Bunnie Huang explains the nuts-and-bolts of getting stuff made in Shenzhen

In this talk from Maker Faire New York, Bunnie Huang of Chibitronics gives an amazing run-down of the on-the-ground reality of having electronics manufactured in Shenzhen, China. It's a wild 30 minutes, covering everything from choosing a supplier to coping with squat toilets and the special horrors awaiting vegetarians in the Pearl River Delta. There are some dropouts at the start of the video that you'll need to scroll past, but it's well worth the hassle.

Getting it Made: Stories from Shenzhen (via Make)

Notable Replies

  1. No Choice? There are no manufacturing houses in the US? I use them. If you mean "no choice" to be able to produce stuff dirt-cheap, then yes, you are "forced" to go offshore. Fair-trade coffee is OK, but fair-trade manufacturing is not?

  2. I work in lower volumes as well. I guess this particular presentation at a "maker faire" of how to manufacture in China, is like being at a DIY bicycle show, and viewing a presentation on how to build water-cooled motorcycles in commercial volumes. Yes, interesting and insightful, but seems to lose sight of the DIY biker ethos (whatever that is).

    It seems that responses to my original post are geared to "you're wrong, you can only manufacture in China in volume and quickly, you don't know what you're talking about, watch the video" whereas my initial statement was, reworded, "does manufacturing in China fall in line with the Maker Movement?" The responses seem to have fast-forwarded past my initial comment.

  3. I never said fair-trade coffee is made in the US. Getting lots of words put into my mouth this evening.

  4. I will start by saying I assumed "fair trade" coffee is "all good" from a moral and ethical standpoint. If it's not, then my example was bad. How about this, going out to eat at a local place that pays living wage to the staff, where local food is served... vs buying a hamburger and fries from a chain place. The Maker is all about raising the cow, humane slaughter, detail to prep and presentation. Manufacturing in China is about hauling in tons of frozen beef from the lowest bidder, having a machine form and slice it, smashed bun and a cold slice of processed cheese. I think in analogies, but explain them poorly.

  5. 1vw2go says:

    You simply can not in any form mass produce electronics in the states there is simply no infrastructure for it.

    Oh, you mean the slave labor infrastructure?

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