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Hyeong-gyeong Lee, a young businessman who draws the attention of the 3D printing industry



Youth is busy and it gaspingly takes steps every day. Such days are challenging, burdensome, and tiring. However, there is Kookmin*People that confidently says that such days are happy and delightful. A young CEO joined the startup business at an early age and is constructing a quite stable company. This young CEO is Hyeong-gyeong Lee of the Department of Economics. Rushing without hesitation into the field of 3D printing that is totally not related to his major, he has gradually made step towards success. Here is the story of this successful young man.



Q. Introduce yourself and ‘3D One’ where you serve as a representative.

Hello. I am Hyeong-gyeong Lee in the Department of Economics of Kookmin University. I am also the representative of a 3D printing platform company called 3D One as well as the manager of Education Team for 3delight, a 3D printing related company. Since I was selected as one of the authors of educational materials in the Korea 3D Printing Association, my days have been quite busy and I am thankful for such days. 3D One is a company that creates 3D printing platform. I provide education on 3D printing in various high schools and universities and through such education, I am in the process of creating a platform with collected database. The concept of platform may be somewhat unfamiliar but to briefly describe it, the price of 3D printed products varies depending on where and from whom you buy. It means that the market price is clearly established. The platform that we intend to construct indicates such frame. For example when a 3D printing cup is made, we construct a database on the places and prices of 3D printing near Kookmin University. Of course, we produce 3D printing products upon request.

Q. 3D printing hasn’t be generalized but how could you conceive this for a business?

Even before several years back, I was also preparing for employment. Since I studied in the Department of Economics, I naturally targeted a bank-related job. I tried hard by participating in the supporters’ activity for a famous bank and directly forming a study group. As I heard of the works of bankers from people around me who had career in a bank, I realized, ‘It will be a repetition of the same work and dull routine every day.’ I felt like my goal got ambiguous. Meanwhile, I heard about 3D printing from a friend. I heard it by chance but felt that it was something special. Since I wanted to know more about 3D printing, I searched for information and found out that it was a relatively old technology that was patented in 1987. Compared to the overseas market, 3D printing was introduced recently in Korea. It was unfamiliar, but I was fascinated about it. I thought it was an excellent business item that I should not miss so I prepared for a business startup.



Q. It was not much related to your major so it seems not easy to prepare for the business.

That’s right. I was not an expert when it comes to 3D printing. I decided to enter a 3D company but the company did not accept me, saying that they did not need a degree holder of a 4-year university. They only needed an assembly technician. So I asked the company if I can take on a job with a 5,000 won of hourly wage. That’s how I entered the 3D printing industry. From simple labor like peeling off the sheath and tightening up the screws to making FDM printing devices and 3D printing print-out, I learned various technologies. After the work, I studied overseas 3D printing related information, even sacrificing the time for sleep. If an idea came up when I was in bed, I woke up and wrote such idea. For 6 months, I worked without rest and passionately prepared for my future.

Q. Did you get help for your business startup?

Of course. There are friends and juniors who worked hard with me for the establishment of 3D One. The Startup Education Center of Kookmin University helped me rent an office with a reasonable monthly charge and thoroughly counseled me for solid business foundation. The Director of the Startup Education Center and Professor Doug-joo Chang of my department served as my mentor. Although it was a different business from what I do now, Professor Jong-hyeon Baek criticized me when I presented my business plan. At that time, I realized what I visualized was different from what I could actually do in reality. He told me the actual management cases of companies and that was different from the textbook information. It definitely was valuable learning for my business.


Q. You realized quite a big success in a short period time after starting the business. What is the secret behind it?

I think the secret is the efforts I devoted in the preparation. Before stating the business, I was determined to prepare better than others. Since I was unfamiliar to this field and the market was just formed, there was not much information available. As mentioned before, I learned through experience. The information I searched through the internet was easily forgotten. While working at the site, I clearly understood the method and operation of the machine as I tried to understand certain principles by searching for foreign reports. Also right before starting the business, I went here and there to find cooperative partners that could work with me. I agreed to exchange order on education and products with the partners. Thanks to this, I was able to have orders as soon as opening the company. Once I tried hard on the orders I received, it became the credit of the company. Such credit was connected to the opportunities to receive other orders.

Q. I heard that you run a 3D Printing Club in Kookmin University despite your busy schedule.

Since I was the Manager of the Education Team in 3delight, I went to many places for 3D printing education. A university where I had a lecture proposed me to operate a 3D Printing Center as they would support the foundation of this center. It was an amazing and enormous opportunity for me. But Kookmin University is my university and I am attending there. So it was hard for me to be happy just with that. At that time, I contemplated on what I could do in Kookmin University with my knowledge in 3D printing. I wanted to instill an image as a 3D printing specialized university when someone thinks about Kookmin University. So first, I made a club to share the knowledge on 3D printing to the juniors. With the support of the Dean Jae-gap Yi of Advanced Materials Engineering, I formed a small group composed of 12 people about 2 months ago and we applied to the Industry-University Cooperative EXPO. We planned intramural events and promoted various activities.



Q. Then, what is the ultimate dream of the young CEO Hyeong-gyeong Lee?

I hate to wake up in the morning. I hate to wake up at 6:30 to prepare for work and sleep like a log after working for 8 hours or more. As we feel while studying, we don’t focus on studying the entire time sitting in front of the desk. It just makes us more tired. We need time for self-development after work but we are too exhausted to do that. So my dream is to make a company that raises profit with the people like me, the ones who want to be free from such frustrated life. It sounds vague, but I dream of a company where the time for work/home is free and profit is fairly distributed through team-based projects. In order to realize this, I have to grow further. There are still a lot to be done. I truly want to realize my dream by becoming a top-notch CEO who can properly address the needs of workers while becoming distinguished in many different fields.

Q. Lastly, leave a comment to the Kookmin*People who are preparing business startup.

If employment is to walk the paved road, business startup is to build a house in the wilderness. It is because there is no manual available. You have to work on your own, derive results, and take responsibilities. However, you can experience incomparable satisfaction from the work you endeavored and achieved. Although you start your own business, it is not good to set a big goal that is vague at this moment. It is foolish to set extremely lofty objectives and then feel disappointed when they are not achieved. Once you accomplish what you can do now, the next step will be seen, and this goes on and on. When you practice this, you will find yourself facing towards the grand objectives. Also, I want to advise you to spend a lot of time contemplating. Whether about employment or business startup, the answer lies within ourselves. There are many people who neglect listening to their voice being rushed by time and following others. Think about what you truly want and be courageous to act when you find the answer.

He had the interview as a promising CEO of a company; however, he shared sincere advice when making a comment to Kookmin*People like a long-known senior. We are heading to the path towards the society so he wanted to share to us only the good things that he experienced. I hope his sincere advice, consideration, encouragement, and support are delivered to the mind of Kookmin*People. Also, I hope he will realize the dream of his heart while continuing the growth as he has done.



 - Jin-geyong Yi, the 10th Web-reporter of PR Team

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