Alex Ju spends her workdays helping HP innovate 3D printing on an industrial scale. But in her spare time, she’s innovating in a different way: by utilizing the same technology as a fertile new medium for art.
Ju is a research engineer in the Immersive Experiences Lab at HP’s headquarters in Palo Alto who works on new developments in Multi Jet Fusion technology. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she studied fine art and earned a degree in jewelry and metalsmithing. In addition to working on MJF, she’s breaking new ground by applying her interests in tactile printing to the realm of jewelry and metal design. And as it turns out, she’s making some pretty — and pretty cool — things.
As a vital part of HP’s Immersive Experiences Lab, which seeks to transform how people communicate and collaborate through new technologies, Ju’s creative acumen makes her an exceptional colleague. “Alex is a fearless collaborator who is always excited to tackle a new challenge. She is always eager to apply her formidable design skills and point of view in a collegial way, even when a project looks impossible at first,” says the lab's chief experience architect Alex Thayer, of his fellow Alex. “People in our lab and within the broader organization jump at the chance to work with her because of her talent, positive energy, and unique perspective.”
The Garage caught up with Alex to talk about women in tech, 3D-printed faux fingernails (yes, really!), and her extremely unusual aquatic pets.