An Interview with the Liza Wallach-Kloski, Co-Founder HoneyPoint 3D
In today’s segment of our Expert Interviews, we continue to explore the larger topic of women 3D printing with Ms. Liza Wallach-Klosk. She along with her husband Nick founded their company HoneyPoint 3D which has attracted lots of attention over their young history. Among those taking notice include CNNMoney, SF Business Times, and the San Jose Mercury-News. Now you can add Castle Ink to that long list of companies who wish to bring attention to their amazing work in the bay area. The interview with Liza was conducted via email and our questions with the her answers appear below:
1) When was HoneyPoint 3D founded and why?
My husband, Nick Kloski, and I founded the company in 2013 because we felt there was a gap in the consumer retail store segment. I was a jewelry designer and he was a high-tech executive so 3D printing was appealing to both of us. We converted my jewelry store into a 3D printing store within 3 weeks!
2) Who are the key employees in the company and their backgrounds? What role(s) does each play?
My husband Nick heads our education division and I manage the rapid prototyping division. We don?t have official titles because in a start-up it seems everyone does everything!
3) Can you talk a little bit about your company and what services you offer to consumers?
We have two main division that fall into two categories: Education and Rapid Prototyping. In our Education division we produce and distribute amazing online classes on everything from 3D printing 101 to how to CAD model in Fusion 360. In this division is also: live classes, events and consulting.
In the Rapid Prototyping division we do everything from help you draw out your idea on 2D paper to CAD modeling to 3D printing. We also have high end 3D scanners and very talented CAD engineers.
4) What made you choose Type A Machines as opposed to any of the other 3D printers out on the market today? Given the price point, it would appear this is not meant for the casual user. Who is the intended audience for machines like these?
We choose Type A for a variety of reasons: First, they are a nice group of men and women who really care about the industry. Second: Geography. We wanted to sell a printer that was local to us in case we needed repairs and it helps with building a partnership if you are within driving distance.
5) What types of prints and materials are available with the Type A printers? Do you carry any of the various filaments and materials in store and online?
Type A machines uses FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) technology where the plastic filament is melted and then deposited, layer by layer, to form up an object. These printers can use the normal range of what FDM printers can use and the manufacturers encourages users to try new and diverse filaments without voiding the warranty. We carry a select number of printers and filament.
6) For a user that knows what he/she is doing, is the machine "hackable" or customizable at all?
Certainly. The Type A Machines Series 1 printers controls the print process via a small Linux computer inside, and on top of that operating system, runs the open-source Octoprint print manager. Users can log into the Linux distribution and change settings as they wish. Additionally, the motor control is managed by the popular RUMBA board, with the open-source Marlin firmware, which can be tweaked as desired. Users have made many customizations to the printer such as new spool holders, added 3D printed webcam enclosures, and lots more.
7) If someone is not ready to purchase yet, what types of files can you print in-store?
We generally do not do pay-for-printing, mainly saving that service for our rapid prototyping clients, unless a client wants to print in volume numbers. An .STL file is the common denominator for 3D printing, but generally anything from .OBJ files to .STEP or .IGES CAD files.
8) As a woman in the field of 3D printing and design, did you face any barriers to your entry into the industry?
Not as a designer but I have to admit I did not get as many call backs with potential partners and venders as Nick did in the beginning when our company was not yet proven. Engineering is still a male dominated field so maybe they expect to see a man at the head of a rapid prototyping division/company. But I also think being a woman in this industry has given me an advantage in getting more press for my company. I think it’s all how you manage it and if you go into a conference being confident, then people respect that and treat you accordingly ☺
9) What advice, if any, would you give to young girls who are interested in entrepreneurship, design, and the world of 3D printing? How should they look to shape their education and what skills should they try to learn?
I actually think the western world has made big improvements in giving young girls access to science based careers and entrepreneurism. If they want to learn more about these subjects, online education and joining a community where you can physically be in the presence of other makers and inventors is important.
10) Where do you expect HoneyPoint to be in the next 3-5 years? Will you be building more brick and mortar stores? Will you look to expand services and printers?
That?s a great question. In the wild-wild-west of the 3D printing industry, a small company like ours has to be focused enough to gain a solid reputation but flexible enough to seize an opportunity that arises quickly. We think we have done both. In the next 3-5 years will be continue to be leaders in consumer 3D printing education and rapid prototyping. We might keep our 1 flagship store but will likely move to an all online model as our customers are now national and international.
You can see more information about HoneyPoint 3D by looking at their social media sites listed below or visiting them at their brick and mortar store located at 6127 La Salle Ave. in Oakland, CA. Additionally they can be reached via phone at 510-516-6127 or through email, firstname.lastname@example.org.