Huffpost Technology

Ping Fu's Incredible Journey From Child Soldier To Programming Pioneer (VIDEO)

Posted: Updated:

The tech world is a-buzz with hype about 3D printers and possible changes in the industry as a result. HuffPostLive got in on the hype by interviewing Ping Fu, co-founder and CEO of Geomagic, a company focused on 3D software technologies and engineering.

Clad in 3D printed shoes and accessories, Fu foresees that 3D printing technologies "will be everywhere" in consumer production within years.

In 1997 Fu founded Geomagic with the goal of combining Internet technology with traditional manufacturing. "I was thinking," she said on HuffPostLive, "If there's desktop publishing, we could create desktop manufacturing - and aimed at personalized manufacturing, so one-of-a-kind products." Her vision: for the idea of "custom of one" to replace the current "custom of millions." The medical devices industry is perfect for 3D printing because of its market that Fu says "by nature is personalized."

Fu also shared the story of her complex childhood and hard-earned success, which she recalls in her memoir Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds.

At age eight she was taken from her educated, "counterrevolutionary" home to be a child soldier in terrible living conditions, working in farms and factories while taking care of her younger sister. Unless you count Mao's "Little Red Book" study sessions led by Red Guards, she received no formal education. Ten years later Ping Fu's darkest days were behind her and her life as a student and tech-entrepreneur began.

It started with her research on female infanticide, a practice common among farmers who only wanted sons during China's one-child policy. She was imprisoned following international media's outraged spotlight on China's human rights violations, then exiled to the US where she took a fateful stride to the digital side and pursued degrees in computer science. With her hard-earned technological prestige she led the team that developed NCSA Mosaic, the first popular Internet browser.

On her current sentiments towards the motherland Fu told HuffPostLive, "I believe China is in a transition stage today. There was a lot of economic development that caused Americans to fear about China. But this new generation of the government that comes on to lead China gives me a lot of hope."

Around the Web

Today on The Cycle: Ping Fu

Bend Not Break – A New Book by Geomagic CEO, Ping Fu

Bend, Not Break: From China to America

Bend, Not Break: Leadership Lessons For Resilience Amid Struggle

 
From Our Partners