Ponoko is an interesting new site that offers to make objects from your design. It’s also a market where you can sell either your design or the stuff you have made there.
“Armed with nothing more than an idea, professional and hobbiest designers, crafters, hackers and artists can turn their ideas into real products – and new revenue streams – using our web commerce and digital make-on-demand services. No upfront costs. No minimum orders. No inventory. Simply click to design, make, sell and deliver your creativity to the world, at your own speed.”
Nice pitch, but of course it’s a little more complicated than that. You have to design something, order it, have it sent to you, test it, change the design and hopefully they’ll be able to make something that works. Or you have to begin the whole process again and you don’t know the cost until you have submitted something, which I didn’t do.
The step by step explanations are very clear, though. The choice of materials is limited but interesting. Personally, I am intrigued by the potential of acrylic, especially to do colored lights like this one I found this week on the ideaco website .
Over all, it’s not yet the desktop universal fabricator from science fiction stories, but it’s a nice step in this direction. If you try Ponoko, please let us know about your experience.
Story by Bruno for Vu d’ici.