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Blending Art And Science In 3D Printing: Danae 3D Industrial Printing

Blending Art And Science In 3D Printing: Danae 3D Industrial Printing

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Blending Art And Science In 3D Printing: Danae 3D Industrial Printing

Winston Frazer CEO Danae 3D Industrial Printing 1

“It’s easier to read a textbook than [it is] to know how to be creative,” Winston explained. “Creativity is a weapon that can be utilized when paired with traditional [analytical] thought processes. You’re in a [stronger] position than other people [without creativity] would be.”

I arrived on time for my interview with the CEO of Danae 3D Industrial Printing, and within those few moments I was waiting to be let in, the young man who’d been parking his car joined me at the door and introduced himself: “Hello I’m Winston, chief executive, you must be Regi.”

Mr. Frazer was warm and congenial, welcoming me into his company’s impressive, recently moved-into, 5,000 sq ft facility, beaming proudly as if welcoming me into his home, indeed. I graciously accepted Winston’s invitation to tour his facility.

Danae Tech Team

The in-progress renovations to the 104-year-old vintage industrial space accentuated airy 16’ ceilings, restored red brick walls, with lots of natural light, a great choice of work environment, conducive to uplifted staff moods, encouraging cooperation and productivity, which was readily apparent watching the team’s interactions.

As we moved about, Mr. Frazer’s employees were indeed cordial and proactive. One by one, Frazer introduced me to his employees at their workstations, where they explained their personal roles and the processes and capabilities associated with the highly sophisticated imaging and printing hardware they were operating.

Winston Frazer’s right brain, his creative brain, guided him to Baltimore’s Maryland Institute College of Art, where he pursued a visual arts curriculum, studying photography and painting. However, midway through MICA, Winston’s left brain, his analytical brain, wanted a piece of the action.

In his junior year, Winston decided to pivot, pursuing coursework in a Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM) discipline, an area that would complement his professional fine arts aspirations, settling on 3D imaging and printing.

It was also during his junior year at MICA that Winston was chosen for a Summer Travel Intensive to the Sub-Saharan African island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe, a small archipelago country of approximately 250,000 on the west coast, where Winston’s imperative for Danae became clearer.

“I met a lot of amputees in São Tomé and Príncipe, and it struck me how happy they were. They were amazing and tough, and that mindset is what I’m trying to give amputees around the world through Danae Prosthetics.”

3D Printed Prosthetic Hand Prototype

Winston’s encounter with amputees in Africa was serendipitous. First, that was not the original destination of the trip planned for him to accompany a MICA professor. However, during Winston’s travel to São Tomé and Príncipe, he became ill and required hospitalization. It was during his hospital stay that he met and befriended a number of amputee patients that so inspired him to develop 3D-manufactured prosthetic products.

Frazer graduated from MICA’s Class of 2016 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting. The following year he won the school’s annual $25,000 Up/Start Venture Competition, a highly competitive coveted award which he wisely invested to found Danae. At this point, Winston was sure of his professional path.

“When creative and scientific approaches come together, you [will] create more – the outcome is just going to be better,” Frazer observed. “That’s why I wanted to create a company that has those two ways of working [and] coming together.”

In consideration of Winston Frazer’s approach to his business start-up, it was also critical to examine the scope, breadth, and prospects for growth and diversification of the industry he’d chosen to compete in.

Mr. Frazer clearly recognized that industrial 3D printing presented opportunities for him to exercise his passion for creative and analytical applications. He also saw an industry not yet 20 years old in full expansion mode.

This is a lesson that every would-be entrepreneur must consider as an essential due diligence aspect of their business plan: is the market I’m entering sufficient to sustain the growth of my new business as a fledgling competitor?

Danae 3D Printing Hardware

Considering the industry prospects for Winston Frazer as he launched Danae Industrial 3D Printing in 2020, a University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) examination reported: “In the United States, 1.6 million people are living with lower-extremity amputations. This number is projected to rise to 3.6 million by 2050.” A 2024 Pew Research projection of aging Americans affirms this estimation, saying that “by 2054, 84 million adults ages 65 and older will make up an estimated 23% of the population.”

“We constantly look at problems in the market and think about whether a solution is 3D printable,” Mr. Frazer speculates. “We can make small things that are useful today or bigger things that could eventually change people’s lives.”

In this regard, for instance, Danae has prototyped a 3D-printed substance capable of stopping a 9 mm bullet discharged at close range, which is promising and being further experimented and developed. He envisions the possibility for Danae to create a plethora of useful 3D printing applications “that affect humans’ quality of life.”

StartUp Story: What type of products or services do you provide?

Winston Frazer: “Currently, we are a contract manufacturer providing engineered and 3D manufactured parts as a service [to our clients].”

StartUp Story: What problems do you solve for your clients?

Winston Frazer: “We help our clients solve their internal solutions, whether they’re starting a product that’s going to market or developing parts internally.” 

StartUp Story: What industries are represented among your primary customers?

Winston Frazer: “We work for many different industries; aerospace, healthcare, automotive, etcetera…”

StartUp Story: What do you wish someone told you before you started your business?

Winston Frazer: “When starting a business, you just don’t know how many ups and downs or waves you’re going to have, so it’s been the most difficult climbing out of the valley consistently.”

StartUp Story: If you were mentoring someone who wants to start a similar type of business, what are 2-3 tips that you would give to them?

Winston Frazer: “I often mentor…mentee…different entities that are starting businesses. I would say that the most important thing is to focus on your customers solely, not raise capital, rinse, and repeat. The capital will raise itself. If you have a line of clients that you cannot serve [that’s a bigger problem].”

StartUp Story: Are there any books, podcasts, or resources that have helped you on your startup journey?

Winston Frazer: “David Goggins is generally my go-to for business inspiration.” (Goggins is a retired Navy SEAL, an ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, triathlete, public speaker, author of two memoirs, and inductee of the International Sports Hall of Fame)

StartUp Story: What are the top three industries where Danae draws their clients?

Winston Frazer: “[The top industries represented among our clients are] Medical, Warehousing, and Engineering.”

StartUp Story: How many employees currently comprise the Danae team?

Winston Frazer:” There are about eight people working on Danae [staff] at any given time.”

Danae FDM 3D Printer at Work

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Winston’s potential for achievement as a visionary and an entrepreneur has been recognized by business leaders who evaluate the prospects for new business success professionally. This endorsement from Kory Bailey, Chief Ecosystem & Relationship Officer for UpSurge Baltimore, speaks to this:

It is with great confidence that I recommend Winston Frazer and Danae for Founder Catalyst. Winston has been an active member of the Baltimore Tech ecosystem and has demonstrated an ability to navigate both the technical and business acumen needed to be a successful founder. Aside from his clear ability to operate as a founder, he is engaging, thoughtful, and willing to learn and grow as a leader.

However, Winston Frazer brings the idea of successful entrepreneurship full circle by reminding us that regardless of how viable your product or service is, or how strong the market, committing your life to a business venture must be motivated by your personal passion to pursue your dream: “If you’re not doing what interests you, you’re dead inside. I just knew that I had to do the thing that interests me the most.”

Your Turn

As Winston Frazer found his calling in 3D printing, it’s your turn to discover yours. What’s your calling? If you’re feeling stuck, start by making a list of the activities and topics that bring you joy and fulfillment, and share your reflections and the steps you’re considering to make your passion a business reality.

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Blending Art And Science In 3D Printing: Danae 3D Industrial Printing

Blending Art And Science In 3D Printing: Danae 3D Industrial Printing

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