I am a 17year automotive design engineer, recently turned entrepreneur.
My name is Barbara Bowman Wood. My journey began as I designed fire trucks for a manufacturer in Florida (E-ONE). During this time I was also attending Engineering school for Aeronautical Engineering, secondary degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics. Oh, the zeal we have when we are young! During this young and hungry time, I was gifted the grand opportunity to become product development engineer with a competitor fire apparatus manufacturer (American LaFrance) in South Carolina. Score! I abruptly took that challenge by the horns and worked for them until right before they closed their doors. They were the oldest fire truck manufacturer in the world! It affected me to the core to see them close. With my long -standing ability to cope, create and adapt I was quickly picked up by a new fire apparatus company working in collaboration with an overseas giant. That is until the ultimate day came where this too shut its doors.
“Oh, the zeal we have when we are young!”
I am married, have two boys, and all our married life I was the major income earner. I stayed home for about two years with my boys as babies and knew that my love for them was immense and my need to create, collaborate, socialize and contribute externally was just as immense. I found myself back to work but with a different outlook. Not one of self-absorption and growth but of passion and balance. I was truly valued where I worked and they offered me, my work life balance of 32hrs a week, part time employment with summers off to tend to my growing boys. Wow!
When the overseas collaboration with the new fire apparatus company came to an end. I again stayed home. With a creative mind and the desire to help others, I began to research ways to utilize my talents. I landed on an experience my Mom relayed to me. She had worked for the state of Florida taking care of families of disabilities. One of her favorite patients was blind, pregnant and married to another blind person. The day they had their baby they caressed the child, feeling every crevice of the face. Learning from touch and absorbing the experience through a state of tangible vision. My Mom cried from their gentle way to express love and “see” their newborn through touch.
The passion was then created to bring tangible memories of our loved ones to our hands, awakening the sense of touch and our emotions. I wanted to bring the ability for families to touch and feel their loved ones at any time to their homes. My search to create a 3D printed replica of our loved ones was then born as 3DTransformations.
“Learning from touch and absorbing the experience through a state of tangible vision”
I am no longer the main income source in our family. There are positions elsewhere throughout the country that I could take but I find myself wanting to support my husband through his career now. He is a mechanic and a fantastic source of engineering inspiration with his abilities! We joke often when he comes home, frustrated from working on an item that clearly was not designed to be serviced but merely to “fit” and he asks “who designs these things?”. Well, me. His career is progressing very well and it’s so different to not be in a corporate pace for myself. With 3DTransformations, my 3D scan and printing company, I am able to take my kids to school, help with homework, help create code with one child, help design with another and reach out to the world with a created product of bringing families together through 3D printing.
Happy creating my friends!