A Skver chassid born and raised in New Square, Aaron Breuer is the CEO and designer of SelfCAD, a new, affordable, and amateur-friendly cloud-based CAD (Computer Aided Design) software for 3D printers.
Although today students in Skverer schools learn English and Math, Aaron’s education did not include those subjects. However, he does believe that he was given the tools to think, seek out logical deductions and comprehend the material.
Aaron’s father encouraged creativity in his 14 children. They built sukkahs, closets and other structures using carpentry, electronics and painting. Aaron learned how to investigate, do research and develop new ideas, often surprising his father, as well as his rabbis. While he was often let out of class to tutor other students, he was happiest when he could spend time in the library doing research. To his teachers’ credit, they gave him the time.
He married at age 18, and joined the local kollel. His wife, Sima Leah, was slightly older at 19, and helped Aaron gain more confidence, believing all of his abilities were gifts from Hashem. Young looking, beautiful and modest, it is hard to believe she is today a mother of 10. Sima Leah was happy that Aaron learned for almost 10 years. When those 10 years were over, Aaron could count on his hands how many times he had left New Square. However, they were $20,000 in debt and he felt it was time to find a new direction – i.e., work.
The community has few options for employment. Aaron’s family and the Rebbe wanted him to teach. He wasn’t interested. Nor did he visualize working in a blue-collar job. The world of commission and sales seemed to be his only course out of debt – except that he lacked an essential skill: a good command of English. Yiddish is the official language in New Square. He needed English and math to get a job. Doing what he does best, Aaron hit the books and devoted six months to studying. He familiarized himself with the mortgage industry – Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and different portfolio lenders – as well as memorizing the guidelines for each of the nearby banks.
Gemara learning helps one develop analytical thinking and concise and logical reasoning, and forces one to memorize, a skill most students don’t have today. Although New Square schools are often criticized for the limited secular subjects they teach, men who learn Gemara exclusively are usually quite capable of quickly mastering other disciplines, as they have learned to think. Breuer believes his love for research is his strongest asset.
For six years, he tried the mortgage business. Becoming an expert in banking guidelines, Breuer was able to give his clients the best options and saved them tremendous amount of money through his creative maneuvers. Yet, when the banks started standardizing their guidelines, Aron’s specialty became obsolete. It was time to move on.
Next he tried insurance. He did a thorough investigation of the many life insurance policies available when he bought his own. Although he only wanted to work with life insurance, he got a license for both life and health insurance as a challenge. But the company he worked for wouldn’t allow him to sell the policies he preferred for his clients, so he left after a short time.
Next was real estate. He bought, developed and then sold properties. He enjoyed the intricacies of the market. After two years in the business, he realized people were encouraged to buy without serious backing; he became nervous and got out.
He realized that he preferred the creativeness of bank negotiation to buying and selling. Even though he would advise his clients against taking large loans (which became the primary cause of the housing bubble), they came to him when they ran into trouble. He negotiated new terms with their banks, purchased loans from hedge funds or created other options. Banks were happy with his intervening, but they required him to get a license. Yet, when he got it, the license prohibited him from the very negotiations and tactics he had been employing. He left the industry.
Next came day trading. There he accepted mussur from an unlikely source. An Arab client told him Muslims were forbidden by the Koran from gambling, making day trading forbidden to them. Aaron began to reevaluate the direction all his jobs had taken and opted for a complete change.
Looking for a new and worthwhile career, and realizing he enjoyed math and the creativity of his earlier jobs, Aaron started teaching himself computer programming. He also began thinking about creating a program to design projects in 3D.
He began to develop models that would work with 3D printers. He hired brilliant beginning programmers, architects, theorists and developers and challenged them to think out of the box, like he did, and to implement new concepts. He stayed away from the “experts,” afraid they would not be able to innovative.
Breuer created a brand new designer program for 3D printing for anyone. His company developed tools that design, execute and print 3D projects that are simpler to master than most programs available. SelfCAD is designed for the “regular person.” While most 3D design programs take six months to two years to learn, SelfCad can be self-taught in five hours!
Aaron believes that one day 3D printers will be as common as regular printers are today – and as affordable. So, when the handle of your crockpot, a toy part or that special screw for your mixer is missing, you could design it on SelfCAD, and print it in your own home.
The whole Breuer family has been restructuring. They recently became Israelis, joining the land of start-ups in hi-tech and the Jewish homeland, of course. Their oldest twin sons recently married and have joined them.
From New Square to the world of 3D design programming, Aaron Breuer is the paradigm of creating one’s own tools. Hashem, The Master Designer, and Creator, encourages us to be creative, open to learning and willing to try (again and again) to succeed. Aaron Breuer hopes he can help others delve into their creativity and build their own dreams with SelfCAD.
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What is 3D printing? What is SelfCAD?
A 3D printer works through additive printing – by adding two materials to create the project: one for the structure and the other for the space not being used. There are different types of 3D printing; some work like a hot glue gun and others use a resin base. All 3D printers build by adding layer by layer in the drawing cube, the bed, using the “slicing method.” Some move the bed down while the extruder (the tool that dispenses the material) maintains its position or the opposite. After the printer finishes, the product needs to be cleaned of residue, then sanded and painted.
SelfCad is an editor tool which designs the product, as well as a 3D modeling and sculpting tool that acts as a slicer. The program prepares objects for execution on the 3D printers. Since instructions are downloadable in a universal code, printing is simple.
SelfCad is a user-friendly browser-based modeling and sculpting application (with a shallow learning curve). It has unique features, comprehensive video tutorials and a unique slicer tool that models, sculpts and slices. Until SelfCAD’s debut, users had to download and install multiple (and often expensive) software accessories which would be difficult to learn.
SelfCad is a tool that can be used at home, work or on the go. Since it’s a browser-based SaaS (Software as a Service) and doesn’t require any installation, it can be accessed from any device and will work offline as well!