The Carly Fiorina Complex: Investing in 3D Printing
After the last Republican national debate, Carly Fiorina catapulted from 3% public favorability – to 15% support. That puts her squarely behind Donald Trump as one of the party’s top two presidential candidates for the 2016 election. Whether you plan to vote red or blue, Fiorina represents an interesting intersection between technology and politics while questioning what it takes to invest in our future. Despite criticism for hard-hitting layoffs during her tenure as Hewlett-Packard CEO, Fiorina stands by her belief that she can lead our nation because she understands how to make hard decisions supporting our commitment to critical technology – such as 3D printing – that will put us ahead of international competitors.
THE FIRST STEP IS THE HARDEST: A FOUNDATION FOR 3D PRINTING
From 1999-2005 when Fiorina was at HP’s helm, 3D printing was not mainstream technology. At the other end of the spectrum, desktop printing was becoming passé as in-home printers’ novelty wore off and the paperless trend took hold. According to Bloomberg, Fiorina drove HP’s revenue from $40 billion to just shy of a cool $90 billion during her time, despite dipping printer sales and a lack of clear vision behind emerging printing technology.
For Fiorina, the key wasn’t investing in the “right-now,” it was investing in the future. One of the reasons HP restructured their workforce during her leadership was to pave the way for more cutting edge technology such as 3D printing. Close to one decade later – the fruits of her labor are paying off. On November 1, Hewlett-Packard will launch a new 3D printing division and plans to unveil its first mainstream 3D printer sometime in 2016. Possibly just in time for Fiorina to celebrate her new presidency? We jest – but time will tell.
MARKFORGED MAKES IT MATTER:
Whether you prescribe to Fiorina’s political views or not, her dogged support of technology that has a direct impact on our economy reveals why new development in these sectors holds the key to our success. 3D printing has the power to disrupt our global supply chain system, reduce manufacturing costs, and bring our production home from unstable offshore partners such as China. So where are we at in the industry?
One exciting name in the 3D printing business is making these real world applications possible. You guessed it: MarkForged. The MarkForged Mark One’s revolutionary Composite Filament Fabrication™ (CFF™) printing technique transforms 3D printing from novelty to industry. CFF™ printing uses carbon fiber technology to make stronger, usable parts that go beyond fun plastic fabrications and 3D models to real world implementation in the engineering, transportation, and manufacturing industries. Composite printing yields ready-to-use pieces that are 20 times stronger than traditional plastic or aluminum parts – a must for real-world applications.
The future of 3D printing and what may be the next industrial revolution hasn’t arrived yet, but as industry leaders such as MarkForged gain support from our national leaders, it’s clear to see how much closer that future is than when Fiorina stepped up as HP’s CEO in 1999. And that get’s our vote.
- Dustin Heigl