Vets In 3D at the 2016 Power Networking Conference

Vets In 3D at the 2016 Power Networking Conference

Dr. Croom w AKA Ascend group

Power – Unjustified assaults on black and brown people continue with little or no consequence from the US justice system, rendering communities and individuals powerless. Remember Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Okla.? Buried deep and inconspicuously in US archives, savvy black financial, medical and business giants and entrepreneurs settled into this central state, creating an all-black affluent community which housed hundreds of black businesses, hospitals, libraries and a transportation system. But there were those who did not support the wealth and power of this uniquely successful community and the whole town was burned to the ground, with some 300 people killed, 600 businesses eviscerated, effectively ending Black Wall Street.

But black people in America have learned resiliency. False reports continue to be the go-to crutch for unarmed deaths, gentrification and updated voter restriction laws. Black Wall Street was created through community learning, a sense of pride, a focus on education and strong business and entrepreneurial models. And though the city was attacked, people of color continue to press forward there in Tulsa and elsewhere, still folding lessons learned into the fabric of the community.

This week I am attending the 15th annual Power Networking Conference (PNC) where, as an entrepreneur, I can begin to apply historical lessons as well as more modern product development and large-scale community engagement practices. This conference, ranked a Forbes Top 5 Conference, is the perfect place for me to share my story as an HBCU-trained veterinarian, a female entrepreneur in the world of 3D printing and how those two intersect to create my business Vets In 3D. In the fashion of the residents of Black Wall Street, I intend to make a profit, but also share skills and resources so that others may also see opportunity for themselves or in partnership with me.

George C. Fraser, FraserNet and Power Networking Conference founder states in a speech centered on the topic of “doing what you love,” don’t be in a job that you hate because you will be mediocre. And I agree –  I plan to use this conference to ensure that I am excelling both individually and as part of a greater community. Our community is at risk and there is no time for mediocre.  It’s time to make it our business to look out for each other’s businesses and families and health in village fashion, beginning with this conference.

The lineup for this workshop is powerful – activists, CEOs, restauranteurs, producers and writers will share the latest on everything from healthy partnerships to step-by-step sessions on leaving wealth to your children. All while sitting in the one of the wealthiest and progressive places in Black America, Prince George’s County, Md. While I will certainly come away with amazing business best practices, I also anticipate leaving with life lessons, too. I’m just grateful that I have my ticket to this now sold out event and am excited to learn and share.

ProjExpl DrCroom&Alexis


by Dr. Turnera Croom, CEO of Vets In 3D


Because of Anna Whitten, I Can

Because of Anna Whitten, I Can

Company founders often become laser-focused on the needs of the business or start-up venture – not surprising at all. Sometimes the death of a powerful, historic civil rights figure, especially in your own town, shakes some sense back into your myopic view of what’s important.

This happened to me. My new Veteran-owned small business, Vets In 3D has been making strides in the 3D Print industry, with a focus on Veterinary Medicine. We’ve been featured in influential 3D-focused online publications and several businesses and individuals have used VetsIn3D products to market their products or issues.

As I prepare for an interview on the radio show “Speak On It” on Saturday, May 21 with local radio host and poet, Angela ‘Dbl A’ Anderson, I’m thinking of how trailblazers like Mrs. Whitten, may have been proud of my efforts. Not just as a Black woman, but as a person centered on exposing young people to animal science and the creativity of 3D printing. In continuance of her legacy, I plan to promote my integrated workshops for elementary thru high school students, as well as my participation in the upcoming 30th annual Black Arts Festival, hosted by the Black Arts Cultural Center.

I tuned in to “Speak On It” this past Saturday, and really listened as the people of Kalamazoo honored and remembered their civil rights icon and Kalamazoo ‘County Treasure’, Mrs. Anna Whitten, who passed away last week. Mrs. Whitten was instrumental in helping to integrate Kalamazoo businesses in the 1950’s and 60’s, which is what enables me to set up my Veterinary 3D Print shop without fear of blatant business discrimination.

Mrs. Whitten is credited for being ‘A major force in creating the Douglass Community Center in Kalamazoo, which for 97 years has been a community hub on Kalamazoo’s Northside—housing numerous organizations like Boys and Girls Club, Mothers of Hope, and the NAACP.

For a young Black female like me to have a chance to own a business or for my daughter to attend KVCC this fall, it’s because of ANNA WHITTEN THAT I CAN!

For my daughter, she must be aware that Mrs. Whitten was a member of KVCC’s board of directors since 1968, and was instrumental in their program FOCUS (with WMU) that helps transition students to 4 year universities. She will understand the importance of Mrs. Whitten’s involvement with Brother-2-Brother, a program that helps African American males work toward graduation. And as she navigates through KVCC and on to another school, she will also know, BECAUSE OF ANNA WHITTEN, SHE CAN!


By:  Dr. Turnera Croom

Founder and CEO of Vets In 3D



Identifying Beef Cuts in a 3D Fashion


People who are not in the meat producing industries often wonder about the different meat cuts found in animals. I was fortunate to learn about the various beef cuts during Veterinary School at the illustrious Tuskegee Veterinary Institute, but also during my basic training for the Army Veterinary Corps. We Vets started our basic training with all the new medical specialty soldiers, including both human and animal medicine but once we broke into our individual specialties the Veterinary officers found that our classes were being held in a meat cooler. That’s right, during the Army Veterinary Corps basic training we donned freezer coats and hats to learn about these very important cuts of meat.

I have had Pre-Vet students ask for the reasons why some cuts are more of a delicacy than others. What we learned about in Veterinary school are the differences between so-called red and white meat.

The level of myoglobin in meat is what ultimately dictates whether it will be “red,” “dark,” or “white.” The muscles in red meat are used for standing, walking, and other frequent activity, and they’re made up of slow-twitch muscle fibers. Red meats’ high levels of myoglobin make it red or dark in color.

White meat, on the other hand, is made up of fast-twitch muscle fibers and is comprised of muscles used for quick bursts of activity only. They get energy from glycogen and contain little myoglobin. This is why birds can fly for long periods of time. Their wing and breast muscle, which we see as white are working those slow twitch muscles and don’t fatigue easily.


At VetsIn3d, Dr. Croom created this 3D printed Beef Cuts display for use with 4-H groups, Pre-Vet Clubs, and perhaps even the USDA as a training tool for their inspectors, but of course they can also be useful for the everyday purchase of meat to become familiar with the location of the cut you are going to purchase.

I hope you enjoy this 3D Print.

Doc Croom


By Dr. Turnera Croom

CEO and Founder of

What The Heck is 3D Printing Anyway?


vets logoMost people cannot imagine what 3D Printing is until they actually see it. You’ve probably heard discussions on the news and perhaps your school or public library even has a 3D Printer. But for a majority of people, even 3D Printing terminology can be confusing.

As we head into 2016, here’s a basic list of 3D printing terms you’ll need to get in on the conversation.

photo of 3D printer

3D Printer:  A manufacturing tool which creates three-dimensional items that you can design on a computer.

FAQ: But aren’t there many types of 3D Printers?

Yes there are. The 3D Printer we use here at VetsIn3D is the MakerGear M2, which lays down a thermoplastic PLA material, layer after layer. Other types, like SLA (stereo-lithographic) use vats of hot resin to add layers by dipping.

photo of Extruder

Extruder: The part of the 3D Printer that heats up and melts plastic PLA or ABS filament, allowing it to squirt (extrude) onto the print bed into the shape you’ve designed.

FAQ: Do you need more than one extruder to print in more than one color?

Yes, some printers come with a double extruder, which allows instant multi-color. Other single extruder printers offer an upgrade to multi-head.

photo of print bed

Print Bed: The flat surface onto which the 3D Printed object is printed. Some 3D printers, like the one I use, has a heated print bed, helping the layers of the printed item stick better.

FAQ: Do you print directly on the glass print bed?

You can if you’d like, but most 3D printers suggest lining your print bed with either a blue painter’s tape, masking tape, or some combination of these.

photo of filament

Filament: The hard plastic PLA or ABS wound on a kg reel. The filament is what’s fed into the extruder, where it is heated, melted and extruded onto the print bed.

FAQ: What’s the difference between PLA and ABS filament?

PLA plastic is the most widely used, and is made of natural materials, usually cornstarch. ABS is made of an oil based plastic and gives off strong fumes when melted. ABS also requires a heated print bed, and will warp if cooled off during printing. PLA is not quite as strong as ABS.

STL file: Just how we’ve all learned that photo files come as .JPG files, 3D files are called .STL files. The program that turns your 3D design into an actual printed object in your hand, needs an STL file to communicate with the printer.

FDM: Fused Deposition Modeling is one of the most common types of 3D printing, where PLA or ABS plastic is melted down by the extruder onto the print bed. The plastic is laid down layer by layer, with each layer fusing to the previous one as it cools. This is the type of printer I use now, the Makergear.

SLA: Stereolithography is the oldest type of 3D printing method, and a laser is used to solidify a liquid resin with UV light. The liquid resin is cured layer by layer by the laser, and is a very precise method which allows for creation of intricate, delicate structures. This is the printer I will need to produce the animal skeletal models.

SLS: Selective Laser Sintering is similar to SLA, but for SLS, the laser cures powdered material, not a liquid like SLA. Layers of powder are laid onto the print bed, and the particles of each layer are cured by a laser. SLS can print a wide range of materials, including plastics, glass, and some metals.

CAD: Computer Aided Design programs are the ones you’ll need to design your own 3D item. There are a few free programs out there, like Tinkercad and Autodesk 123D, which are great for beginners. The CAD software allows you to design your part from scratch, then import into the 3D software for the print.

Hopefully this short blog gave you the basics you need to understand a sentence like this…

“I ran out of resin for my SLA—just when I was ready to 3D print my favorite puppy dog STL file with my CAD program!”

Time to get more resin!

Dr. Turnera Croom

Owner Vets In 3D

Every Animal Lover Doesn’t Want to be a Veterinarian


I’m scared of snakes—I can’t be a Veterinarian!

My grades are too low to get into competitive Vet schools!

I love animals, but I don’t want to do all that schooling!


headshotYes the thought of 8+ years of competitive course work after high school can be daunting for anyone, but my Veterinary colleagues  and I will tell you how rewarding it is to be involved in the healing process of a sick or injured animal.

For those animal-loving, crate using, pooper scoopin’, paws-in-face having people who love animals so much they even want to work with them, here are a few tips and tricks to avoid the total Vet schoolage, but retain the complete fur factor:

1)Become a Veterinary Technician

Yes, you’ll still need schooling and certification, but most Vet Tech programs get you through your biology, chemistry, and hands-on animal care within two years. Plus—and don’t tell my fellow Vets this—Veterinary Technicians are the ‘first line of defense’ against animal illness and injury in the veterinary clinic. These Veterinarians rely on their Vet Techs big time, plus you would have a tremendous advantage if you do apply to Vet school as a seasoned veterinary technician.

2) Train to Be a Veterinary Hospital Manager

This profession allows you to get your furry fix and lizard loving all day—with no official requirement to touch them—but you know you will. As Vet Hospital Manager, you are so vital to the everyday running of the hospital that your salary may be right up there with the Veterinary Associates! Management and business courses or certificates will surely help you on your job hunt (

3) Work in a Pet Store or Shelter

Some pet stores  that sell live animals and definitely shelters, get a bad rap because some obtain their animal inventory from cramped, unsanitary puppy mills. For those of you tasked with being pooch protectors, take it upon yourself to ensure that the establishment you are associated with uses ethical and humane animal practices—you will feel the reward 1000-fold from those cute kitties and pouty puppies.

4) Become the Owner of Vet Clinic, Pet Store, or other Animal-related Business

Last but not least, if you have the entrepreneurial spirit like I do, create your own company like I did with You may find that working for another company or government entity your entire career is not ideal. As you carefully navigate the small business and start-up realms, you will likely come across some exciting veterinary avenues you had never imagined. Like opening up an indoor fish pond for kids, or breeding mini pigs, or maybe even combining the advances in Veterinary Medicine with the innovation and excitement of the 3D Printing Industry!

Wherever your Veterinary journey takes you, there will never be a lack of unexpected learning situations, fun, furry shenanigans, and pure love for our animal brethren.

-Dr. Turnera Croomvets

Launch Of VetsIn3D, a 3D Printing Company


vets logoHi, my name is Dr. Turnera Croom.  I am the owner and designer of Vets In 3D.

As a former Army Veterinarian, I’ve learned that when we combine our forces amongst the various components of S.T.E.A.M. (Science,Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics), we have the perfect opportunity to learn about Veterinary Medicine and how to 3D print animal models that can be used for study.

 At VetsIn3D, we believe in thoughtful 3D printing that leads to more refined use of live animals for veterinary surgical study. The S.T.E.A.M. movement plays a huge part in getting girls of all cultures and backgrounds excited and career-driven about the Sciences and Technology, and VetsIn3D is here for it!

silver dog tags on black

 The other role VetsIn3D plans to play, is to broadcast how my fellow military Veterans are benefiting from the amazing, innovative creations from the 3D Printing world. Some Veterans, who have dealt bravely with battle injuries can come to to learn about upcoming 3D design contests around the world that cater directly them.

 Military Veterans are always ready to work, and these highly intelligent women and men can contribute to the 3D printing movement themselves, and benefit from it. The Vets who came from overseas combat, and those like myself who contributed stateside, have technical and medical skills which can be applied beautifully to the 3D printing industry.

 Visit our Education Page to learn more about 3D printing.

vets logo