Ponoko has two dirty little secrets
It's true, Ponoko has two dirty little secrets:
- It's actually affordable.
- It's crack for Makers.
I've been attracted to the idea of Ponoko since I first heard about it—particularly once I knew they were New Zealand based. But I was always put off by the fact it seemed an expensive service—or at least the "flag ship" products available for purchase made it look that way.
Now that they've opened the beta up to New Zealand users and I've spent a bit of time with it I can reveal that Ponoko seems to have been holding out on us. (It's basically impossible to find pricing information for your own project until you upload something—which isn't without its issues.)
The first price-related figure for a personal project I saw was this one:
Cutting Cost (x1) $0.56
Material Cost (x1) $2.27
Add $10 for delivery in New Zealand and "You
could be manufacturing something today
and get it delivered for less than $15!
". Now as it happens the object in question was a small acrylic square :-) but that's not the point. I later managed to design an ~150mm square acrylic puzzle with a delivered price of under $20.
I haven't as yet ordered anything (I don't need another habit :-) ) but if you've been wondering about Ponoko but been put off by the price of getting started it looks to me like it's worth investigating further.
Inkscape and Ponoko
While Ponoko mention using Inkscape to produce the required EPS files on their site I was unable to open the templates they provided—and it seems I wasn't the only one having Inkscape problems with Ponoko. The good news is that Inkscape 0.45 seems to produce the required EPS files okay—I can't say yet if they'll manufacture okay, but if you want to try just ignore the templates. (I'm hoping Ponoko will soon provide a Inkscape-compatible template set.)
And the funy thing is while I was writing up my experience of the site I actually had received two emails from one of the Ponoko's development staff (at nearly 11pm!) who noted I'd encountered a couple of errors while using the site. The first email was to let me know they were working on the issue I'd encountered and the second around an hour later was to let me know they'd fixed the issue. Nice.
Syndicated 2007-09-27 15:40:00 from follower