From right: Hue Le, Ryan Nguyen and Charles Runckel
Hue Le is an inkjet specialist with over 36 years of experience in designing, developing and manufacturing inkjet printheads and printer systems. Since getting his MS at New Mexico State University, Hue has worked for major players in the printer field, including as Director of Technology Development for Tektronix Inc’s Printing and Imaging Division. Hue set out on his own in 1997 when he founded PicoJet to develop new printer technologies. From his many projects, Hue is the holder of 21 US patents and has developed printheads for diverse uses, including billboards, solar panels, dairy vaccinations and jet engines. Hue enjoys playing tennis whenever he can find a partner and time.
Charles Runckel is a serial entrepreneur and scientist, specializing in biochemistry and automation. He received his PhD at UC San Francisco for developing safer vaccines, but since then has been the principal developer in projects involving biofuels, 3D printing, algae farming and DNA computing. Charles taught himself robotics and is a passionate member of the DIY and Maker movements. When not scheming in his lab, Charles enjoys hiking in the Columbia Gorge and is an avid West Coast Swing dancer.
Ryan Nguyen is an Electrical Engineer by training, earning his BS EE at the University of Portland in 1985. Since then he has amassed extensive experience with software development in various fields including CAD, Games, Compilers, and Validation Tools. Ryan has worked for major software and hardware development companies, most recently Intel, Corp. In 1997, Ryan was asked to join PicoJet as a software consultant to help develop new printer technologies with Hue Le. They have continued this partnership to the present day. Ryan is an accomplished choir director and enjoys hiking, gardening, and traveling with his family.
The FabricZoom team came together at the Beaverton Farmer’s Market, when Hue brought up his interest in building a low cost but high quality fabric printer and Charles suggested using the hardware used for 3D printers to build a fully hands-on system. Members of both their families are artists and designers, and they pushed hard to keep the system easy-to-use and to be uncompromising in producing quality prints. They are also our first users and most demanding critics. Ryan joined the team to create the software our test-users asked for, and has enthusiastically incorporated their suggestions to make a platform that is both powerful and intuitive. We are proud to have designed the first textile printer affordable for small businesses and hobbyists, and to offer designers an unheard of level of freedom for fabric choice in printing. With your support, we’ll manufacture this printer right here in Oregon and give designers a new tool to unleash their creativity.