XinCheJian hackerspace

Hackerspace in Shanghai

Building 3, 28 YuYuan East Rd, JingAn District, Shanghai, CHINA

Hackerspace Community center

Space size 80 m²

Opened in March 2010

Structure type Non-profit organisation

Explored in September 2017


A volunteer-run non-profit community hackerspace in Shanghai!

Main interests

Technology - machines & tools Hacking Robotics Electronics Agriculture Energy & environment Self-sufficiency Mobility & transports Design Drones & aeronautics Community

This workshop is great for:

Every single person & organisation!

The closest workshops nearby are:

  • Lab o shanghai

Interview & guided tour

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

Our workshop

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

Located in the design and modern Chinese Accelerator building, People Squared, once you enter XinCheJian hackerspace, you definitely change of world. You’ll find machines and creations in every corner of the space.

Makers are either deeply focused on their own project, either exchanging good practices and advice.

XinCheJian, 1st Chinese makerspace, was created in March 2010 by 3 engineers: David Li, Ricky Ng-Adam and Min Lin Hsieh. Their objective was to help people to “make their dreams come true” by providing a space, difficult to find in Shanghai, machines but also a strong community.

Its specificity? It’s a volunteer run non-profit community with no boss. Only Freda, the space manager, helps the makers to grow. Meet-ups, workshops and events are run weekly either by Freda, either by the makers themselves.

Thanks to the freedom given to the makers in the lab, a huge diversity of very advanced projects are flourishing: Stary board, an IoT skateboard created by a University kid, Precious Plastic Shanghai or also Plobot, a robot that teaches programming to kids.

Since its creation, XinCheJian gathered 1700 members from 7 to 75 years old, even though most of them are between 25 and 30. 50% of the makers are Chinese, the rest of it, foreigners.

In terms of background, you’ll meet there hardware and software engineers, ex-googlers, freelancers, experienced and inexperienced hobbyists. 80% of them are males, 10% are students, mostly coming during week-ends.

One of their key competitive advantage is the price: it will cost you 14€ per month or 60€ for 6 months to be a member that’s to say to access the space and the machines for free.

In exchange for this priceless membership, makers donate money, time, skills or even machines. Many makers organize their own workshops in the space. It’s a good way for them to earn their own living and for the makerspace to develop its community.

Most of the time, makers come in XinCheJian to develop their own professional project and launch their business. The space is the right spot as the community is highly committed and helpful.

Created thanks to donations, XinCheJian is currently is non-profit organization.

Its revenue model is the following:

  • 60 to 80% come from workshops dedicated to schools (30 per year),

  • 10 to 15% come from workshops dedicated to adults,

  • The rest of it from partnerships and donations.

To be noticed that 50% of the workshop’s revenues are donated to Xin Che Jian via Alipay, and 50% are paid to the teachers.

4000€ / months are required to run the space, 90% to pay the rent.

In the future, Freda’s main challenges are:

  • To develop the hackerspace’s community

  • To cover the renting

  • To differentiate its offer from the numerous other hackerspaces in China

  • To find a way to help makers to start their own business

One of the next step for Freda is to launch a Taobao online shop this month. Thereby, the makers’ projects will be sold on this platform such as kids kits, robots, hydroponic systems etc.

Moreover, to grow further, Freda targets this year 200 new members, including more high school students.

First and foremost, Xin Che Jian is a volunteer-run non-profit community.

Overall, the team of the hackerspace is composed of

  • Freda, the only full-time person, in charge of the space and partnerships

  • and 7 volunteers who dedicate 2 hours per week to set up maker workshops, machines repair, meetings etc.

As the space is based on self-governance, 300 workshops are organized per year, most of them by the lab’s makers. It can go from kid workshops to machine training workshops but also aquaponics or helicopter simulator classes.

60% of those classes are provided to kids, at the makerspace, schools and kid centers. Usually, up to 60 members volunteer for those workshops. Only 3 workshops until now were developed for corporates.

Thereby, the lab provided to General Motors aquaponics and robots workshops.

The community communicates via WeChat and QQ groups to share its projects and documents.

Freda succeeded in developing key partnerships lately with

  • BMW mini, last year, which provided money in exchange for visibility,

  • General Motors, this year,

  • And the Chinese government which pays for the development of 4 schools’ curriculums.

As the lab is self-governed, there is no formal documentation process. Each user can present and share one’s project during the Wednesday Open House Night organized in the lab.

Moreover, if the maker wants to document, he can do it by himself on Xin Che Jian’s wiki.

Similarly, workshops are documented on the official wechat channel, in opensource.

Located in the design and modern Chinese Accelerator building, People Squared, once you enter XinCheJian hackerspace, you definitely change of world. You’ll find machines and creations in every corner of the space.

Makers are either deeply focused on their own project, either exchanging good practices and advice.

XinCheJian, 1st Chinese makerspace, was created in March 2010 by 3 engineers: David Li, Ricky Ng-Adam and Min Lin Hsieh. Their objective was to help people to “make their dreams come true” by providing a space, difficult to find in Shanghai, machines but also a strong community.

Its specificity? It’s a volunteer run non-profit community with no boss. Only Freda, the space manager, helps the makers to grow. Meet-ups, workshops and events are run weekly either by Freda, either by the makers themselves.

Thanks to the freedom given to the makers in the lab, a huge diversity of very advanced projects are flourishing: Stary board, an IoT skateboard created by a University kid, Precious Plastic Shanghai or also Plobot, a robot that teaches programming to kids.

Since its creation, XinCheJian gathered 1700 members from 7 to 75 years old, even though most of them are between 25 and 30. 50% of the makers are Chinese, the rest of it, foreigners.

In terms of background, you’ll meet there hardware and software engineers, ex-googlers, freelancers, experienced and inexperienced hobbyists. 80% of them are males, 10% are students, mostly coming during week-ends.

One of their key competitive advantage is the price: it will cost you 14€ per month or 60€ for 6 months to be a member that’s to say to access the space and the machines for free.

In exchange for this priceless membership, makers donate money, time, skills or even machines. Many makers organize their own workshops in the space. It’s a good way for them to earn their own living and for the makerspace to develop its community.

Most of the time, makers come in XinCheJian to develop their own professional project and launch their business. The space is the right spot as the community is highly committed and helpful.

Created thanks to donations, XinCheJian is currently is non-profit organization.

Its revenue model is the following:

  • 60 to 80% come from workshops dedicated to schools (30 per year),

  • 10 to 15% come from workshops dedicated to adults,

  • The rest of it from partnerships and donations.

To be noticed that 50% of the workshop’s revenues are donated to Xin Che Jian via Alipay, and 50% are paid to the teachers.

4000€ / months are required to run the space, 90% to pay the rent.

In the future, Freda’s main challenges are:

  • To develop the hackerspace’s community

  • To cover the renting

  • To differentiate its offer from the numerous other hackerspaces in China

  • To find a way to help makers to start their own business

One of the next step for Freda is to launch a Taobao online shop this month. Thereby, the makers’ projects will be sold on this platform such as kids kits, robots, hydroponic systems etc.

Moreover, to grow further, Freda targets this year 200 new members, including more high school students.

First and foremost, Xin Che Jian is a volunteer-run non-profit community.

Overall, the team of the hackerspace is composed of

  • Freda, the only full-time person, in charge of the space and partnerships

  • and 7 volunteers who dedicate 2 hours per week to set up maker workshops, machines repair, meetings etc.

As the space is based on self-governance, 300 workshops are organized per year, most of them by the lab’s makers. It can go from kid workshops to machine training workshops but also aquaponics or helicopter simulator classes.

60% of those classes are provided to kids, at the makerspace, schools and kid centers. Usually, up to 60 members volunteer for those workshops. Only 3 workshops until now were developed for corporates.

Thereby, the lab provided to General Motors aquaponics and robots workshops.

The community communicates via WeChat and QQ groups to share its projects and documents.

Freda succeeded in developing key partnerships lately with

  • BMW mini, last year, which provided money in exchange for visibility,

  • General Motors, this year,

  • And the Chinese government which pays for the development of 4 schools’ curriculums.

As the lab is self-governed, there is no formal documentation process. Each user can present and share one’s project during the Wednesday Open House Night organized in the lab.

Moreover, if the maker wants to document, he can do it by himself on Xin Che Jian’s wiki.

Similarly, workshops are documented on the official wechat channel, in opensource.

Technologies & processes available

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

Services offered

Free & open space to experience Free machines & tools access Makers e-shop Coworking space Classes & workshops Community center

Our best practices

The inspiring things we do here to run our collaborative space

Community-based governance

What is it?

There is only one full-time person who manages the hackerspace XinCheJian: Freda. For most of the lab’s activities, she is supported by 7 volunteers and the lab’s community which donate its time and skills to run the place.

In concrete terms?

Freda deals with the space and the partnerships. The 7 volunteers dedicate 2 hours per week to set up maker workshops, machines repair, meetings etc. As the space is almost free (14€ per month), the members are committed to help the space. In exchange for this priceless membership, makers donate money, time, skills or even machines.

At least 60 makers organize their own workshops in the space (50{fd4c470d9b935926e3cb2dc10d222a0a7b07290bd30f0fbaac6a685b358b7df2} of the revenues are given to XinCheJian).

Why it’s interesting?

It’s interesting because it shows that, even though the space doesn’t have a sustainable business model, the community is here to make it real.

As makers are free to organize workshops, they can earn their own living and provide revenue and exposure to the hackerspace at the same time.

Moreover, most of the makers we met there stay in the lab because of the power of the community. Word-of-mouth, skill sharing and advice are provided on a daily basis by the variety of the hackerspace’s members and help them grow.


Our makers projects

Get inspired by the DIY projects of our team & members

Precious Plastic Shanghai

We are a social enterprise highly committed to preserve the environment by creating awareness about plastic waste in China. Our goal is to encourage teams and individuals to take ownership of their waste and engage in the process!


Vertical hydroponic farming tower

What’s the project’s story?

Andy, spanish designer, arrived one month ago in XinCheJian in Shanghai to make his dream come true: launch his own start-up. His idea: to create a vertical hydroponic farming tower. He’s already developed his first working prototype.

How does he interact with the workshop?

“This lab changed my life”. According to Andy, XinCheJian is unique by its very competitive membership price (14€/month) and its amazing community.

Highly committed, the hackerspace’s members transmitted Andy the desire to launch his own business. The hackerspace provides him a workbench and machines at a very cheap price and the community gives him network and advice.

What’s next?

On the short-term, Andy wants to develop a finished prototype (in 3D) and pitch his project to « China Accelerator », located in the same facility as XinCheJian.

His main challenge: manufacturing. Even in China, he met many makers who failed once they had to launch the production.


Vincihub - an helicopter simulator

What’s the project’s story?

From January to May 2017, Kim, flying enthusiast, prototyped his own helicopter simulator in XinCheJian, with Jerry, software engineer. In June, the 1st class was launched in the hackerspace to teach people how to fly. Leyis joined the adventure as she was their 1st student.

Step by step, the project mushroomed. Within 2 months, with a workshop per week-end, you’ll be able to fly a real helicopter in Shanghai!

How do they interact with the workshop?

The whole helicopter simulator prototype was developed in the hackerspace, with the help of its community. Moreover, the workshops are organized in the space.

What’s next?

Today, the team organizes frequent lessons. Within 3 week-ends, you can learn to fly a helicopter!


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