Episodes
Rob Carter has served as FedEx's Chief Information Officer for nearly 20 years, developing the company's information infrastructure and implementing new cutting-edge technologies. In this fireside chat with Jeff Immelt recorded at the Digital Factory Conference in 2019, Carter discusses the role of technology at FedEx, how FedEx learns about and evaluates new technologies, and how it puts innovation at the center of its business. Visit...
Published 09/26/19
Corporate sustainability has its roots in risk management and health and safety management—sort of a conservative, back-office function. Now it’s a competitive differentiator. In this episode of the Digital Factory Podcast, Jon Bruner talks with Zoé Bezpalko, sustainability strategy manager at Autodesk, about how manufacturers can use new technologies to make products sustainably—and to reach customers, potential employees, and partners who demand sustainability. Visit http://bit.ly/2mPeK9W...
Published 09/26/19
How sustainable is 3D printing? Ask most experts and you’ll get some hand-waving: it creates less waste than machining and reduces transportation energy, but many materials aren’t recyclable. All of those factors turn out to be overstated when they’re subjected to careful study. In this episode of the Digital Factory Podcast, Jon Bruner talks with Jeremy Faludi, an assistant professor of sustainable design at TU Delft, about the measurable environmental impact of 3D printing. His conclusions...
Published 08/29/19
Terry Wohlers, President of Wohlers Associates and author of the authoritative Wohlers Report on 3D printing, joins the podcast to talk about 3D printing at scale, the importance of design for additive, the emergence of metal 3D printing, and the inflection points he’s watching for. Videos of every presentation at the Digital Factory Conference are now available at https://www.thedigitalfactory.com/videos, and Wohlers is featured on this panel:...
Published 07/30/19
3D Hubs reoriented its business last fall, away from hobbyists and toward the professional market. Now it’s planning to invest heavily in AI-driven automation. In this episode: 3D Hubs CEO Bram de Zwart. His co-founder, Brian Garret, is speaking at the Digital Factory Conference on May 7; visit https://www.thedigitalfactory.com to see the program and register. Visit for full episode notes and links.
Published 04/28/19
The 3D printers at Align Technology turn out half a million parts every day—an exceptional scale that makes the company the largest user of 3D printing in the world. In this episode: Emory Wright, Align's Senior Vice President for Global Operations. Align's CEO, Joe Hogan, is speaking at the Digital Factory Conference on May 7; visit https://www.thedigitalfactory.com to see the program and register. Visit for full episode notes and links.
Published 04/17/19
The National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, offers a striking catalog of reference materials that includes peanut butter, New Jersey soil, domestic sludge, Lake Michigan fish tissue, and Spam. These materials turn out to illuminate the fascinating process by which measurement standards are defined in terms of fundamental physical constants and then handed down by NIST as artifacts that anyone can use to calibrate a bathroom scale or detect impurities in molybdenum...
Published 03/01/19
Manufacturing can be an unforgiving sector for startups, but that's changing, says NEA partner Dayna Grayson. Visit http://bit.ly/2Xco9WR for full episode notes and links. And visit https://www.thedigitalfactory.com/ to learn more about The Digital Factory Conference, returning to Boston on May 7, 2019. Dayna Grayson will speak along with CEOs, CTOs, and CIOs who are transforming their businesses through manufacturing.
Published 02/21/19
The Digital Factory Conference, our advanced-manufacturing leadership summit, is coming back to Boston on May 7, and it’s hosted by Jeff Immelt. Visit https://thedigitalfactory.com/ to learn more about the conference. For full episode notes, visit http://bit.ly/2HHHwTZ.
Published 02/01/19
Jon Bruner and Andrew Edman talk about the value of proprietary manufacturing technology, the aesthetics of generative design, the influence of social media on product design, and the acceleration of the product lifecycle. For links related to this episode, visit
Published 12/21/18
Last week a large part of the 3D printing industry gathered in Frankfurt to visit Formnext, an immense additive manufacturing trade show. In this episode, recorded in the hallway outside the Formnext show floor, we bring you interviews with three authorities on 3D printing: Joris Peels, editor-in-chief of 3DPrint.com; Nora Toure, founder of Women in 3D Printing, and A. John Hart, associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT and co-founder of Desktop Metal. Visit http://bit.ly/2A4XIri...
Published 11/21/18
Computer aided design software is becoming more sophisticated: it’s moving to the cloud, it’s beginning to offer generative capabilities, and, broadly speaking, it’s bringing manufacturing closer to design. In this episode of the Digital Factory Podcast, Jon Bruner talks with Stephen Hooper, Vice President and General Manager of Autodesk’s Fusion 360, about how those developments in CAD software are driving major changes in the practices, roles, and capabilities of product development. Visit...
Published 10/25/18
At IMTS 2018, Jon Bruner speaks with Elizabeth Koprucki, Assistant Director of Fab Lab and Design at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, about the importance of giving creators direct access to tools. Be sure to listen to the other two episodes in this series: #12 with Spencer Wright of The Prepared, and #13 featuring Inventables CEO Zach Kaplan. Visit http://bit.ly/2ImRLKo to see links and background for this episode.
Published 09/28/18
Jon Bruner speaks with Zach Kaplan, founder and CEO of Inventables, about the importance of accessibility in manufacturing tools. Be sure to listen to the other two episodes in this series, #12 featuring The Prepared’s Spencer Wright, and #14 with Elizabeth Koprucki from the University of Chicago's fab lab. Visit http://bit.ly/2ImRLKo to see links and background for this episode.
Published 09/28/18
Jon Bruner speaks with Spencer Wright, author of The Prepared and head of partnerships at nTopology, about what emerged in 3D printing at IMTS this year. Be sure to listen to the other two episodes in this series, #13 featuring Inventables CEO Zach Kaplan, and #14 with Elizabeth Koprucki from the University of Chicago's fab lab. Visit http://bit.ly/2ImRLKo to see links and background for this episode.
Published 09/28/18
Jon Bruner speaks with John Dulchinos, Jabil Circuit’s Vice President of Digital Manufacturing. He’s responsible for evaluating new manufacturing technologies and finding ways to apply them in Jabil’s supply chain, and he’s got hard numbers and real experience with many technologies that are still in their infancies. Read more on the Formlabs blog, and read more of John’s thoughts in the new Digital Factory Report: http://bit.ly/2NkxMSa
Published 09/20/18
Computer aided design, or CAD, has followed the arc of computing over the last 50 years: the first CAD programs were command-line applications that ran on mainframes, which gave way to graphical software that ran on desktop PCs. The next generation of CAD software can run almost anywhere, including in a Web browser or on a phone. As CAD becomes available on every platform, it’s changing the way that engineers and designers work by bringing more people into contact with CAD and by making...
Published 08/09/18
We speak with Stefanie Brickwede, who runs the additive manufacturing program at Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s rail operator and an international logistics powerhouse. We discuss the company’s applications for 3D printing, how she’s approached cultural change around additive manufacturing within the organization, and what’s next for 3D printing in the rail, automotive, and air transport industries. Brickwede is a keynote speaker at the Digital Factory conference on May 14 in Munich. See the full...
Published 04/23/18
Most people who design 3D printed objects want them to keep their shape as closely as possible after printing, but an emerging field known as 4D printing aims to make objects that can reconfigure themselves after fabrication. In episode 8 of the Digital Factory Podcast, we speak with Kristina Shea, professor of Engineering Design and Computing at ETH Zürich, on why self-assembly and 4D printing could be foundational design technologies in the very near future, with applications from...
Published 04/05/18
Product assembly is a big factor in production time, labor cost, and complexity. 3D printing can be used to consolidate multiple parts into a single part that couldn’t be produced conventionally, but most products still need at least some assembly. Fasteners are fiddly and snap-fits are fragile. An emerging solution: advanced adhesives, applied with automated machinery—a step toward fully digital assembly. Listen for advice from Michael Todd, head of innovation at Henkel Adhesives, on picking...
Published 03/21/18
We sit down with Eric Klein, partner at Lemnos, a leading early stage hardware venture fund. Klein and his partners provide direct investment and intensive coaching for hardware entrepreneurs in areas like robotics, aerospace, and connected devices. Play the full podcast to hear about: - The challenges of hiring for early stage hardware startups - How more accessible electronics and hardware-as-a-service models are changing the hardware business - How the hardware renaissance is critically...
Published 12/12/17
In episode 5, we sit down with Krisztina “Z” Holly, host of the Art of Manufacturing podcast and founder of the MAKE IT IN LA initiative, a coalition of organizations that support the manufacturing ecosystem and inspire entrepreneurs to turn their passions into real products in Los Angeles. Play the full podcast to hear about: - The surprisingly broad and sophisticated Los Angeles manufacturing sector–America’s largest - The steps cities can take to become hotbeds for manufacturing and...
Published 11/30/17
In honor of our conference on digital manufacturing, The Digital Factory, Formlabs has started a podcast! In this series, hosted by Jon Bruner and guest host David Cranor, we’ll explore the future of the factory floor through conversations with experts who are changing the way things are made. In episode 4, Jon and David sit down with Ric Fulop, the founder and CEO of Desktop Metal, founded in 2015 with the goal of reinventing the way design and manufacturing teams print with metal. Like...
Published 08/02/17
Jon Bruner and David Cranor sit down with Spencer Wright, head of product at nTopology, where he helps build software that generates specialized lattices suited for specific manufacturing constraints. Wright also authors The Prepared, a weekly newsletter covering manufacturing, engineering, and infrastructure from an accessible human perspective with as much of a focus on societal implications as on technology. Play the full podcast to hear: - The challenges and rewards of moving from...
Published 07/05/17
Jon Bruner talks with Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO of SolidWorks, one of the leaders in 3D computer-aided design (CAD) technology. SolidWorks has revolutionized the availability of sophisticated, parametric solid modeling since its release in 1995. During his tenure as CEO, Bassi has spearheaded the development of future product and technology strategies and collaboration with a strong user community. Play the full podcast to hear: - Bassi’s design, engineering, and entrepreneurship predictions -...
Published 05/24/17