In-depth Learning of Model Art, Visit to Chia Technology


The Maker x Localized Manufacturing team arrives at Chia Technology, Xinzhuang. Eddie, their salesperson is showing us around the factory and explaining how the models are made.

Chia Technology is a manufacturer of models of electronics and other mechanisms with 20 years of experience. During this time, they have been importing advanced equipment and technology into the country, and at the same time providing professional and customized services. This has earned them praises from customers like Dell, Acer, Foxconn and Chimei to name just a few.

The importance of models and their 4 main purposes

Chia Technology specializes in various types of models, namely 3D sketch models, mock-ups, working models, soft-tooling and prototypes. Models are the financial core of Chia, but what exactly is a model?

A model is basically the result of transferring a design plan into a physical object. It plays an important role among the designer, the manufacturer and the client. Despite the fast advancement, 3D printing in its current state is still unable to deliver the exact details the designer wants to express, and this is where modeling comes in.  It is the technology that affects the entire electronics industry.


A model is the result of transferring a design plan into a physical object.

The four main purposes of models are: press release, exhibition, market analysis and the most often, meeting. For example, the iPhone that Steve Jobs introduced to the world in the press release was actually a model. A model can sometimes be so real that it looks better than the final product. Models are most often used in meetings, because they represent the results of mass production. It is absolutely necessary to discuss and improve them in each and every meeting, to ensure the final quality.


The four main purposes of models are: exhibition (top left), meetings (bottom left), market analysis (top right) and press release (bottom right).

Four tiers of model details and their purposes

Models for different purposes will have different tiers of details. The details of these models sorted from lowest to highest are image models, rough mock-up models and working models. Image models and rough mock-up models are mainly for expressing the rough appearances of the products. A rough mock-up model has more details than an image model, but its quality is still far from that of the final product. Most 3D printed models are image models.

Presentation models and working models belong in the post production. A presentation model has almost the same appearance and texture as the final product, only difference is that it’s still a model that you can’t turn on. A working model is almost a complete product, that looks like a presentation model but you can turn it on and use it. It is the final form of all models.


Details of models come in four tiers. (From left, the lowest, to right, the highest.)

Up close with the making of quality models 

There are altogether 6 stages in the making of a complete model. Starting from meeting with the client, PM assessment, demolition plan analysis, CNC simulation, post production, and finally, quality management, only then can a quality model be made. Every stage is connected to each other, and both the client and the manufacturer have to work closely together, like trying to make a piece of perfect art.


Flow chart of model making

Besides showing the samples, Eddie also led us deeper into the factory to watch how the technicians operate CNC, mix paint, do the screen printing and surface finishing.

“The after-treatment is the most important part. Every technician is doing his best!” As Eddie explained, the technicians in the workshop all turned to us and smiled.


Visiting Chia Technology: After-treatment (top left), screen printing (bottom left), paint mixing (top right), CNC (bottom right). (Photographer: Owen Ou)

The Localized Manufacturing Project brings together the traditional industries and the makers

Chia Technology is the protagonist for the Localized Manufacturing Project this month. Thanks to Eddie’s guide and the various forms of models he prepared for us, we were able to feel them with our own hands. Chia also let us in their workshops and watch the technicians work through different stages of exquisite craftsmanship up close. Every machine, every step is a lesson to the maker community.

To the makers, Chia is a company that provides services with complete procedures to fulfill their demands for prototypes and soon small scale productions. With years of experience in the market of innovative demands, Chia will certainly make a good partner for all the creative makers out there.


Group photo of Eddie and the makers at the end of the visit.

The Localized Manufacturing Project has visited quite a few factories that want to work with makers , including EMS, modeling, molding, injection molding and sheet metal factories. The results have all been fantastic. Many people who have visited these factories also solved their own problems on development or manufacturing. We hope to bring something new to the maker community in our next Localized Manufacturing location!

 This article is translated from MakerPRO