Scott Crump, a 1976 mechanical engineering graduate of Washington State University was the pioneering mind behind the technology that revolutionized 3D printing.

When Crump and his wife Lisa first started the company, Stratasys in 1989 - they set out to automate prototyping. Their idea was to "fill the gap between computer-aided design and the actual part."

With this: 3D printing was born.

How exactly did 3D Printing Come About?

The idea of 3D printing came about in 1988 when he wanted to make a toy frog for his young daughter. He only planned to use a glue gun loaded with a mixture of polyethylene and candle wax. He devised creating the toy frog  - layer by layer - with a way to allow his computer to automate the process.

He was on to something big. 

Three years after starting the new business, Stratasys sold its first product - the 3D Modeler.

Inspiring the Next Generation

With years of entrepreneurial experience, Scott Crump spoke, this past Saturday (2/3/24) at WSU Tri-Cities. He generously shared some lessons from his entrepreneurial voyage. 

Reflecting on his formative years in Pullman, Crump shared why he chose WSU:

“it had the best hands-on mechanical engineering school. His time at WSU, especially the senior project, prepared him and gave him the confidence to try new things.” -Scott Crump

Crump's advice included - having unwavering dedication to your vision, risk-taking, and the need to assemble a quality team. 

“Don’t be cheap with employee salaries and hire the right employees the first time,” he said. “It’s really about your team.” -Scott Crump

Drawing from his own experience of utilizing his garage as a lab, Crump highlighted the liberating effect of being creative - without rigid regulations. 

“Starting out using your garage as your laboratory allows you to focus on inventing without having to follow rules.” -Scott Crump, WSU graduate


Success in the Business World

Stratasys started with a beta program and evolved it into creating innovative bone implants and aerospace products.

After serving as Stratasys CEO for 25 years - they merged with Objet Ltd, another leading manufacturer of 3D printers. This blockbuster merger put their revenues in orbit of more than $600 million.

Parting Advice

Crump urged the WSU Tri-Cities audience to not only embrace uncertainty and trust their instincts - but to pursue their aspirations relentlessly.

According to Scott Crump - a proud Coug:  The best is yet to come for 3D printing.

INFO: WSU Insider, Funding Universe

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