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.
Raja has the real entrepreneur mind-set. She has started an advisory and investment company, is board advisory member for 3 others, and invested in 7 others, in addition to being the CCO for ShareMy3D… We asked her how she does it all.
Nora Toure: Raja, could you let us know about your background and what brought you into 3D printing in the first place?
Raja Skogland: After my Master of sc. in Business Administration at HEC Geneva in Switzerland, I worked 4 years in the private banking industry, in Investment & Relationship Management, Trading and Risk Management. I was on a fast track evolving very quickly, gaining new responsibilities every year. However, while working in this corporate environment, I did not feel totally fulfilled. I have always been interested in entrepreneurship, innovation and how could I make the world a better place. So, when we moved to Norway 2 years ago, I saw it as a new beginning, the opportunity to go out of my comfort zone and figure out what was my true calling and personal potential. That’s also when I started to be interested in 3D printing. Since then, I have been fascinated by the 3D technology and how it can impact and shape the world.
Nora Toure: What was your first 3D printed model?
Raja Skogland: It was with Elias Bakken, a friend and founder of THING, a 3D printer manufacturer. He wanted to show me the latest upgrades he was working on and we choose to print a small blue penguin. I remember being fascinated by the process and how we could turn a 3d image into a real 3d object in only few minutes.
Nora Toure: You’ve built a company, you are board advisory member for 3 others, and invested in 7 others, in addition to being the CCO for ShareMy3D… What is your secret to make all of this work?
Raja Skogland: Confucius said: “Choose a job you like, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. I don’t see my activities as “work”, I see them as the expression of what I am passionate about: entrepreneurship, innovation and empowering others. I try to maximize my time. For example, I meet and advice entrepreneurs during my 30 minutes lunch break. My husband is also very understanding and supportive, he is happy to take care of our kid when I have to take a meeting in the evenings or during the weekend.
Nora Toure: Let’s talk of ShareMy3D a little bit. Could you let us know what the company is about and the services you provide?
Raja Skogland: www.ShareMy3D.com is a unique and innovative online platform for storing, sharing and viewing 3D files, up to 5Gb. Our core value is to offer a private and secure platform where users can quickly and easily share 3D using a simple web browser and any device. An example of our viewer here. ShareMy3D can be used as a marketing tools (to display 3D images of products online and on social media) and to communicate 3D files internally or externally.
We have also developed a set of open APIs, so our viewer and technology can be directly integrated into other softwares.
Nora Toure: So, I understand that one of the missions of ShareMy3D, as the name suggests, is to enable an easier access to the 3D technology by decomplexifying the 3D viewing of the files. How does that work?
Raja Skogland: The concept of ShareMy3D is comparable to YouTube. You can share a YouTube video by sending a link in an email, post it on Facebook or embed it to your website. Anyone who has access to the link can watch it directly in the browser, on any device, without having to download the video.
ShareMy3D technology supports 3D files up to 5 GB. To make this possible, we have created a unique compression algorithm that enables a 5GB model to load in seconds in a web browser. We have also created a technology to extract the compressed file and visualize 3D right in your browser without any plug-ins. This allows people with 3D models to share and view them externally or internally, as easily as it is with a YouTube video.
Nora Toure: Do you offer any additional services?
Raja Skogland: We offer customer support. Additionally, we work on other specific projects, hand in hand with our clients, to build customized solutions for them. For example, if they want to integrate our technology to their own platform, add specific features and functionalities.
Nora Toure: You are based in Norway – Is the service available only in Scandinavian countries or globally?
Raja Skogland: As ShareMy3D is an online solution, anyone can easily create a profile in few seconds.
Nora Toure: Do you have any (fun or not) story about the company to share with us?
Raja Skogland: At the office, we have a table tennis. When we need a break we go there to play ping pong. It’s the way the whole team, interns, developers and managers get all together for a moment to relax and remember to have fun!
Nora Toure: As a woman entrepreneur, what was/is your biggest challenge?
Raja Skogland: Personally, it was hard to find a work/family life balance in the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. I realized a few months ago, that as much as hard work, spending time with your family, playing with your kid and having time to exercise was necessary to succeed in your venture and have a happy life. Sound obvious, but this quite a common and dangerous side effect of the “entrepreneurial bug”.
Nora Toure: What makes the 3D printing industry particularly interesting for you as a business person?
Raja Skogland: As a business person you need to stay in touch with the market trends and innovation. 3D printing is a fast growing market with limitless applications that will be shaping countless industries, from the Automotive and Aerospace, to retail, pharma/healthcare, fashion etc.
Nora Toure: As a woman?
Raja Skogland: Same, as I don’t particularly see any difference between being a business person and a woman.
Nora Toure: What do you think of the 3D printing industry today? And how would you like to see it evolve?
Raja Skogland: We are at the beginning of an industrial and digital revolution where the 3D technology will be playing a major role. At ShareMy3D’s we believe that the next coming years, there will be more websites and e-commerce platforms showing products in 3D and/or offering to print 3D models. We want to contribute by helping 3D professionals access an easy, safe and inexpensive solution for sharing their creations with the world or simply view a model before printing.
I personally would like to see more schools, universities, and homes with a 3d printer. This will come over time when 3D designing/modeling/scanning and printing will be more accessible, affordable and easy to use especially by people with no technical knowledge.
Nora Toure: In your opinion, how could we encourage more women to become involved with 3D Printing?
Raja Skogland: By communicating more about 3D technologies, its potential and engaging with women. 3D printing enables people to create and turn their ideas into prototypes or products. The applications are endless, more women only need to know about it and let 3D printing empowers them.
If you are interested in learning more about Raja and ShareMy3D, I invite you to check her company’s website!
And don’t forget to join the Women in 3D Printing group on LinkedIn and Facebook. You can also show your support by donating – Your support will help maintaining the activities of this blog and building more events for the community.
Thank you for reading and for sharing!