Pop up factory — let’s make it right here, right now

Chen Mengmeng
Jun 27, 2015 · 4 min read

It has been an incredible week at SolidCon.

The idea of a Pop Up Factory started brewing as early as last fall when Jon Bruner and David Cranor met with Eric Pan in Shenzhen. The mere thought of live manufacturing on exhibit floor of SolidCon excited all of us. From our perspective, we really wanted to show people the process of manufacturing and invite them to join us to think more about manufacturability at the early stage of product design. So, we brought the a small batch assembly line from our bay area office to SolidCon.

Pop up Factory brought together by amazing partners and David Cranor

(‘Pop up factory’ doesn’t quite have a direct translation in Chinese so I went with “guerrilla factory”)

I want to share 3 points that we hope to drive home with with our team’s effort and my talk at Solid:

If software is like a band, then hardware is like an orchestra

We are always talking about how hardware is becoming easier and more accessible. This is certainly true and we believe in it as well. Part of Seeed’s mission by providing better, cheaper and more modularized products and agile manufacturing service is to encourage more people to become part of the maker community. The amount of coordination required for making a hardware product come to life is insane even for a relatively small wristband like Alike.

Design from Manufacturing

Design FROM manufacturing means a better incorporation of manufacturability perspective from the beginning of product development cycle: share your supply chain with other small batch production runs to ensure quality and sourcing assurance (check out our open parts library);open manufacturing plans to encourage better exchange of lessons learned; utilize agile manufacturing to incrementally step up your production; utilize distributed manufacturing portal to start testing your product now!

One button for China does not exist; Innovate with us!

Sorry to break the news to you, but that magic button of ‘make it for me in China’ and have something returned all well and perfect simply doesn’t exist. We have been in that stressful situation with many hardware startup teams. There’s been days when our engineer and manufacturing specialist work days and nights with the client team to figure what went wrong, with constant testing, twicking, changing design, quick prototyping and testing again. This is the harsh truth about hardware that no one can escape from. So instead, join us to feel the joy and pain of manufacturing. We are in it together.

We get it, now what?

  1. Check out this awesome video when David and Marcelo went to work with our colleagues in China.

2. Learn more on pop up factory from David and Marcelo

3. If you are feeling itchy and have something you want to make, reach out to Seeed US team to learn more about rapid prototyping service at seeedusb@seeed.cc

Thank you!

Thanks to Amazing Davis Cranor and Jon Bruner for pulling this together. This incredible coordinated dance came together within such a short amount of time thanks to all the amazing team and partners: Marcelo Studio, formlabs, Proto Labs, Ant Wireless. They deserve all the credit in the world in making this happen.

The gang about to go on stage to talk about the Pop up Factory.
Beautiful algorithm generated band cover by Formlabs. Everyone of those is unique!
Paparazzi around the pick and place machine
Result of the first test run the day before SolidCon starts
Amazing Seeed team based in the bay area. You guys are awesome!

Let’s keep doing amazing things together.

    Chen Mengmeng

    Written by

    cognitive ecstasy addict

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