Playoung.Inc, a manufacturer and trader, specialized in the development of 3D printing services and production of art toy, and action figure. It was founded in 2015 in San Francisco. As a tech start up, Playoung took a long time to prepare the company, and finally launched their brand. But different from the other tech start-ups, fashion is involved in their business a lot.
Yuanhao Li, one of the founders of Playoung, was interviewed by Techion Studio recently and talked about the process and experience of starting a company as a student from China in the States, He also discussed how technology changed his life and career. Li doesn't have a fashion background instead of a business major. But he and his partner helps a lot of students in fashion design and jewelry design major to create their art by 3D printing services. They work seven days a week to expand their business as soon as possible. Hard work will always pay off. Now Playoung is one of the popular 3D printing service companies in San Francisco.
Initials guide: TS-Techion Studio, YL-Yuanhao Li
TS: Where did the 3D printing idea come from?
YL: The first time I watched 3D printing videos on Youtube, I got shocked. Because I had never known this technique before watching that video. It’s really magic to me. 3D printing is just like a way to present all the abstract ideas to real figurative things. It is amazing that I can make my own designs into touchable things so quick.
TS: What made up your mind to start your brand?
YL: It’s all about our dreams. Me and my co-founder thought this is the time for adding some new blood into this industry. The meaning of Playoung is me and my partner believe that people can always challenge themselves and take risks. The location of our company is pretty random.
TS: How did you prepare before launching your brand?
YL: The only thing we prepared well is courage before we launched our brand. And of course, as everybody knows, it’s not easy to build up a company. However, we are taking the risk and keep moving forward now.
TS: How did you find a way to be distinguished from your competitors?
YL: Having better services and being more patient. We are providing all the services related to 3D printing, such as modeling, printing, sanding, as well as coloring. Also, we’re working hard on communicating with customers. We listen carefully to the requirements from customers, and we are patient to talk to them and make corrections until they are satisfied. We understand most of our customers are students and every single design is important to them. So we want to make everything perfect.
TS: Did you meet any interesting people from work? Who are they?
YL: Yes. Most of my customers are professional design majors and they do have some unique views or experiences about this industry and we share our opinions sometimes.
TS: Can you simply introduce to readers what is 3D printing? What’s the difference between regular design and 3D printing design?
YL: As I just mentioned, 3D printing is a way to make things from 2D to 3D. I think there are not many differences between them. It’s just like an option for people to choose what they want to dive into.
Part of works by Playoung Studio
TS: What do you think of the innovation that 3D printing brings to the fashion industry? Do you think it will last a long time or is just a temporary trend?
YL: I think it will last for a long time. Because when 3D printing came out, it was like manufacturing everything in a very simple way. The abstract ideas or objects from the fashion sketches can easily come to the life since it has been invented.
TS: What do you think of the difference between normal fashion and technology fashion?
YL: For me, it’s a little weird wear a high-tech clothes because I always think that fashion has to be a “pure land”, which means it’s impossible to throw away cotton or fabrics, you know what I mean, right? The traditional garments made by the fabrics such as cotton, satin, lace or silk will never be replaced by the artificial machine made textures like resin. The only thing that could be associated with normal fashion and technology fashion is having new knitting techniques, like the special fabric of YEEZY sneakers, which is Primeknit. Or maybe, the prediction from Kanye West will come true one day. He said the 3D printing will ruin the fashion industry, who knows?
TS: What do you think of the fashion market now?
YL: This is a huge market that people are always trying to come into. However, most of them don’t have any thoughts on how to represent themselves. They just want to follow the trend. I mean this is not a bad thing for people. But come on, find your own way to live and be YOURSELF.
TS: What do you think of the future of fashion?
YL: I think the future of fashion could be more diversification. Because high- tech is growing fast, more and more fashionable and attractive materials would be used in the fashion industry.