The Community

MCreatures: 3D Printing in Shanghai

by Xiaoxiao Zhang and MCreatures

From Eleanor: I’m very excited to introduce Shapeways Crew member Xiaoxiao Zhang, who reached out to us about organizing Shapeways meetups in Shanghai. Through her company MCreatures, Xiaoxiao is an energetic advocate of 3D printing in China and is deeply involved in introducing 3D printing through collaboration with art institutions, educators and community events. The first Shanghai Shapeways Community Meetup will take place May 20th. 

In China, there is fairy tale known known as Maliang and the Magic Writing Brush. It takes places in ancient China and is about a boy named Maliang who lived a miserable life, until one day, as a reward for his kindness, he received a magical writing brush. His new brush transforms everything he paints into a real object. If he is hungry, he can paint himself a pancake or maybe Kung Pao chicken (as this might be the most known Chinese dish). In real life this magic brush does not actually exist, or I so thought until I first saw how a 3D printer created an object. Then I realized that the story of Maliang and the Magic Brush is finally happening in real life! 

This year we launched MCreatures after getting our very first Makerbot. The company name, MCreatres, stands for Maliang Creatures and is inspired by this fairy tale of the magical paint brush. MCreatures projects have three main points of focus: 1) organizing 3D printing hangouts and events to let curious people know what it is and why it is so fun 2) provide 3D hardware to people whoever wants to use, borrow or purchase them 3) connect people to skills and each other with art and education programs. With MCreatures we wanted create a place and a way to let our people know that we are living in an amazing era where we can turn bold ideas into reality. 

Here’s a little more about what we do:  

MCreatures Hangouts

My dad, like many people in China, still doesn’t really believe that now you can transplant an organ that comes out of a printer. To promote the concept of 3D printing to people in Shanghai we started to organize a few hangouts and workshops to introduce this concept, including a hands-on experience session to let them try out the 3D printing. The hands-on session of the hangout feels especially joyful. Apart from the hangouts, we’ve also been representing MCreatures at local startup networking events, comic gatherings, and community events like City Run.  

3D Hardware Provider

When we organize or attend events we are constantly being asked about where to use or to get those home 3D devices, such as a 3D pen, desktop printers and filament. So besides providing free trials and leases, being a dealer of 3D devices came naturally to us. We’ve been excited to see that that buying a 3D pen started has to become a hit for those who want to have different ideas for a unique birthday present.

MCreatures x Art x Education

Our team is quite fond of art and many of our projects have focused on creating a fusion between 3D printing and art. Cooperating with a newly established art museum in Shanghai, we did our first project which we 3D printed the Chinese surnames in 3D calligraphy form designed by an artist, enabling more interaction between audience and the silent art pieces in the exhibition room.  

We are also working on teaching kids the scientific theory behind 3D printing, providing them the opportunity to experience the technology through either printers or pens, which all helps kids understand more about the new technology. 

While MCreatures is still a newbie to 3D printing and excited to explore its possibilities, Shapeways is already helping to realize a lot of great ideas, especially with the huge support that comes with its global networks.  That’s why we think it’s great to introduce this relatively more mature community to Shanghai and also China. In the coming few months, MCreatures will be more focused on doing some casual meet-ups cooperating with Shapeways or fun 3D workshops to help everyday people in Shanghai discover this “magical writing brush.”  At MCreatures we hope to meet and support more Shapies in our neighborhood, and work to create an ideal community for all 3D printing lovers.

Join MCreatures for their first Shapeways Community Meetup May 20. You can also join the discussion with other Chinese Shapies on the Shapeways Forum.