Nora Touré: Diana, could you let us know briefly about your background and your journey into Additive Manufacturing?
Diana Hall: I’m a chemical engineer, and worked in engineering and software test before starting ActivArmor, in order to meet a need for a hygienic, waterproof casting alternative.
Nora Touré: Can you share more about ActivArmor and your activities?
Diana Hall: ActivArmor is the first commercially available custom 3D printed casting/splinting product in the U.S. market. We are available in clinics across the country and have franchises across the world as well now.
We are launching an iPhone scanning app this spring that will allow any patient or provider to order an ActivArmor custom cast.
Nora Touré: To date, what would you say is your greatest achievement in Additive Manufacturing?
Diana Hall: Solving the problems needed to provide a mass customization medical device solution in an inventory-driven world. Not only on the production side but on the sales side, with all the regulatory and procedural barriers to entry in medicine.
Nora Touré: Do you have any (fun or not) stories about your career to share with us?
Diana Hall: Yes, the back story and mission story is why I’m here! My brother died of Cystic Fibrosis, so we spent a lot of time in Children’s Hospital growing up. With an engineering mind, I knew that I was meant to help people like him, to improve their quality of life while living with injuries or conditions.
When I started running the mentoring program for children in poverty and saw them struggle with wet, smelly, dirty, uncomfortable casts (they couldn’t even wash their hands before lunch), I had the experience and expertise to solve the problem with technology. I formed an amazing team, and now we have partnering physicians and hospitals across the country, and have helped thousands of patients. We constantly get notes from patients thanking us for saving their summer vacations, their sports seasons, and improving their lives.
One amazing moment was when Children’s Hospital Colorado announced the grand opening of their new ActivArmor providing clinic on my brother’s birthday!
Every single day we get to do what we love and help people too – it’s the most rewarding job anyone could ever ask for.
Nora Touré: Have you run into any challenges from being a woman 3D Printing?
Diana Hall: There have been a few… mostly from the old-school manufacturing and medical device markets – being underestimated or patronized at first, or answering stupid questions like “who runs the day-to-day business activities” or “Are you married?” that they wouldn’t ask if you were male… But I wouldn’t say it’s held us back.
Nora Touré: What is the most impressive or impactful use of 3D printing you’ve seen so far?
Diana Hall: I’m biased, but I’d have to say it’s in medicine. No human is one-size-fits-all, and the potential for development in the area of custom products in both internal and wearable custom medical devices is mind-boggling.
Read the rest at Women in 3D Printing