Thursday, January 8, 2009


I have been browsing through Ponoko. Ponoko is a craft centered site where you can get plans for making stuff, sell plans, or sell craft items. It is sort of a cross of a craft centered ebay and make magazine. There are some unique offerings:
An MDF wine rack:
A Pen catapult:
And a robot (from instructables, so there you go):

After browsing for a while, there is much more to the site than I first realized. You need to download their starter pack, then you can design an item, choose materials. They will cut / tool the pieces and send them to you. You can assemble and then make adjustments. The project can then be sold, if you want to others as a plan or kit. They have a range of acrylics, a few wood types, and some sheet metals, and they laser cut the pieces. I was guessing the laser cut for cost reasons, and since many patterns are very intricate.

I could see several theatrical uses - prototypes, custom props, and model building. If you have a cnc machine, you might not see as much value, but in a typical theatre it could be a great solution. As always with cnc / laster/ waterjet parts, the time is in the drafting - drafted correctly and well thought out the actual set piece or prop goes together easily.

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