Blog this: Ponoko.com
Posted by joeabbott on July 4, 2011
At one time I had so many cat cartoons that I started a separate site for them; now, I’m getting lots of “blog this” posts! OK, maybe not so many that I need to create a new sub-site, but I posted yesterday and I have a lot more in the queue, so be ready for more!
In case you haven’t been reading, I’ll sometimes find little nuggets of information on the ‘Net and mail myself the URL with the note to “blog this”. Sometimes the information is something I use and love (see my entry on the Faststone Capture tool), and sometimes it’s something I know nothing about yet think is terribly interesting: like today’s item, Ponoko!
I first read about Ponoko.com in a Make magazine, but they were so into 3D printing that I skimmed over it and read on. All of the stuff in Make is cool, but some is just beyond me. Anyhow, I bumped into Ponoko again … this time, when I was reading about a woodworking project!
The deal is that if you want to create something but lack the skill to build it in real life and yet can create a computer model of it and then upload that model to Ponoko and they’ll build it for you!
The site outlines a simple five step process:
and that’s it!
In the Design it step, you can create your own model or use one of the apps they’re encouraging individuals to build. An example of an existing app is Magic Box, which is a program that leads you through a template, allowing you to configure the size or shape of your object. For example, you might want to create a box: you’ll specify the height, width, and depth and then “print” them through Ponoko. You get custom boxes for your exact needs.
In the five steps noted above, the Upload it step assumes you’re going to build your own model, whereupon you’ll need to upload the model to Ponoko. You then Choose it by selecting the materials and finishes you wish to use.
The Make it step gives you pricing for your options and commits you to having the model built. And finally the Ship it step brings the model to your door for assembly.
Admittedly, there’s a lot here I just don’t know and done have first-hand experience with it, but I like the promise of something like Ponoko. I like it a lot.
While I haven’t used it yet, I know I will. And if you’ve used Ponoko, I’d love to hear about it! This is too cool not to talk about!