The author is a PhD student in the U.S. studying engineering who asked to remain anonymous.
My advisor bought a $100,000 piece of equipment a while ago for our lab and some people in the lab were supposed to get trained to use it. The company sent two people to do the training but no one CC'ed me on the email that the training was on that particular day. I had to ask around the week before to make sure I make it there. On the day, my advisor was surprised that I wanted to learn about the new machine, but he didn't stop me from sticking around, and then he suddenly started bragging about how I was using 3D printing to build new samples to use in experiments with the machine this company makes and supports. They wanted to see my parts and as I walked to my desk to take them out to show them, a labmate jumped forward and started showing the samples he makes and explaining how he makes them. It completely took away the opportunity to explain that 3D printing is not just for toys and I was able to use it for practical projects. They saw my parts in the end, but the moment was gone and the conversation went in another direction. It made me realize maybe I should have samples, resumes, anything on me or in my phone right away to show people. Always be prepared because you never know when a door will open.