Ten Helpful Tutorials and Guides

Best of the Blog 2010 – Tutorials and Making Help

In addition to the ten fantastic guides that are featured in the Ponoko Blog sidebar, today we’ve gathered for you a collection of ten more helpful guides and tutorials from the archives.

Read on for some simple advice for beginners (that may be a welcome reminder for more seasoned makers) through to a complete analysis of turning making into a business, with a few surprises in between.  

#10 Learn To Draw

I have a personal bee in my bonnet about this one. Drawing is something everyone can learn. And regardless of how zippy you might be with your technology, confidence in your manual drawing skills will have a positive influence on all other aspects of the design process. It’s also a whole lot of fun.

#9 Avoid scale FAIL with free prototyping

The old carpenter’s adage measure twice, cut once holds true for laser cutting and 3d printing too. Avoid trouble by printing your first prototype for free on your desktop printer.

#8 Starting simple – Make almost anything for under $5

Being sure you’re on the right track is important, particularly give the time and cost involved in laser cutting with some materials.
The secret is to make a test cut in good old cardboard before moving on to the serious stuff. And if you’re serious about cardboard, then you’re already off to a great start!

#7 Simple Steps to Make And Sell Your Custom Product

The world is full of great ideas, and never before has it been easier to turn those ideas into real, physical products. The thrill of holding something in your hands which you created is something quite special.
Here are ten steps to help you on your way to a successful custom product.

#6 Easy Photoshop Tricks to Improve Your Product Photography

Everyone likes beautiful product photography. Designers like it; your customers like it; and bloggers LOVE IT.
Here we share 3 super simple quick & easy Photoshop tricks you can use to make even some of the worst product photos look way better.

#5 A How-To for Toothy Wheels

Coming to us from the MAKE blog is this great article by brainy bad-ass Dustyn Roberts on making your own gears. The article includes step-by-step instructions for using Inkscape to design your own gears and have them made on Ponoko.

#4 A Marvellous Process

As a long-time heavyweight in the Ponoko Showroom, WoodMarvels continues to surprise and delight with an increasingly diverse collection of lasercut 3d models.
Come along for the ride as Jon, the man-marvel behind WoodMarvels, takes us through the process of creating an animation for one of his latest constructions.

#3 Rubber Coat Your Laser Cut Plastic Parts

In search of extra traction for the footsies of a walker robot, one blogger from 4Volt turned to a rubber coating called Plasti-Dip. Follow the simple guide to this disturbingly toxic solution; the results are brilliant but do proceed with caution.

#2 Step-by-Step Guide To Building A Makerbot

We keep hearing about the Makerbot 3d printer, but what’s actually involved in putting one together? Find out in this 13-part article that spans almost a year; from the excited opening of the first box on the kitchen floor all the way to printing a classic whistle in ABS plastic.

#1 10 Rules For Maker Businesses

Okay. So this one does appear in the Ponoko sideabar, but it is serious enough to deserve a second mention here. In a fantastic ten-part feature, Wired Magazine’s Chris Anderson lays it all out for the maker who wants to get serious with their making. Click through for the full list, and get your notepad ready. There are some real gems in this one.

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