Bill Buel, Director of Platform Delivery
From Arizona to the California Bay Area, Bill has invented and traveled across industries and countries. Now at Sakuu, he works to ensure excellence in design and deliver what he thinks to be the pinnacle of 3D printing technology: best-in-class Swift PrintTM batteries.
Early years and creative solutions to today's problems
Bill's family first moved to California from Arizona in the early 90s. From a young age, Bill was interested in unconventional tech. He says, “I’ve always been a nerd interested in robotics and aviation. My biggest childhood concerns were how would I manage to be an astronaut and play a full season of professional baseball simultaneously or spending my allowance at Radio Shack.”
His innately fervent curiosity of the world would cultivate the diverse experiences and engineering challenges. From a young age Bill was interested in all applications of science and mathematics - from classical engineering and fundamentally established methods to the paradigm challenging technology that would have the eventual potential to disrupt it. Bill’s passion for aviation would earn him his pilot's license at age 17 and bring him to the aerospace program at Embry-Riddle. But, he longed to see the world in order to broaden his perspectives, so he empowered himself to do so while at the same time testing his ingenuity for ad hoc solutions to the unique problems.
Devoloping a diverse portfolio: Brooklyn and back to the Bay Area
After some backpacking and bartending stints across Europe Bill returned to Silicon Valley and got his BS in Physics at San Jose State University. He then headed north to Oregon to satisfy his mechanical engineering bug at PakTech, where he designed high speed automated machinery for the food and beverage packaging industry. Along the way, Bill completed his Masters in Engineering Management and developed a solid appreciation of the balance and harmony between engineering rigor and human creativity. You may see one of his inventions every time you grab a six-pack of beers with handles attached to the packaging.
Bill then decided to discard a predictable slow rise at a large corporation by moving to New York and working for a boutique design firm. There, he further developed his SolidWorks skills and worked on exciting consumer products. Spending time in Brooklyn led him to his first foray in the 3D printing space at MakerBot. He was hired to lead the mechanical design of their 3D printer. Bill commented, “I was infatuated with 3D printers and how they are just a smaller fractal of large-scale industrial processes.” MakerBot got acuqired by Stratasys and then Bill switched industries yet again.The intrinsic notion to fail fast and iterate often, family ties, and the evolution of his aviation passion into a love of sailing would draw Bill back to the SF Bay Area and Silicon Valley. This time moving to Ruckus Wireless and building network access points across the country from the Vegas desert to the mountains of Alaska.
After his time at Ruckus, just to keep things exciting Bill decided to work in the immersive entertainment space tinkering with virtual and augmented reality hardware. However, the charisma of additive manufacturing would become too hard to ignore and propel Bill into the industrial 3D printing space at Origin Laboratories which was also later acquired by Stratasys.
Sakuu, the pinnacle of the 3D printing game
With his experience in the 3D printing space, Bill knew the next innovation in the 3D printing space had to be printing functioning electronics. “While giving a talk at an electric printing conference I had an epiphany that ultimately the goal for the future needs to be printing batteries. That would be the pinnacle of the whole 3D printing game.”
Bill knew he needed to work with the people developing printed batteries. The rabbit hole led him to find Sakuu. “With the perfect alignment, you cannot tempt fate any further. I figured out the quickest way to get in touch with Sakuu and the rest is history.”