We Caught Up With re3D The Creators Of The Gigabot At Austin Startup Week
Last week when we made the trip to Austin for Austin Startup Week, we got a chance to talk with some amazing veteran entrepreneurs. Many of them were or are part of Bunker Labs Austin, the first Texas branch of the veteran led startup accelerator, that started at 1871 in Chicago.
There’s something about veteran entrepreneurs. Many of them have leadership experience we just can’t find outside of the armed forces. Most of them have impeccable integrity. Some are by nature of being a veteran, more risk tolerant. Bunker Labs is able to take all of the attributes of the men and women of the armed forces and hone the skills they learned in the service and help mold them into entrepreneurs.
While many of the Bunker Labs entrepreneurs are retired from the service and looking for what to do next, there are some that are still in, equally committed to their country, their family and their business. One of those entrepreneurs is Samantha Snabes, the co-founder of 3D printing giant, re3D.
re3D started by creating, what Snabes calls, a “toilet sized” 3D printer. The first printer of it’s kind and size, able to yield much larger projects than a standard desktop 3D printer. Their printer, called the Gigabot, is a more affordable alternative to industrial and commercial 3D printers, but with that in mind, Gigabot is finding it’s way into a variety of factories and industrial installations.
The Gigabot 3D printer featured in the video above, is actually the smallest printer that re3D makes. It retails for around $9,000. Snabes has seen Gigabot being used in healthcare, rapid prototyping, science, education and several other uses.
Snabes, along with co-founder Matthew Fielder were working out of the Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston in 2012 as part of engineers without borders. It was during this time they knew they needed to create the Gigabot.
“We saw that four things that were pretty common in our travels, a lot of plastic waste, high unemployment, a huge dependence on imported goods and the people we met were really creative” Snabes told nibletz. com. Because of this they created Gigabot to help engineers, like themselves, create their own tools and products.
Bunker Labs ATX has been a backbone for the re3D team. With Snabes still an active reservist she has mentors, and advisors she can lean on when she’s serving her country to make sure that re3D is moving along smoothly. At one point, through Bunker Labs, re3D was able to meet Howard Schultz the Executive Chairman of Starbucks. In that meeting they discussed the idea of using recycled plastic to print things with Gigabot 3D printers.
Check out our video interview about re3D above and check out Snabes comments on Bunker Labs here.
Find out more about re3d at re3d.org