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Meet the Navy Veteran Making Waves in 3D Printing

By: Amy Amoroso


Meet the Navy Veteran Making Waves

The Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership’s Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) program is a one-stop shop for transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses looking to start, purchase, or grow a business.

VBOC Federal Region II covers the states of New York and New Jersey, and provides entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and mentoring, and referrals for eligible veterans owning and considering starting a business. Training opportunities, tailored counseling and mentoring in-person and online and monthly networking events are available at no cost to veterans.

Take a look at this success story from a Verified Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) – a Navy veteran who started a 3D printing industry technologies firm in Buffalo, New York.

Problem-solving is a Vet Trademark

PostProcess Technologies was born when founder Daniel J. Hutchinson began thinking differently about a problem no one in the growing additive manufacturing (AM) industry had addressed. Contrary to assumption, when an object is 3D printed, it is not ready for use upon completion. Hutchinson set out to solve a growing post-print bottleneck issue – support material removal and surface finishing.

While attending an AM conference, Hutchinson had the foresight to recognize that a combination of automated and intelligent software, hardware, and chemistry could be the missing element to accelerate the industrial 3D printing. As U.S. Navy veteran, Daniel was especially armed with tenacity and perseverance, set out on a mission, and had booked a defense customer within 30 days.

A Can-do Attitude and Determination to Succeed

Objects that are 3D printed often have complex geometries and require additional processing after leaving the printers, including support structure removal and surface finishing, to result in a customer-ready final product.  This can be a tiresome, labor-intensive process.  Hutchinson was determined to find a way to automate the post printing step and has built a company around a ground-breaking, comprehensive solution.

Determination was certainly core to Daniel’s service in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve, where he was twice distinguished as Sailor of the Year, having been honored at the White House.  Being recruited out of the Navy by Northrop Grumman – Amherst Systems, he was tasked with providing advancement within Combat Electromagnetic Environment Simulator (CEESIM) and ground-breaking Signal Measurement System (SMS) across the globe.

From Sailor to President

He leveraged his naval training along with his radar interrogation and signal analysis experience to create PostProcess’ patent-pending, comprehensive software, hardware, and chemistry solution. Today he serves as President and CTO, and PostProcess currently employs a veteran from every branch of the US armed services.

For a fast-growing company like PostProcess, finding specialized technical resources to fulfill this mission is crucial.  Through the right introductions from the University at Buffalo’s New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (UB CMI), UB’s Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE), UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and UB’s Center for Engineering Design and Applied Simulation (CDAS), PostProcess was able to hire interns and employees from UB.

Marc Farfaglia, Engineering Manager at PostProcess, described the internship program as “great young talent in our back yard” and noted that interns were working in areas such as electrical and biomedical engineering.

PostProcess not only worked with the university to find interns and employees, but also became a UB designated START-UP NY company. The START-UP NY program offers tax benefits to new and expanding companies in New York state with the goal of growing the state’s footprint in various industry sectors and aligning businesses with university expertise.

Collaboration with a Local University is Key

One example of the ways that PostProcess has utilized the knowledge base in their own backyard is through a UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology (UB CAT) grant with Ciprian Ionita, PhD, research assistant professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering.

Ionita serves as the principal investigator on the project, working with PostProcess and their machines to determine ways that dental and medical (including vascular) 3D printed models can be cleaned post printing. Ionita continues his research on the project at the Jacobs Institute, an organization dedicated to improving the treatment of vascular disease in Western New York.

PostProcess currently holds office in the Tri-Main Center near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) and UB south campus and is growing rapidly with 27 full time employees and multiple open positions.  The company is laser focused on serving its growing customer base within the automotive, medical, aerospace, defense, and consumer product industries. And that’s not all—PostProcess plans to expand into the European market in 2018, noted Director of Marketing Diana Robbins.

To read more about PostProcess Technologies and their mission, check out their website at www.postprocess.com. VBOC is proud to assist transitioning veterans, military spouses, and service members with their goal of business ownership.

Find Out More about Business Training for Veterans

If you or someone you know is looking for business training and/or workshops in the states of New York and New Jersey, please visit www.vetbizny or www.vetbiznj.com. For more information on the VBOC program provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration, follow this link: www.sba.gov.

Published: January 19, 2018

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Amy Amoroso

Amy Amoroso held the position of Business Advisor at NYS Small Business Development Center from 2006-2014, then took on the role of SBDC’s VBOC Program Coordinator, 2014-2016. During her tenure with SBDC VBOC, Amy collaborated with the Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership to develop programs offered through its Michael R. McNulty Center for Veteran Entrepreneurial Activity including monthly Veteran to Veteran networking hours. In 2016, Amy became Director of Veteran Business Outreach NY/NJ when the Arsenal Partnership was awarded the VBOC designation. Amy assists veterans, service members and military spouses with starting, buying or expanding any business. She teaches a Boots to Business program for service members transitioning out of the military and into entrepreneurship. Amy is actively involved with the Tech Valley Chamber Coalition. She serves as a Board Member of United Military Affairs Council and its Marketing Committee Co-Chair, a Board Member of Schenectady Business Advocacy Committee, an Advisory Board Member of Peaceful Acres Horses Rescue in Pattersonville, NY, as well as a Building Committee Member of Montgomery County SPCA. Amy helped create a bill currently in legislation that will secure NY State Procurement opportunities for Veteran Business Owners. In addition, she owns her own small business.

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