Carnegie Mellon University

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RI Seminar: Damion Shelton
Bootstrapping a startup: 3D scanning for fun and profit (?)

Damion Shelton
CTO, threeRivers 3D Inc.

September 28, 2012, 3:30 PM, NSH 1305

In 2007 I left academics to pursue commercial development of a technology I had worked on as part of my dissertation work at CMU. Through a convoluted series of events, which I will summarize in my talk, I ended up as the CTO of a company that builds 3D scanners, a technology with which I had no experience with prior to graduation and bears little to no relation to my original plans. This talk will focus on why such experiences are common in the commercial world, and how being a former academic is both a blessing and a curse in "the real world". In addition to covering the nuts and bolts of startup life, including my experiences with fundraising and business development, I will also cover how manufacturing realities influenced the set of 3D scanning technologies we developed (and vice-versa).

There will be a scanner demo to follow immediately after the presentation in NSH 1305.

Additional Information

Host: John Galeotti

Appointments: Stephanie Matvey (

Speaker Biography

Damion Shelton is CTO of threeRivers 3D, a Pittsburgh-based 3D imaging company which he co-founded in 2007 after receiving a PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. At threeRivers 3D he is responsible for the software and embedded systems development for threeRivers 3D’s off-the-shelf and custom line of 3D scanners. His company's 3D scanners, based on a novel combination of laser and white light technologies, are deployed in a variety of application areas including reverse engineering, field archaeology, automotive inspection, and custom medical scanning systems. Damion's research interests include low cost 3D scanning, automated analysis of 3D datasets, and deployment of 3D scanning technology for medical use. Prior to graduation, Damion worked with George Stetten at the RI on the Sonic Flashlight ultrasound display system, and was author or co-author on numerous conference and journal publications on medical augmented reality.