x.factory

Open factory among factories

XiLi, Nanshan Qu, Shenzhen Shi, Guangdong Sheng

Makerspace Coworking space Industrialisation center

Space size 1000 m²

Opened in March 2017

Structure type Private Company

Explored in September 2017


Situated in the heart of Shenzhen, x.factory is a new maker hub that provides a prototyping workshop with production-level equipment, co-working space and consulting services and helps to link makers to Shenzhen’s vast manufacturing resources in supply chain, as well as industry and market opportunities in China.

Main interests

Technology - machines & tools Industry & innovation Electronics Entrepreneurship Robotics Design Education

This workshop is great for:

Makers pro Small & medium businesses Entrepreneurs Large companies Artists

The closest workshops nearby are:

Interview & guided tour

Meet someone from the team & discover the space by yourself!

Our workshop

Learn more about our space, members, machines & services!

To access x.factory you will need to walk down a big and designed brand new complex, “Design Commune”, in the middle of the “Vanke cloud city”. This cluster, built by one of the biggest real estate company in China, is meant to host designers, artists, startups and makers, in order to build the city of the future.

Such a community needs a space, machines and help to build their new projects. Vanke went to see Chaihuo makerspace to join them. Created in 2011, the Chaihuo makerspace (the first in Shenzhen) is a subsidiary of Seeed Studio company, and has built a strong knowledge and reputation in the maker community. Their first location was initially focused on education. The partnership with Vanke helped them to open a new space dedicated to help maker pros. X.factory was born.

X.factory is made for pros. It helps makers, designers or artists to build their project using the facilities, but also to find the right partners in Shenzhen to go from prototype to the market. They also build connections between the “classic industry” and makers helping companies to benefit from the maker spirit to innovate.

Walking through the 1000 square meters of the space we met a team of artists and designers working on a specific interactive ornementation for a commercial center. Another was working on a driverless farm tractor.

The purpose of x.factory is to bring innovation from the makers to concrete applications on the market. They also want to help makers to make a living from their passion, by bringing them to industries which could benefit from their innovative spirit. The model is expanding, as an opening in Chengdu (Sichuan province) is already planned.

In September 2017, the membership of the lab reached 60 members, but the team is expecting a growth of 15 members per month in the future. All makers at x.factory are pros, whom can potentially work on IOT buildings to design the future of urbanization.

They can be artists, designers, electronic engineers and even carpenters. Those maker pros come to access a wide variety of machines, the space and get the connections of x.factory in the Shenzhen ecosystem. If most of the users are Chinese, the lab targets to attract further overseas makers, to grow its community and emphazise global collaborations.

Most of the users discovered the space through the Internet. For Chinese, Chaihuo benefits from a strong reputation and is very connected. Its Wechat account for Shenzhen has reached +50K members. Overseas makers discover the lab through its mother company Seeed Studio.

To engage the community, x.factory organizes Happy hours, meetups and free trainings for its members. They also try to bring them business, by linking makers with companies which could need their services. X.factory team also helps them to navigate the Shenzhen ecosystem, by organizing factory tours for example.

X.factory was launched as a subsidiary of Seeed Studio. It is a private company. Thanks to their partnership with Vanke, the real-estate company, they benefit from a free space (they just have to cover the management fees, and the operational costs (HR, materials…)).

Regarding their sources of revenue, as the lab was only launched a few months before our documentation, it was hard to determine their importance. But the lab has identified several sources to be developed. From the members: the membership fees and the extra services provided to them (DFM, specific studies..). From the companies or institutions:

  • Innovation camp for companies (2 or 3 days where the company brings its teams into the lab).

  • Outsourcing of innovation: the companies work with makers from the lab on a specific project (it also brings an extra source of revenues to the makers)

  • Exchange programs: bringing overseas makers from universities, makerspaces, accelerators or incubators into Shenzhen.

The team is now focusing to develop the number of exchange programs and also want to go further by creating residency programs, where overseas makers would come in Shenzhen for several months to develop their projects.

The Chaihuo Xfactory team is composed of 10 people. 1 director, 1 manager of overseas collaborations, 2 community managers, 1 event planner, 1 business leader, 1 curriculum manager (creating curriculum to help makers to learn other skills), 1 daily manager and 1 HR manager.

It is required to apply for membership. The maker needs to fill a form explaining why he thinks Xfactory is a good place for him. Then he pass an interview process where the intent is to understand if the lab can fulfill the requirements of the makers, and avoid disappointments.

Once the maker has integrated the lab, he pays a membership fee of 80€/month, and has access to all machines. Every week, his project and needs are discussed with the team, to see what can be improved to help him to concretize his project.

Four times per month, workshops dedicated to IOT are organized for makers to exchange their knowledge. Every week technical workshops are also available to learn how to use the machines.

Xfacotry is also building exchange and residency programs with overseas companies, to bring makers in the ecosystem of Shenzhen, mostly for startups needing to go from prototype to manufacture.

Regarding companies, the lab launched dedicated offers to help them connect with maker community. They can organize dedicated workshops with makers to innovate on new products or services, and even bring their own R&D teams in the lab.

X.factory does not compet its members to document their own projects. Weekly meetings with makers are organized to follow their progress and each time a maker has ended his project, an interview is set up to record a video. The team member asks the maker how he used the space, what were and are his main challenges, what could be improved, even how he feels in Shenzhen… Thanks to this process they have a frequent overview of how makers feel about the space and can enhance their process.

On a regular basis, workshops are recorded on live stream, and when they organize events, they share it on all their platforms.

To access x.factory you will need to walk down a big and designed brand new complex, “Design Commune”, in the middle of the “Vanke cloud city”. This cluster, built by one of the biggest real estate company in China, is meant to host designers, artists, startups and makers, in order to build the city of the future.

Such a community needs a space, machines and help to build their new projects. Vanke went to see Chaihuo makerspace to join them. Created in 2011, the Chaihuo makerspace (the first in Shenzhen) is a subsidiary of Seeed Studio company, and has built a strong knowledge and reputation in the maker community. Their first location was initially focused on education. The partnership with Vanke helped them to open a new space dedicated to help maker pros. X.factory was born.

X.factory is made for pros. It helps makers, designers or artists to build their project using the facilities, but also to find the right partners in Shenzhen to go from prototype to the market. They also build connections between the “classic industry” and makers helping companies to benefit from the maker spirit to innovate.

Walking through the 1000 square meters of the space we met a team of artists and designers working on a specific interactive ornementation for a commercial center. Another was working on a driverless farm tractor.

The purpose of x.factory is to bring innovation from the makers to concrete applications on the market. They also want to help makers to make a living from their passion, by bringing them to industries which could benefit from their innovative spirit. The model is expanding, as an opening in Chengdu (Sichuan province) is already planned.

In September 2017, the membership of the lab reached 60 members, but the team is expecting a growth of 15 members per month in the future. All makers at x.factory are pros, whom can potentially work on IOT buildings to design the future of urbanization.

They can be artists, designers, electronic engineers and even carpenters. Those maker pros come to access a wide variety of machines, the space and get the connections of x.factory in the Shenzhen ecosystem. If most of the users are Chinese, the lab targets to attract further overseas makers, to grow its community and emphazise global collaborations.

Most of the users discovered the space through the Internet. For Chinese, Chaihuo benefits from a strong reputation and is very connected. Its Wechat account for Shenzhen has reached +50K members. Overseas makers discover the lab through its mother company Seeed Studio.

To engage the community, x.factory organizes Happy hours, meetups and free trainings for its members. They also try to bring them business, by linking makers with companies which could need their services. X.factory team also helps them to navigate the Shenzhen ecosystem, by organizing factory tours for example.

X.factory was launched as a subsidiary of Seeed Studio. It is a private company. Thanks to their partnership with Vanke, the real-estate company, they benefit from a free space (they just have to cover the management fees, and the operational costs (HR, materials…)).

Regarding their sources of revenue, as the lab was only launched a few months before our documentation, it was hard to determine their importance. But the lab has identified several sources to be developed. From the members: the membership fees and the extra services provided to them (DFM, specific studies..). From the companies or institutions:

  • Innovation camp for companies (2 or 3 days where the company brings its teams into the lab).

  • Outsourcing of innovation: the companies work with makers from the lab on a specific project (it also brings an extra source of revenues to the makers)

  • Exchange programs: bringing overseas makers from universities, makerspaces, accelerators or incubators into Shenzhen.

The team is now focusing to develop the number of exchange programs and also want to go further by creating residency programs, where overseas makers would come in Shenzhen for several months to develop their projects.

The Chaihuo Xfactory team is composed of 10 people. 1 director, 1 manager of overseas collaborations, 2 community managers, 1 event planner, 1 business leader, 1 curriculum manager (creating curriculum to help makers to learn other skills), 1 daily manager and 1 HR manager.

It is required to apply for membership. The maker needs to fill a form explaining why he thinks Xfactory is a good place for him. Then he pass an interview process where the intent is to understand if the lab can fulfill the requirements of the makers, and avoid disappointments.

Once the maker has integrated the lab, he pays a membership fee of 80€/month, and has access to all machines. Every week, his project and needs are discussed with the team, to see what can be improved to help him to concretize his project.

Four times per month, workshops dedicated to IOT are organized for makers to exchange their knowledge. Every week technical workshops are also available to learn how to use the machines.

Xfacotry is also building exchange and residency programs with overseas companies, to bring makers in the ecosystem of Shenzhen, mostly for startups needing to go from prototype to manufacture.

Regarding companies, the lab launched dedicated offers to help them connect with maker community. They can organize dedicated workshops with makers to innovate on new products or services, and even bring their own R&D teams in the lab.

X.factory does not compet its members to document their own projects. Weekly meetings with makers are organized to follow their progress and each time a maker has ended his project, an interview is set up to record a video. The team member asks the maker how he used the space, what were and are his main challenges, what could be improved, even how he feels in Shenzhen… Thanks to this process they have a frequent overview of how makers feel about the space and can enhance their process.

On a regular basis, workshops are recorded on live stream, and when they organize events, they share it on all their platforms.

Technologies & processes available

3D printing Electronics Laser cutting Wood working tools Metal working tools Traditional tools

Services offered

Prototyping Residency programs Exchange programs Learning expeditions Talks & conferences Startups & projects hosting Coworking space Coaching & project mentoring Classes & workshops

Our best practices

The inspiring things we do here to run our collaborative space

The feedback process for makers

What is it?

There is a formal recurrent interview process set up by the team of the lab to understand the needs of their community and enhance their internal operations.

In concrete terms?

On a regular basis, each maker is interviewed by a team member on several topics:

  • why did they choose to come in Shenzhen?

  • what has been the hardest challenge they faced since their arrival?

  • how can their experience in the lab be improved…?

Every interview is recorded in video and analyzed by the team to constantly adapt their offer.

Why it’s interesting?

This process allows the lab to stay focus on the needs of their community, and adapt their process to its evolutions.


Our makers projects

Get inspired by the DIY projects of our team & members

SHE - a dancing & singing robot

What’s the project’s story?

Yoson is the perfect example of a maker who found a team thanks to the community. This young structural engineer was dreaming since his studies to create his own robot. But in his university, no space was allowing the access the machines an materials.

He arrived in Shenzhen for his first job, and found Xfactory makerspaces via Wechat groups. He joined every evening after work, and found another maker who was willing to work on a dancing robot with him.

How do they interact with the workshop?

They use the lab to access the machines and benefit from the community to help them.

What’s next?

A few months later, their prototype was ready and they are currently in discussion with a company willing to buy their product to sell it!


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