From freelancer to Rapid Prototype Tech, Nicole Metivier has found a passion for 3D printing. Growing up in metro Detroit, Nicole always saw herself solving problems and mathematical equations.
“Math was my favorite subject in school,” said Nicole. “It was checkable, and with math, there’s just one answer, and that’s all you need.”
Upon graduating college with a degree in Industrial Design, Nicole started freelancing with connections made during her studies. Her contract and consulting work included reading blueprints, making CAD models, metalworking, and 3D printing.
“Even though I worked quite a few freelancing jobs, it was the experience I needed to get my foot in the door for a position that I could grow in,” said Nicole.
Before coming to EnvisionTEC, Nicole worked for a supplier in the jewelry industry, which in turn transitioned her into a professional position in 3D printing. She worked with large sized 3D printers to grow wax models and completed post-processing on the models, including the creation of casting trees used for lost-wax metal casting.
“I had the opportunity to run the department. Parts were created on an as-needed and individualized basis and we’d send them out or hand deliver them after they were completed.”
While working, Nicole developed a connection to 3D printing and the innovative solutions the process brought to various industries.
“I enjoyed engineering models based on the parameters of the machine used to create them, going from an idea, to accurate CAD files, and then to finally hold the finished product. That has always given me a feeling of accomplishment and purpose,” Nicole said. “I may have started with industrial design, but ended up really enjoying 3D printing. Because with 3D printing you can innovate one thing for one person, or a multitude for many, and that, I feel, makes a big difference.”
In 2016, EnvisionTEC filled an opening for a Rapid Prototype Tech. Nicole fit the needs of the position with her ability to assess situational needs within the company’s growing environment, and to build and forecast solutions.
“I was lucky to be found on LinkedIn for the position with EnvisionTEC,” said Nicole. “I was called based on my profile and background and was brought in for an interview. After that, I was hired as their new Rapid Prototype Tech and trainer.”
At EnvisionTEC, Nicole works in the research and development department, completing repairs, analysis, collaborative programs, and training customers how the variety of printing systems work and how to incorporate the technology into their existing workflow.
“Apart from my day-to-day job, I can also conduct webinars, create tangibles such as instructional aides to help the customer adopt 3D printing, and the return is seeing new customers transition to 3D printing smoothly and comfortably,” said Nicole.
As she continues to grow with EnvisionTEC, Nicole also sees her position as an opportunity to shine some light on the male-dominated field.
“As a female part of the collaborative, I can bring a unique frame of reference to the table and make a more diverse end-product than what could’ve been achieved before,” said Nicole. “I try to encourage as many women as possible to join the field because we’re still growing. Ideally, 50-50 eventually, is a wonderful goal to have, because there’s just so much that can be done just by bringing in new perspective.”
With 3D printing leading the way, future innovation of how products are released to market across various industries, it’s no wonder why Nicole made the choice to solve her own career equation.
“Since math is my favorite subject, I’d say math runs in a parallel with 3D printing because if you get it right then you know you got it right,” said Nicole.
Even in her spare time, Nicole still 3D prints and produces CAD work at home. Now that’s passion!