Cheryl Macleod [Source: Women in 3D Printing]
Cheryl Macleod is the global head of 3D fusion science at HP and is based in Corvallis, Oregon.
Cheryl started at HP in 1997 as a product development manager and has since worked her way up to oversee the deep science behind the materials that drive HP’s business – the powders and agents that are used in 3D printing. Cheryl graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering and holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley.
Nora Toure: Cheryl, could you let us know about your background and what brought you to 3D printing in the first place?
Cheryl Macleod: I’ve been with HP for 25 years and joined the company shortly after earning my Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. Most of my career was spent in our 2D printing business in a multitude of R&D leadership roles around the world including Barcelona, San Diego, Singapore and now Corvallis, Oregon.
3D printing was appealing to me because I love working at the cutting edge, creating entirely new categories of products and introducing innovative technology into the market. 3D printing is the next big opportunity, not just for HP but for the world. It brings together my love for chemical engineering and materials with my passion for creating new innovative products.
Nora Toure: Can you describe your very first experience with 3D Printing?
Cheryl Macleod: It was about 20 years ago. I was at HP’s Corvallis Oregon site and attended a local employee innovation fair. I saw a group had taken a DeskJet printer and transformed it into a 3D printer that I believe took layers of paper fiber and binded the paper fiber with fluid jetted out of the printer.
This was the first time I had seen anything like this, and it may have been the first time anyone at HP designed a 3D printer. It was really just a skunkworks project that our employees created in their spare time for fun, but it also opened my eyes to what could be done in the future.
Nora Toure: You’ve worked at HP for 25 years. Do you remember when HP started to be interested in investigating Additive Manufacturing? Was there a specific event that led to HP investing resources into building AM equipment?
Cheryl Macleod: We started to get serious about 3D printing for this first time in around 2010. Our Barcelona team formed a partnership with a 3D printing company for a pilot where we would resell the device as HP branded. It gave us the opportunity to test the market, start to get to know our customer base and understand what it would take for us to be successful.
This pilot convinced us that we had to make a pitch to our executive staff. But we couldn’t go in with a me-too play. We had to show that we could deliver a compelling technology advantage that was truly unique in order for the company to invest in a big way.
Through the hard work of team members from our Barcelona and San Diego offices, as well as HP Labs, we had our own eureka moment six months later, where we discovered the Multi Jet Fusion process and its game-changing technology advantages.
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