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


Sound cuts out on this vid :’(

Does the Maker Ethic ™ really include sending work offshore?

How else do you recommend mass producing electronics? Did you even watch the video? If you are going to fab something in the thousands you have no real choice.

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?


really you can make a brand new electronics product and get into the retail chain in the thousands using US factories in under 6 months? I call bullshit.

Sorry this whole people only manufacture in China because it’s cheaper attitude is total uninformed bullshit. You simply can not in any form mass produce electronics in the states there is simply no infrastructure for it.

As bunny states in the video, in the states even if you could get a factory up and running every little problem cost exponentially more time and money.

It has nothing to do with being cheap, it has to do with being able to get it done. End of story.

Again stop talking watch the video.

They are different worlds. I also use US manufacturing, but I do very low volume stuff. The top-tier Chinese factories such as Foxconn make complex electronic assemblies such as iphones by the hundreds of millions. I don’t know of any factories in the USA doing that. Do you?

Fair-Trade coffee is grown in the USA? Huh, guess you schooled me.

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.


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


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.

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I agree that mass production in China is not in line with the Maker ethos. It is, however, a logical next step for Makers whose products have reached that stage of manufacturing.

Most importantly, this is a task that very few people outside of large corporations have mastered.

The video’s broken, Cory… sound cuts out about 5 minutes in.
Shame because Bunnie’s talks on China are always interesting

Ahh. Ok, I gotcha. That is indeed the point of the FT coffee endeavor. It doesn’t actually play out that way. The major effect of FT coffee in the marketplace is to ensure that major retailers can buy massive quantities for a price dictated by one overarching entity. The use of marketing terms like “Every cup matters” and “Helping the poor farmers one pot at a time” is designed to make people feel exactly like you do. Sorry to derail there, the FT coffee marketing / certification scam is just a sore point for me. Carry on :smiley:

“Fair trade” may not be fair, but that does not change the fact that some coffee roasters (at least some small ones here in the northwest) do go down to do business with small coffee growers directly, getting them the maximum amount of the profit they can without a bunch of middlemen.

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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?


Yeah, I used to be one of them. Typically those small growers are going it without the umbrella of Fairtrade because they are offering a premium product, “Single Plantation” etc. To say that roasters go and buy from non-FT growers for cost savings is disingenuous, or misinformed.

There used to be a consumer electronics labor infrastructure in the Chicago area - that is where all those old tube radios and TV sets were built in the forties and fifties. The work was different from today’s work, in that the wire leads of the parts were poked into holes in terminal strips, crimped, excess lead length cut off, and soldered by hand.

The modern US electronics hand-assembly factory does similar work for military/industrial products. They are just as boring, but the pay and working conditions are nicer.

Anyone got a transcript of the redacted audio?

Yeah umm might want to learn a bit more about Chinese labor and how fast their wages are gaining on ours.