Several weeks ago Martin Lansard from Aniwaa introduced me to Alice Lee from SHINING 3D. SHINING 3D is a Chinese manufacturer of 3D scanners and 3D printers. Frankly speaking, I had never heard about the company and their products. So, I Googled them and I felt ashamed: how come I hadn’t known about such a great hardware manufacturer? More I read about SHINING 3D, more convenience I became that this company has a chance to change our industry. Why do I believe that? It’s simple: most 3D printers and 3D scanners are made in USA and EU. When was the last time when you watched USA or EU manufactured TV (probably 20 years ago) or when was the last time you used US made smartphone? I will tell you something, 3D printers and 3D scanners will become consumer products once manufacturing goes to Asia. To convince you about my, I invited Alice Lee for a short interview. Visit Shapeways.com!
Tony, Threeding.com: Tell me more about Shining 3D? (When was found, by who, where you are based etc.)
Alice Lee, SHINING 3D: SHINING 3D® was founded in Dec 2004 and based in Hangzhou, which is in East China and near Shanghai.
SHINING3D focus on 3D Scanning and 3D Printing technology, including R&D and manufacturing equipment, build and operating more than 10 service bureaus in different cities in China by providing local service as 3D Scanning, design, 3D Printing, Rapid manufacturing. SHINING3D has 500 staff members, and was listed in “New OTC Market”（”New Over-the-counter Market“）in 2014 (stock：830978) as the first stock in China's 3D printing industry.
Tony, Threeding.com: What are the products you manufacture?
Alice Lee, SHINING 3D: SHINING 3D® has more than 10 types of 3D scanning and 3D printing equipment, varies from consumer level products to industrial level products. In 3D scanner product line, we have EinScan-S for education market to help anybody scanning high quality 3D data for printing, EinScan-Pro for professional designer on Reverse Design application, OpticScan-3M and OptimScan-5M for high accuracy 3D design and inspection application, Freeform X3 handy laser scanner for portable 3D scanning application, AutoScan for Dental and Jewel design application in fully automated control. In 3D printer product line, we have consumer grade FDM desktop printer Einstart-S and Einstart-L, we also provide big volume OEM 3D printer manufacturing based on our manufacturing capacity and strict QC process. Furthermore, We have SLA industrial 3D printer for prototyping and rapid manufacturing application.
Tony, Threeding.com: Which is the most successful product in your portfolio?
Alice Lee, SHINING 3D: SHINING3D started with 3D Scanning technology in 2004, so 3D Scanning technology is our most competitive technology worldwide. In our Scanner product line, EinScan series is no doubt the most successful products, EinScan-S is oriented to provide high quality 3D data for thousands of desktop FDM printer users, who suffer from shortage of high quality 3D contents and difficulty on learning complicate 3D design software, and EinScan-S' data quality is evaluated as top in all desktop 3D scanners by many professionals and technology medias . EinScan-Pro is an new concept of 3D scanning technology, a game changer, which combine handy scanning and industrial scanning together to provide full capability to professional 3D designer, it's also the first multi-functional 3D scanner in the world.
Tony, Threeding.com: Where is your biggest market and who are your clients (no need to specify names, if this is confidential).
Alice Lee, SHINING 3D: Our clients are specified in 3 categories, Industrial clients, Education, and Medical clients.
1. Industrial clients: We provide industrial level 3D scanning and printing equipment, together with services from our service bureaus. It's a combination of equipments and services, to provide efficient and economic solution to end users, several years ago our clients on mostly global enterprises, such as Bosch, GM, Panasonic, etc, because they know the new technology tool well and widely use it in their R&D and QC process, now more and more China local companies starts to use these 3D technology to improve their compatibility in fast R&D and manufacturing, we serve more than 3000 industrial companies every year. Besides,10% of our industrial level 3D Scanning and printing equipments are exported outside China to international market.
2. Education Clients: We provide portfolio of consumer level and industrial level equipment to Education Clients, China education users has highly increased passion and budget on build innovation lab with new technology, 3D scanning and 3D printing are one of them. We've helped more than 5000 education clients, including universities, colleges, technical schools, K12 education schools etc, to build innovation labs and classrooms, to help students or child understand how the new technology help build up confidence on creating their ideas into real. Besides, almost half of our consumer level 3D scanner EinScan and printer Einstart are sold worldwide, more than 1000 schools outside China are using our product for education.
3. Medical Clients: Our 3D scanner AutoScan works well in dental application, it's sold worldwide, and we have distributor in 32 countries. Our medical modeling service only apply to China local market, and serve many science institute and hospitals, to reduce the operation risk in surgery.
Tony, Threeding.com: Currently, you products at in the mid price segment. Do you plan to start targeting consumers?
Alice Lee, SHINING 3D: Yes, we start targeting consumers since 3 years ago, and our EinScan 3D Scanner and Einstart 3D Printer works well in consumer market now, but the consumer market we are mentioned at present is still mostly the education market, we believe education is the entrance to the main consumer market. We have prepared on that by building our new factory which will have high production capacity, and strict QC process on high volume production. We also start building an 3D contents cloud platform, which will help our scanner and printer users create and share their works online, we also plan to work with some famous online content platform, such as Threeding, Sketchfab, My Minifactory, Pinshape etc, to allow users directly upload their 3D Scanned data to these platform.
Tony, Threeding.com: Looking three years in into the future, what do you see in Shining 3D ecosystem?
Alice Lee, SHINING 3D: As a technology company, we still focus on our technology in future, by providing higher capability and lower cost solution to more users, we hope 3D technology can become an easy and affordable tool to everybody, not just professional and expensive equipments to special trained users.
We will consistently develop and manufacture OPEN system on both hardware and software, which will be compatible to other hardwares, softwares, materials, and special application requests.We also insist on cooperating with other companies in this industry, providing the right solution and service to end user, like what we are doing in our service bureau. A lot of technology companies has joined this industry, that's a good sign, but without enough users and value created for these users, there's no real ecosystem.