Why i.materialise was born

1985. For the first time I was invited to my girlfriend”s parents house and had to find an original gift for the Christmas party. Pondering many items to shop for, I could not find anything that really fitted the occasion. I finally decided to make something myself. Somewhat naive, I risked hitting the limitations of my creativity and skills, but I decided to imitate some artifacts seen on a previous holiday in Spain.

I made a statue of my bird watching girlfriend and her dog with FDM (Fumbling Deposition Modeling), a technique by which you deposit liquid metal paste on a folded wire structure. (No computer involved yet, but a quite similar technique entered the market 9 years later to become the most selling additive manufacturing machine). While most at the party probably were not rating my artistic capacities very high, the gift was enthusiastically accepted.

Even better, nearly 25 years and 3 teenagers later, we have already consumed many coffee machines, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and even cars. In fact not many objects have survived. However, the personalized FDM gift is still proudly overlooking our kitchen…

Today,people play games with computers and express their creativity with CAD packages,i.materialise.com brings this virtual world to reality with the tools of professional product developers. We are extremely excited to see how fantastic results are achieved by our early users. Most of the examples are very personal items that will truly bring much more emotional value to everybody who likes to design.

Fried Vancraen
CEO and founder of Materialise