There I stood in Shenzhen’s subway making my way to our factory. After visiting UCreate3D‘s 3D Printing partners in Ningbo, it was time to sit down with our subtractive manufacturing half. It would be another typical day at the office: talk, tea, and smoke-filled rooms.
After my speedy visit to Shanghai and Ningbo last week I returned to Hong Kong. There was little time to sit back, the world’s factory had awoken and so the 3D Printing elephant followed suit. After 24 hours on the ground, I found myself on the border of Hong Kong and China once more, next destination: Shenzhen.
After crossing the border I found myself in a subway car that was – not surprisingly – crowded and chaotic. Arguably this car captured the essence of China pretty well. A lot of people trying to make something of their live with little regard for rules. For me, this is both the charm and challenge of working there, you never know whats going to happen next. That feeling of chaos also resonated in the way how Vincent and me celebrated our first major retail deal.. 30 seconds of shared joy on Google Hangouts and back to work. We knew that our work had only just begun and our measure of success would be defined by results, not opportunities.
After arriving at the office, the latest packages and samples were whipped out. After some inspection, it was time to head to the factory and give the engineers feedback. Managing this process from another country or continent must be at best inefficient and at worst a nightmare. As always, a process which was supposed to last 30 minutes took 3 hours. After my 20th mini shot of Jasmine tea and the factory owner lit his 8th Chinese ultra tar laced cigarette, it was time for a walk.
While walking the factory floor, it was amazing to see how our manufacturing project had taken shape. While 3D Printing technology might come from the West, China is making strong efforts to catch up.
Combining this growing 3D capacity with its mass manufacturing muscle will prove to be a game changer. UCreate3D is positioning itself at the centre of this transition. Surely, with every success will come failure, but one thing is clear.. The revolution is underway!