UNC Biochemistry & Biophysics alum Dr. Jan Sumerel (1998) talks about about MakerBot and the future of 3D printing in an article on Chapelboro.com. Jan received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from UNC under the direction of Professor William Marzluff where she elucidated the role of cyclin proteins involved in DNA synthesis during embryogenesis in sea urchins. She did her post-doctoral work at University of California at Santa Barbara with Professor Dan Morse where she worked on structure directed synthesis of metal oxides and metallic materials using biomaterials. Since her postdoctoral work, she has worked in the manufacturing of print heads for drop-on-demand printing using photostructurable glass, and then helped pioneer the field of drop-on-demand printing of functional materials, impacting fields in organic electronics, printed electronics and high throughput of biomaterial fluid deposition. She is currently the vice president of Research and Development at MakerBot, the global leader in the desktop 3D printing industry, and works with 3D printing of polymers and other advanced materials.
MakerBot was founded in 2009 by MakerBot CEOBre Pettis, to manufacture and market desktop 3D printers. There are several versions of these easy to use printers available. MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers are used in many different industries from art to space. MakerBot also created an online community called "Thingiverse," the largest global destination with more than 200,000 downloadable digital files that can be viewed, shared and 3D printed.