Thoughtful, Fact-Laden Keynote From Stratasys Founder at Inside3DPrinting

(mediabistro) Scott Crump, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Stratasys, opened the Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo in Silicon Valley to a SRO crowd approaching 500 attendees. Crump encouraged the entrepreneurs in the room by sharing his start-up story of how he and his wife began the company in their garage and his “ah-ha” moment when he realized he could produce products that improved lives. It was when his daughter became enchanted and played with a toy froggie his early machine produced. Today, Stratasys is the digital production leader and installs about 35% of all commercial 3D printers around the world, a total of over 50,000 printers worldwide now including MakerBot’s.

Crump talked of his pride in the ability of 3D printing to make a difference in people’s lives.

He showed the video of “Emma’s Story,” the little girl who needed a 3D printed exoskeleton to be able to move her arms. Crump asked and answered “Why now?”regarding 3D printing’s popularity and “buzz.” He pointed out that after 25 years of effort and growth, 3D printing has become widely used across the spectrum from Makers at home to high-performance manufacturers who may “turn manufacturing on its head.” He played President Obama’s remarks about 3D printing and additive manufacturing with the all important Federal funding. Crump showed examples of popular culture’s rapt adoption of 3D printed fashion and commented the “tree root shoes pushed boundaries and is inspiring new shoe designs.”

All in all, it was an inspiring, thoughtful and fact-laden introduction to an event that an audience that is noticeable enthusiastic and hungry for knowledge about 3D Printing and what it “means.” The event program followed with two tracks–one usually more devoted to technical issues and a second track featured the business angle with presenters who are already experts and “go-to” leaders.

The exhibit hall, which is the best Business-to-Business set of exhibitors ever assembled under one roof, also opened to throngs of almost SRO lookers and learners. One exhibitor commented, “I am surprised at the enthusiastic reception from Silicon Valley attendees.” He had thought the famous tech valley’s culture would have taken the ‘Cutting Edge” sensibility off 3D printing. But instead, the Silicon Valley audience is proving to be even more hungry for new knowledge and solidly positive about the potential of 3D printing for the future of business and consumer life.

The event continues for a second day today at the Doubletree in San Jose. Click here to register for Wednesday at this important gathering. The networking opportunities are here if you are interested in 3D printing. Today’s morning keynote is from Avi Reichental, President and CEO of 3D Systems. Afternoon keynote is by Keith Murphy, Chairman and CEO, Organovo, Inc.