Welcome to our Employee Spotlight series — a glimpse into the individuals driving 3D Spark forward. In this series, we focus on highlighting the professionals who contribute to making our company an impactful workplace.
Today, we have Dr. Arnd Struve, Co-Founder and CTO at 3D Spark GmbH. In this interview Arnd shares his insights, experiences, and how he plays a crucial role in fueling the development of our platform in order to continuously offer value to all 3D Spark customers.
1. What is your role on the 3D Spark team?
Arnd: My main goal is to assure the 3D Spark Platform functionality and experience from end to end. This includes keeping track of our roadmap, creating new features with our developers, and optimizing existing code. Basically, I make sure everything works.
2. What drew you to 3D Spark/Importance of the 3D Spark Platform according to you?
Arnd: I always hated dull and repetitive work. As soon as I got the proper tools in my hands, I started automating my workflow wherever it was possible. As it turns out, our customers also share this dislike. That is one of the reasons we decided to create 3D Spark, sharing our experience in engineering and making life easier for all of us.
3. What is a new trend or technology in your field that you are excited about?
Arnd: As most technically minded persons, I am amazed by the daily advances in machine learning and AI, but additive manufacturing technologies will always have a special place in my heart. I started building Arduinos and 3D printers in 2009 with the first open-source projects. Seeing the advances since then, especially in the consumer market, is crazy. After FDM/FFF, SLA, and DLP, I am really looking forward to affordable SLS and Metal 3D printers hitting the market.
4. A feature of the 3D Spark platform which already exists that you are particularly proud of/beneficial for the users?
Arnd: There have been so many features in the past years that I am proud of. It is very hard for me to point one out. Regarding my personal contribution, I am proudest of the powerful and fast geometry analysis because it is the core of 3D Spark. From a user benefit perspective, I am most proud of the dynamic comparison of multiple process chains at a single glance. It can save so much time.
5. A feature you look forward to implementing in the 3D Spark platform and why?
Arnd: Right now, we are developing a new functionality to generate fully customizable documents, e.g., reports, quotations, and billings directly from our platform. I am sure our users will love it and save them a lot of tedious work. I am very much looking forward to seeing it in action.
6. What is a book or article that you recommend to others in your field?
Arnd: “Additive Manufacturing” by Andreas Gebhardt is a must-read for anybody who wants to learn about AM. My favorite AM technology being SLS, and I can highly recommend the deep dive in “Selektives Lasersintern (SLS) mit Kunststoffen” by Manfred Schmid. Unfortunately, only available in German. Regarding coding and automation, I am convinced that learning Python is a great way to start. There are great courses on Codecademy and Udemy to give you some hands-on experience in first projects. Lots of CAD software nowadays offer a Python API, e.g., Grasshopper, Blender, FreeCAD, and Fusion 360. Here you can learn to manipulate 3D data.
7. What is a piece of advice you would give to someone who is new to your field?
Arnd: Experience is important, but nothing beats attitude. Find a topic you are passionate about. It is much easier and rewarding to build experience and skill. Find that niche and become the biggest nerd there is. In my experience on the long run, this will make you happier than being a jack of all trades. But that does not mean you cannot have multiple fields of expertise.
8. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Arnd: “Done is better than perfect.” I learned that the hard way during my doctorate. “Perfect” is a term that is, per definition, almost unachievable. “That one last bit” is in most cases only noticeable by yourself alone. If you make peace with it, this advice will make you much more effective.
9. Are there any role models you look up to who inspire you to work towards a better and sustainable future?
Arnd: I think my role model is not one person, but the aggregation of all the little things I admire about all the people I lived, learned, and worked with over the past years.I want to be as good an engineer as Person A, as passionate about science as Person B, as good a father as Person C, and so on, If that makes any sense.
10. What are your hobbies?
Arnd: I love spending time with my family. Currently, I am also remodeling our house and doing some electronic tinkering on the side.
11. What’s your favorite film/band/album/book/TV show?
Arnd: That’s kind of a big question and it changes through the years. One thing I can always go back to and enjoy is the “Song For The Deaf” album by “Queens of the Stone Age” – preferably on vinyl.
With features to make every step of your manufacturing business more efficient and scalable, coupled with a support team excited to help you,
getting started with 3D Spark has never been easier.