you say is your greatest achievement in Additive Manufacturing? 

Rachel Davis: The launch of the first product I led the development of – Formlabs first Dental Model Resin – was really exciting for me.

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.

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