While 3D printing has yet to completely breakthrough to the mainstream – understandably, as plenty of people haven't mastered 2D printing yet – the potential that the technology holds in both current and future applications is immense and still unrealized. From creating lighter parts that will allow for cheaper, more accurate, and on-demand manufacturing for spacecrafts to applications that will revolutionize the surgical and healthcare community, additive manufacturing is, while perhaps not the most talked about technologies, one with a very high utilitarian ceiling for both professionals and hobbyists.
These influencers come from different walks of life, but all of them have a common interests, passion for and knowledge of 3D printing, and a wealth of information to offer Twitter followers seeking out more information about the still-emerging technology.
Maarten Verkoren is the managing partner for 3D Makers Zone, a Netherlands-based firm that assists companies in their quests to adoptive disruptive, smart production technologies to advance their operations forward within the shifting marketplace. While he varies his posts between English and Dutch, it's readily apparent that he is trying to include both his Dutch audience and a broader, English-speaking audience as he imparts advice and Retweets interesting, 3D-print related stories, as well as stories regarding the many tech trends and industries more broadly.
Jeff Johnson is the owner of both The Digital Lab, LLC, and 3D Print RVA, which prides itself on having brought additive manufacturing processes to the Richmond, Virginia-area approximately four years ago. Having a resource such as Johnson, who lives the business side of 3D-manufacturing and knows what it takes to deliver top-notch, first-rate products and services to a living, paying customer base is invaluable to Twitter users who'd like to gain a better understanding of 3D-printing's past, present, and future.
The mysterious, nearly omnipresent social personality who goes by the nam Barnacules Nerdgasm should not be written off because his Twitter handle is, let's say, less than conventional. As an immensely popular Twitcher, YouTuber, and Twitter-ite who has a background in software development and an avowed passion for 3D-printing, Barnacules has exemplified a deft touch when it comes to staying connected with the younger generation of techies. 138,000 followers is more than impressive for somebody in this sphere of tech.
Hughes wouldn't necessarily be considered one of the purest, most singularly 3D-printing-oriented influencers on this list, but there's no denying that he is one of the most popular. He Tweets about a wide range of tech topics – yes, including additive manufacturing – but if there's one thing we've learned through scouring for influencers, it's that asking somebody to comment only about 3D printing is unfair and unrealistic. Tim Hughes, co-founder of Digital Leadership Associates, Tweets and Retweets plenty about 3D printing, and his professional knowledge in the field means you should definitely lend him a follow.
Jo, as Josef Prusa's bio asks us to refer to him as, makes 3D printers, specifically the sleek, award-winning line of Prusa3D machines. Like many great influencers, Prusa has gotten his hands dirty by doing industry-relevant work, and the experience gained as the man behind a line of additive manufacturing machines is invaluable. If you follow, you will find yourself a healthy balance of updates on Prusa's business, industry trends, and more information of value which will augment your knowledge of 3D printing.
Drew Brookins is another one of the many youthful influencers who have gained a steady following because of their consistent, varied knowledge and ability to effectively reach a receptive audience. As we stated, it can be difficult to find a glut of influencers who are interested solely in 3D printing, and Brookins is definitely not singularly minded when it comes to what he Tweets. That said, he has a knack for delivering Tweets that have value, especially to tech heads who have a niche interest in additive manufacturing.
The Chief Technology Officer for HP and the Global Head of HP Labs, Shane Wall is one of the more high-profile names on this particular list. It's rare that such high-ranking executives take the time to Tweet and Retweet as often as Wall does, and as tech-heads there is no overstating just how appreciated that is. From HP-specific news on their progress in the additive manufacturing sphere to industry trends, there's no shortage of time-worthy information on Shane Wall's timeline.
Espere Ranivo brings an international flair to his timeline, as he is based in France. As somebody with a clear passion for all things tech, he lists 3D printing among his more specific interests. With over 20,000 followers, Ranivo has a strong understanding for keeping his content consistently on-theme, aimed toward an audience interested in tech trends and, more specifically, 3D printing.
TJ McCue is a well-regarded writer for Forbes Tech, and that beat covers the emerging technology that is additive manufacturing. Though his beat is far more broad that just 3D printing, McCue has earned his stripes as a respected, well-researched writer for one of the most renowned business and tech-related magazines on the market. Trust us, he's worth a follow as a bona fide authority in the tech space.
Is any description a more fitting qualifier for this list than “3D Printing Nerd”, the descriptor which Joel Telling has bestowed himself? The likely answer to that question is ‘no', and the fact that Telling backs up his self-label with a steady flow of original thoughts on the industry, first-hand photographs of 3D-print-centric conferences, and his own additive manufacturing themed-social channels affirms our decision to include him among this impressive lot.
Thomas Sanladerer is another influencer with a strong, established social media presence, but the information he provides to his followers is a bit different than other social media savants that we have mentioned. Taking a more tutorial-oriented approach, Sanladerer offers 3D printing guides and designs to those who subscribe to his channels, offering a level of tangible utility that true additive manufacturing-heads will genuinely appreciate.
Amie D.D. would likely stand out among her peers on this list, and for no other reason than that she is likely to be clad in gamer-themed garb. We don't hate it, at all. Amie's enthusiasm for the virtual world, though, is less relevant than her self-bestowed description as a “builder” and “maker” as well as a 3D print enthusiast. Though she has deep roots in the gaming community, she's far from a one-trick pony when it comes to her knowledge of tech.
Joaquin Baldwin is a natural fit to transition into the world of 3D printing, as he is a 3D feature animation layout artist and supervisor for Disney. Followers should know that Baldwin doesn't keep social or political opinions very quiet, but that doesn't take away from the professional experience as a 3D animator and additive manufacturing hobbyist which warrants giving him a follow.
Jason King is the author of the eBook ‘Beginners Guide to 3D Printing at Home'. He can help novices and beginners figure out how to go about printing in their home without splurging unnecessarily, loading up on all the wrong products, and just generally mucking things up. Plus, with a solid gaggle of Twitter followers, it's clear that enough 3D print-junkies have found a man with plenty of experience and knowledge to attract their eyeballs on a regular basis.
Bill Decker can be safely dubbed as a sales-centric guy, but his interest in 3D printing becomes quickly apparent upon stumbling upon his Twitter timeline. Further, he's serves as Chairman of the Association of 3D Printing, certifying him as a cog and tastemaker in the industry. With a mix of humor, 3D printing-related trends and news stories, and personal advice that can apply to virtually anybody attempting to build their self-brand or sell their product/service, Bill Decker deserves far more love than he's currently getting. He delivers valuable posts consistently. What more can you ask for?
Another author specializing in additive manufacturing, UK-based Richard Horne is the man behind the book 3D Printing for Dummies. His timeline is chock full of 3D printing-related stories, both authored by himself and Retweeted from colleagues whose knowledge he trusts. We aren't exaggerating when we tell you that, post-for-post, Richard Horne may have the most heavily additive manufacturing-centered Twitter timeline of all the people on this list.
Stephen Reid is an educator, first and foremost. He has been and continues to be associated with several organizations and initiatives aimed at spreading education, and he's now taken a keen interest in including the technologies of the future – namely additive manufacturing – as part of that quest to spread knowledge and skills beyond the industrialized world. Reid is a great follow with an even greater cause at heart.
We are big proponents of giving anybody with the term ‘consultant' in their title a fair shake when it comes to considering them for a spot on an influencer list. These consultants tend to be consulting for good reason, namely that they have established enough expertise and credibility in a given field to be advising others on the topic. John Biehler is not an exception, as far as his Twitter timeline can indicate, and this 3D printing consultant deserves to have more Twitter followers taking a long glimpse into his thought process regarding additive manufacturing.
Tuan Tranpham is “one of the few 3D Printing evangelists”, according to his LinkedIn bio, and 3D evangelists can use all of the congregants it can get. Not because it's an industry lacking applications or promise, but because it holds such great potential both for the current age and the future. Tranpham Tweets consistently about 3D printing, and by comparison, he Tweets a lot.
Brian Federal, Managing Director for Prana Communications, is another member of this list who has ample professional experience informing the information he Tweets out to his followers. Prana is currently producing “3D Printing Revolution”, a documentary feature that, we can only guess, may appeal to members of this list and its followers. Be sure to add Brian to your Following list if you haven't already, and check out “3D Printing Revolution” when it hits an accessible platform.
Norée is an award-winning Swedish 3D designer and 3D printing evangelist, according to his Twitter bio. A bit more digging reveals that Norée is, in fact, quite the 3D printing enthusiast, having designed and put into operation his “OpenR/C Project”, which is aimed at pushing the boundaries of open source additive manufacturing. As a speaker and blogger as well, he knows how to communicate effectively to an audience looking to lap up whatever knowledge he has to impart.
As a 3D software developer and 3D printing enthusiast, Mark Burhop is somebody who clearly stays in tune with industry trends, choosing and Retweeting those that he deems most interesting and impactful. He also has a knack for showing off his own 3D-printed inventions, something that self-starting 3D printers can use as inspiration, if not merely appreciate.
Founder of the world's largest 3D printing community, Shapeways, it would be borderline criminal to leave Peter Weijmarshausen off of this list. We believe that even if the most influential minds and individuals in the industry aren't the most prolific Tweeters, they deserve to be heard whenever they do open up on social media. This is the case with Weijmarshausen, one of the most accomplished individuals in 3D printing.
The founder, chairman, and CEO of XpotentialWorks, Avi Reichental is another person we had to include not as much because of his Twitter influence, but because he has proven himself at the highest levels of the industry. He has given a TED talk entitled “What's Next in 3D Printing”, which alone would qualify him for a spot here. But the fact that XpotentialWorks and Reichental himself are consistently on the forefront of the future of tech is the cherry on top of a guy that's already a great Twitter follow.
Nora Toure is the founder of Women in 3D Printing, which aims, quite obviously, to encourage participation in the 3D printing industry by women, also acknowledging the feats of those already earning their stripes through innovation. She has also associated herself with other great causes, including the Youth for Technology foundation and 3DAfrica. An additive manufacturing activist if there ever was one, Nora Toure is a feel-good follow with plenty of usable knowledge to deliver value to her followers, too.