Vector and Raster engraving examples

Free design shows exactly what will happen in your material of choice

The mysteries of how to get the right settings for vector and raster engraving is something that can take time and practise to fully unravel. Thanks to this free file from James Stokebrand, you can create a mini laser etching cheat sheet in your favorite Ponoko material.

The file is set to work perfectly with Ponoko’s P1 template size, and it includes a range of raster fill values, vector line fill values and even some handy tips for designs that use vector linework.

Pictured above is the file etched onto blonde bamboo, and James has also provided high-res sample images in black acrylic and cardstock. Although there is nothing that can truly replace holding a physical sample in your hand, zooming in on these images is pretty close to the next best thing.

Take a look on the Ponoko Support Forums to see for yourself. The file can be downloaded from the Ponoko Showroom, and if it all looks too confusing for you (don’t worry, we all start somewhere!) there is a simpler version of what James has provided all cut and ready to go on the Ponoko Samples page.

via Ponoko Support Forums

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Laser cut maps and numbers

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #205

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Above is a laser cur walnut plywood map of Ohio from Cut Maps.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

After the jump, Chicago, police boxes,, 10, and three… (more…)

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Rope-O’Matic Kickstarter closing soon

Last chance to get your hands on a laser cut rope braiding machine

When we first came across an earlier version of this laser cut mechanical marvel, it had our heads in quite a spin. The 21st century makeover of an 1890’s industrial artefact is a fantastic example of how laser cutting can enable accessibility to broader technological possibilities.

Ever true to his word, David from Mixed Media Engineering has refined the design and launched a Kickstarter campaign for what is now known as the Rope-O’Matic.

With a diverse range of applications it is hardly surprising that this very unique laser cut product has eclipsed its modest campaign funding goal.

Check it out before you miss your chance… don’t tie yourself in knots, there are only a few days left to secure yourself one of these novel devices.

Rope-O’Matic via Kickstarter

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How to etch mirror acrylic

Laser etched impact made easy

As the Festive Season approaches and we become more and more enamoured with all things shiny, here are our tips on how to use laser etching for some serious impact on mirror acrylic.

People love the combination of crisp laser definition with the reflective sheen of mirror acrylic, and to create these effects there are a few key points to remember. The main one is that you’re not etching into the surface of the acrylic, but rather through the reflective coating on the rear of the material.

Another tip that may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it can sneak up on you – remember to reverse the artwork so that it reads correctly when viewed from the other side of the sheet.

For an informative collection of examples including vector and raster engraving, as well as different approaches to filling the etched designs, head over to the Ponoko Support Forums for the full scoop.

Ponoko presents: Laser Etched Mirror Acrylic

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Laser cut multiples

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #204

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Above are laser cut and powder coated steel bookends from Design Atelier Article.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

After the jump, bees, octopi, chess, and embroidery… (more…)

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Ponoko Customer Captures Oakland Spirit

Oakland inspired designs from Phillip Yip

Phillip Yip is the Oakland-based engineer, designer and photographer behind Antietam Designs – laser cut jewelry modeled after Oakland city trees and other local inspirations.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay, you’re probably already familiar with Phillip’s designs. His iconic Oakland Tree bamboo earrings were recently spotted on Oakland mayor-elect Libby Schaaf in November’s campaign trail.

As far back as he can remember, Philip has always wanted to design and make things. In high school, he packed his schedule with as many art classes as he could. After studying mechanical engineering in college, Philip moved out to the SF Bay Area where he was inspired to make his own designs after attending an art & fashion show at the Galleria in San Francisco.

Phillip was drawn to Ponoko partially because he wanted to use natural materials, and keep manufacturing as local as possible. “It’s easier for me from a logistics standpoint” he says “it supports our local economy, and being able to talk to Ponoko staff in person helps me design better and more efficiently.”

Philip’s pride in his city is apparent in his work. His jewelry line draws on inspiration like the famous Oakland cranes, and some of the beautiful latte art created by local baristas.

“I live in Oakland, California, and like many residents here, I’m proud to call Oakland home. I want to create pieces that reflect that and celebrate our city. I also enjoy good coffee and was inspired to make pieces based on some of the beautiful latte art that baristas here create.”

I asked Philip what he loved about Ponoko, and he cited how easy it is to use Ponoko’s service. “Ponoko has a wide material selection and already has the laser settings dialed in for each material,” he says “so there’s no need to experiment with the laser cutter itself. I like that I can upload files easily and get an instant quote. I haven’t found anyone else who offers such a seamless experience.”

Phillip offers up the following advice to other designers/sellers:

“I think it’s worth the effort to experiment a lot and try a bunch of prototypes. If you are trying to sell in stores, I also recommend getting in touch with local retailers, as the ones I have dealt with have been extremely supportive.”

In addition to Antietam Designs, Philip’s designs are available at his ETSY shop, or you can get them in person at Oaklandish.

Inspired to design your own product line? Make it with Ponoko!

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Laser Cut Portable Chair

Put your tired legs up and relax in style

For Kyoto Institute of Technology student Ryo Kosaka, every leisurely bike ride should finish up with a relaxing cup of coffee. And what better way to put your feet up, than to bring along your own portable chair?

The laser cut plywood chair disassembles, with all the structural elements – including a bonus side table – neatly tucking away inside the seating surface for storage on a bike. Assembly instructions are etched onto the underside, making it quick and easy to pop together when you need to rest your legs and take in the view.

Click through for a neat little clip of the chair components being laser cut, and then put to good use out in the countryside.   (more…)

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Buy One, Get One Free — Buy a Ponoko Gift Voucher, Get a FREE Making Coupon

Go Get it From Now Until Tuesday December 23rd !

Who’s that coming down the chimney? It’s Voucher Claus again! And he’s got a mittenful of glowing BOGO Ponoko vouchers.

If you know someone who makes stuff, then you know someone who would love a Ponoko voucher. And the best part of giving this gift is that you get a little something for yourself.

Vouchers are emailed as PDFs so you can print them off for stocking stuffers or keep it virtual.

Buy a Gift Voucher by 11:59 pm Tuesday December 23rd and get a FREE Making Coupon!

• Buy $1,000 of Gift Vouchers – get a FREE $500 Making Coupon.
• Buy $500 of Gift Vouchers – get a FREE $225 Making Coupon.
• Buy $250 of Gift Vouchers – get a FREE $110 Making Coupon.
• Buy a $100 Gift Voucher – get a FREE $40 Making Coupon.
• Buy a $50 Gift Voucher – get a FREE $20 Making Coupon.
• Buy a $25 Gift Voucher – get a FREE $10 Making Coupon.

What’s the difference you ask?
A *Gift Voucher* is good for any part of a make-it-yourself order: making, materials and shipping. A *Making Coupon* is good for the making costs only (i.e. the actual laser cutting).

Both these Gift Vouchers and Making Coupons can be used with both Ponoko Free and Prime accounts!


Please see our Gift Voucher Guidelines and our Making Coupon Guidelines for all the important fine print.

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How to make a laser cut greeting card

Send your loved ones a card they will genuinely cherish

The pleasure of giving a custom greeting card is something many of us lose touch with beyond our pre-school years, but it needn’t be that way and Ponoko is here to help mark those special moments.

This informative post from the Ponoko Support Forums walks through two examples of laser cut greeting cards, and adds further inspiration on ways to make the most of the cost effective (and also quite versatile) options for laser cut card in the Ponoko Materials Library.

With Ponoko’s last-chance holiday deadline almost upon us, there is still enough time to dazzle your loved ones with a laser cut masterpiece.

Remember the all-important first step of doing some ‘free prototyping’ at home by printing your design out at 1:1 scale. If it all looks right, then fire up your Personal Factory and send through a file for laser cutting before it’s too late!

via Ponoko Support Forums: How To Make A Laser Cut Greeting Card

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Tuesday is the Final Deadline to Order Laser Cutting in Time for the Holidays

Final Deadline for Holiday Orders is December 9!

Did you miss our early order deadline?

You’ve still got time place rush orders for the holidays!

Place orders before midnight on December 9th to ensure delivery in time for Christmas.

Please note: The early deadline for Holiday Orders has past – You will likely need to pay for an upgrade to faster making and/or shipping speeds to expedite your order.

If you’ve got any questions about the timeframe of your order, just get in touch : )

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