Mara Hitner: Brad, could you tell us about your background and your journey into Additive Manufacturing?
Brad Halsey: I first began working on photocurable polymers and ceramic dopants in a 3D printing modality in 2002 at Stanford Research Institute. It wasn’t until 2010 that I started pushing 3D printing in the field, specifically in Afghanistan in the Army’s ExLabs.
After overseeing these labs for nearly five years, I became intimately familiar with the capabilities and struggles of 3D printing in austere environments.
When I founded Building Momentum in 2015 my Chief Technology Officer (Dr. Albert Vega) and I began building our own FDM 3D printers largely because I couldn’t afford to buy reliable 3D printers on the market.
Today, Building Momentum has a 3D printer test facility where companies elect to subject their machines to many of the stressors found in harsh and in situ environments like in deserts, onboard ships, or in the jungle.
Mara Hitner: What is Building Momentum and what is the story behind it?
Brad Halsey: Building Momentum was founded by Brad Halsey and Dr. Albert Vega in 2015 as a training, prototyping, and consulting company.
Together, our extensive prototyping and problem-solving experiences in austere environments, such as battlefields and disaster zones, provide the foundation for all of Building Momentum’s problem-solving trainings and workshops.
Building Momentum has conducted military and corporate training all over the globe for nearly 5,000 people to date, designed and developed inventions and prototypes for commercial and government clients, and has helped dozens of organizations with creating cultural fundamentals to improve problem-solving skills to increase innovative development.
When not teaching, building, or consulting, Building Momentum is ready at a moment’s notice for disaster and humanitarian response prototyping.
Mara Hitner: To date, what would you say is your greatest achievement in Additive Manufacturing?
Brad Halsey: Teaching people, especially the Marine Corps, to use this capability to solve real-world problems.
Mara Hitner: What is the most impressive or impactful use of 3D printing you’ve seen so far?
Brad Halsey: There have been many examples of useful 3D printed solutions in the environments where Building Momentum operates, but one that comes to mind is when a newly trained Marine (on CAD/3D printing by Building Momentum) designed and 3D printed a much-needed mortar tube wrench that was otherwise unavailable.
This simple problem-solving application created a domino effect of policy changes within the Marine Corps such that today the Marine Corps strongly encourages soldiers to use additive manufacturing to solve problems.
Read the rest at Women in 3D Printing