Printing in gold and silver – 马良行:打印出来的金和银 | 创新者零玖号 – English

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With a background in industrial design, and interest in marketing and the web, after graduating and returning to China, Bill first chose to follow the ‘little-trodden’’ road of Metersbrowne, then followed the surprising path of Ali Baba, and finally found himself obsessed with the possibilities of 3D printing technology.

With a background in industrial design, and interest in marketing and the web, after graduating and returning to China, Bill first chose to follow the ‘little-trodden’’ road of Metersbrowne, then followed the surprising path of Ali Baba, and finally found himself obsessed with the possibilities of 3D printing technology.

When he speaks of decisions on his entrepreneurial direction, Bill said he just followed opportunities.

Indeed, it is time to tell you, 3D printing does not exist in magazines only, or in the distant US or Japan, but it’s all around us, and is even part of the jewellery that our friends might be wearing.

When I went to the Ma Lianghang office to interview Bill on New Year’s Day 2015, the writing pad on the wall was full of details about the coming year’s program, with market cooperation plans and product development detailed month by month…

Needless to say, this will be another busy and exciting year.

October 2013: the company was founded.

In January 2014, the Ma Lianghang custom-printed jewellery website 1.0 was launched.

In February 2014, they had their first customer command, and delivered a fully-customised set of M-Ring. The buyers’ account happened to be called: “Design_001″.

In June 2014, they were invited to join the Xintiandi experience exhibition.

In September 2014, they were invited to provide exclusive sponsorship gifts for the Shanghai Jing’an Kerry Centre ‘G market’ for creation.

In October 2014, they were invited to take part in the ‘Church Hall’ show of Shanghai fashion week.

In November 2014, 入驻滴滴打车积分商城平台,and became official partners for the whole of 2015.

In December 2014, Ma Linaghang online offers 7 different categories of products, 24 custom-made classic products. Every month, they launch two series of fast-made new products.

In 2015, they launched the ‘Hey Time’ series, an upgraded version of the ‘One’s’ series, and started multiple cooperations with designer brands. At the same time, they’re launching a new series of online interactive ‘mystery’ products, allowing customers to become their own ‘jewellery designers’.

Questions: Hefen

Q: When did you return to China? How did you come up with the idea to work on 3D Printing?

A: I majored in industrial design, and l started using industrial level 3D printing machines in class around 2007 or 2008. I found 3D printing to be fantastic, it enabled me to execute my design quickly, and this totally overturned my original thinking about design manufacturing. From then on, l continued to focus on 3D printing. In 2012, l returned to it after completing graduate school, and l worked on marketing and operation related positions for Metersbrowne and Alibaba’s T-mall. Since l had retail experience and understood the impact of the online retail industry, l began to think about ways to combine those concepts, and create a new retail market model.

There are two aspects of 3D printing which attracted me. Firstly, there is no minimal number – the cost of producing a single product is the same as that of mass production. This allows personalisation and producing very small quantities. Secondly, there is no design limitation, 3D printing is able to accomplish what traditional craft is unable to, unlike conventional art. For example, certain shapes which are really hard to craft in wax can be printed, satisfying the need for a unique design.

Q: All 3D printers that l have heard about seem to belong to the high technology industry, l can’t believe that they can also produce jewellery!

A: Yes! There are lots of application of 3D printing in the field of industy and technology, like the printing of houses and organs. We’ve been thinking of ways to benefit the public with this new technology. Back then, 3D printing figurines was very popular in Japan. In China, l have trialled 3D figurine printing in Wuhan – I spent 2000 RMB on it. This was a great new experience, but the cost is too high. The printed character lost its value after l lost my interest and just stayed at home. Afterwards, when looking for a product, l came up with jewellery, which most Shanghainese are familiar with, bringing it one step closer to the customers.

Q: I have heard the designers working with you say that: “Ma LiangHang is the starting point for a designer’s dream: it’s the first time my ideas have actually been turned into reality – and customers love the result!” So, are you looking to build a ‘designer’s platform’ now? (Designers, come and check it out! There’s a chance to convert your idea into a product!)

A: Honestly, l wasn’t thinking about it. (Tittering….This was an unexpected surprise.) However, with increasing number of collaborations with designers, l’ve became a member of theShanghai Jewellery organisation, and participated in Shanghai Design Week and Fashion Week, l realised that insiders showed great interest in us, and we respond to a need from designers. In the process of turning an “idea” into a “product”, we can help the designers. Since 3D printing has no requirement for minimum quantity, it is possible to produce small amounts of individualised prints at a low cost. This solves the dilemma of other factories being reluctant to produce very small quantity, and enables designers to try different designs. We are also glad to offer this platform for designers. Currently Ma LiangHang’s collaboration with designers does not aim at making profit. We sincerely hope that the development of accessory design can be promoted through this new technology.

Q: “personalized product” and “design by the designer” sounds awesome! so…are your products really expensive?

A: Price is also part of our value proposition, because we want to let more consumers experience 3D printing, and so the prices of our products are not too high, most consumers can afford them, and we can reach out to consumers at all levels.

Q: Since founding ”Ma Lianghang”, what is the most impressive thing that’s happened to you?

A. Actually, every thing that happened this year is impressive to me, but the most impressive was February, 2014, when our fist official website went on, there were 5 products in total. For New Year, I was invited by a friend to join the ”Power Station of Art Shanghai ” I brought a 3D printer and some printed products, attracted mass of friends. During the three days of the exhibition, many people circled around our stall, and we totally stole the show from the stall on the other side, they didn’t even bother coming on the last day……that level enthusiasm was beyond my expectation.

(LOL, to use popular saying, it’s about “sell sell sell”!)

Q: Currenly, your products are only available on the Ma Lianghang website right? What is the approximate age range of your customers?

A: The age range is broad, ranging from 16 to 40, mainly concentrating in the 20 to 29 years old segment. Our first client was a 40-year-old man: he bought a ring for his wife as a wedding anniversary gift. And he wrote “love never fails” on the card. I delivered it myself on that day, and l forgot to bring the product as l was too excited. (o(∩_∩)o My colleague delivered it afterwards. As a coincidence, the account name for this man was “Design _001”)

At the moment, you can only buy from our official web site www.m-lab.com, in the future, you may find us in more places.

Q: Are you worried about costumers losing interest in 3D printing? (It’s the Internet era, and everyone’s attention span is getting shorter).

A: According to sales record this year, many of the customers who make repeated purchases think it’s great and introduce us to friends. Apart from 3D print, our core business is ‘exclusivity’, making unique products is our key feature.

Q: I found 3D-printed products like yours on Taobao. Are they from your competitors?

A: The majority of products sold on Taobao is finalized goods sold directly. However, our advantage is that we combine jewellery design, internet, 3D printing, and traditional craft. We spent around one year making it accessible from production to sales. Currently, it only takes 7 days from ordering to receiving.

Q: Ma Lianghang is quite a unique name – what is the meaning of it?

A: Ma Liang is the magic Ma Liang (a traditional Chinese story), “Hang” means industry. 3D printing is juts like this, what you design can be made into a product, just like magic Ma Liang.

Q: Do you ever think about the future of the company? What does it look like?

A: All my team members are born after 85, they’re extremely young. The youngest staff member was born in 94, but she has a unique understanding of production. The 3D-printing we make is really high-tech, but our core members come from an internet background (T-mail, Alibaba Cloud Computing, weibo and so on).

Technology can change our lives, while the internet mentality is more like a support for this. The level of interaction with our products is still limited at this stage, but in the close future, we will bring you even better quality products, and a more customised experience!

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Source : China 30s

About julien.leyre

French-Australian writer, educator, sinophile. Any question? Contact [email protected]