I enjoy commuting from 1937, but this futuristic age of twenny-oh-nine has its advantages, too. One of them is Ponoko.
Nope, not a Japanese arcade game -- it works like this: say you've got an idea, a basic design; but you haven't got the shop skills and tools to make it, let alone CAD ability and/or access to the computer-controlled machinery to mass-produce it. An insurmountable opportunity? No prob -- here are people who do. And if your idea's a good one, they'll want to; in part, so they can sell it to others. It's kind of a Cafe Press for 3-D objects. The more complicated ones are flat-pack kits.
In a half-hour's wander, I have seen everything from inexpensive letter-form celphone charms to a $1700 (!!!) chair of delightful design (.eps file, $19, if you've got a pal with a laser cutter); I'm pondering a very kewl crane lamp, price not too far off that of a better-grade five & dime desk lamp and a whole lot more my sort of thing.
So -- have you got an idea for a product? Share it and put it to work! Might even make you a little money.
6 months ago