Sweet dreams thanks to Sleep Sensei

Ponoko laser cut Kickstarter trains you to fall asleep. Eyes closed, now breathe…

Chasing those Z’s is about to get a whole lot easier thanks to this nifty innovation from Jeremy Wilson on Kickstarter. The Sleep Sensei sits on your nightstand and gently guides you towards a deep, restful sleep.

How does it do this? To some insomniacs, such an achievement may sound like pure magic, but there is some serious science behind the device. Jeremy’s own insomnia saw him trial numerous sleep aids before he set out to use his Arduino skills to sort out their collective shortcomings.

The functional laser cut prototype pictured above is at the core of this Kickstarter campaign, with the final design yet to be revealed. The key technology has all been sorted out already, as can be attested by an overwhelmingly positive outcome from product trials on real sleep-challenged volunteers.

“The Sleep Sensei primarily helps those with sleeping problems caused by stress or an overactive mind at bedtime.”

If you are one of those creative over-achievers who just can’t stop their mind racing at the end of the day (we probably all know at least a few people who fall into that category!) then head over to Kickstarter to discover more about The Sleep Sensei.

via Kickstarter

Metal etching project hits 300% of Kickstarter goal

POLIGON Sculpture Shows What’s Possible With Ponoko’s Metal Etching Service

Unfolding into the mailboxes of many backers, the latest runaway success from Kickstarter features these elegant and refined sculptures by Poligon.

At the time of writing, pledges for the faceted brass and stainless steel creatures are about to eclipse 300% beyond the modest Kickstarter funding goal. Produced using a metal cutting and engraving process called PCM (Photochemical Machining), the clean lines and precise folds of these user-assembled sculptures have a striking visual presence and it’s easy to see why everybody wants one!

“We fell in love with the process because it doesn’t require hugely expensive tooling but gives highly accurate results with beautiful metals. It really has freed our creative thinking and these sculptures are just the beginning!” – Poligon

While we talk a lot about laser cutting and 3D printing here at Ponoko, metal cutting and engraving via Photochemical Machining is perhaps the quiet achiever. Taking less of the everyday focus, but (as we can see with the sculptures from Poligon) PCM certainly makes quite an impact from time to time. The Ponoko service is often used for intricate jewellery, and you can learn more about how Photochemical Machining works in our comprehensive overview.

Rodrigo and Matthew from Poligon had their own extensive experience in modelling and production to draw on, and the success of their Kickstarter campaign is well deserved. If you are inspired by this to give PCM a go yourself, then Ponoko has all your needs covered from laser cut card prototypes through to finely etched products in brass, copper and stainless steel.

Other Kickstarter projects that have used Ponoko’s services and exceeded expectations include the wildly successful Game Frame (1,031% over goal), the LittleRP affordable resin 3D printer (475% over goal), and the musical wonder that is Motion Synth (108% over goal).

Support Poligon on Kickstarter
Make your own PCM products with Ponoko

Laser cut dogs and cats

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #195

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

Above is a laser cut wood pet portrait from Jodi Lynn’s Emporium of Doodles.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

After the jump, cats, skulls, and kicks… (more…)

A $154k Kickstarter Retrospective: What You Can Learn From the Game Frame’s Success

Anatomy of a successful Kickstarter

Jeremy Williams is the San Francisco based engineer / hacker / programmer / maker / video game enthusiast behind the Game Frame, a fully-programmable grid of LEDs designed to make it easy to display animated pixel art and old-school video game graphics.

Earlier this year Jeremy raised over $154,000 on Kickstarter for the Game Frame – an amazing sum considering the project’s original $15,000 goal.

7 months later – With the last of the Kickstarter rewards fulfilled, we sat down with Jeremy to get some insight into what led to his amazingly successful campaign.

Here’s a look at what has happened before and after the campaign was funded, along with some important lessons—both good and bad—that crowdfunding hopefuls can learn from Jeremy’s success story.

(more…)

We’re Hiring a Maker / Designer / Hacker to Help Our Customers Succeed

Full Printed from nueveojos on Vimeo.

We have a part time Customer Success Manager role (developing into a full time role) for a maker / designer / hacker to support our customers to make their custom products online. And to help us change the world.

ABOUT YOU

* You believe what we believe – that consumers of the future will download and make products at home (kinda like ‘digital Ikea’).

* You value what we value.

* You have a deep desire to help others make their own custom products. This will make it easy for you to smile, persevere and shine through the ups and downs our customer’s experience on their personal creative journeys, and the ups and downs we experience on ours.

* You are:

- A designer / maker / hacker. With the empathy and communication skills of a teacher.

- An expert in these design software apps, plus Meshlab and Netfabb.

- Experienced with laser cutters and 3D printers (both desktop and pro), with a practical understanding of the properties of these materials.

- A natural at online communication, familiar with Zendesk, Twitter and Facebook to reactively support customers online.

- Someone who works harmoniously with your team members to delight customers.

- Cool under extreme pressure, and radiate this with customers and your team members.

- A happy soul, empathetic, with an ‘excited’ online voice.

- Proactive. Detailed. Process driven. All three.

- Someone who likes to lead, and you enjoy working independently.

- Effective at multi ­tasking and prioritizing the daily rush of tasks that come in a startup.

- Someone who understands you get out of life what you put into it. And to change the world this means stepping forward and grabbing at responsibility.

ABOUT THE ROLE

You’ll be our voice to the world. You’ll be our customer’s voice to our team. You’ll support our customers to make their custom products online.

Your typical day includes:

* Achieving 2 key goals – quality and speed of service. Both measured and reported weekly.

* Responding to inbound chat, email and social media questions relating to customer orders, product design file preparation, materials selection, pricing and our service generally.

* Liaising with our production team to ensure on-time delivery of quality custom products.

* Delighting our customers with the unexpected, and putting a smile on their faces, particularly when all seemed lost.

* Attending 2 weekly meetings – one full team discussion about company and individual results, plus one support and production teams discussion about customer experience.

* Identifying problems with and improving our workflows to delight customers.

* As a bonus, creating or editing online help content for customers to help themselves.

BENEFITS

* Freedom and independence to run your own ship.
* Feeling that your work day means something and makes a difference.
* Market salary.
* Unlimited paid time off.
* Employee rates on laser cutting your own stuff.

ABOUT US

Dreamed up in 2006, Ponoko believes consumers of the future will download and make products at home (kinda like ‘digital Ikea’).

We foresaw the third industrial revolution (distributed digital mass production) growing out of the first and second industrial revolutions (centralised analog mass production).

Hence in 2007 Ponoko launched at the first TechCrunch conference and became the world’s first to enable designers to both make and sell their products online.

Since then a community of 125,000 makers, designers, hackers, brands and businesses have made over 400,000 custom products online. And they’ve sold them via our website, their websites, ETSY, Kickstarter, design events, and to main street retailers.

With free digital prototyping to get a design just right, no minimum order size to get started, and on-demand production available within 1 day to eliminate investment in stock, we’ve make it 10x faster than ever before for designers to prototype, make and sell their custom product ideas online.

Recognised as a pioneering leader of the online digital making industry, we have been featured in places like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, CNN Money, Inc. Magazine (cover), Forbes, Wired, Core77, TechCrunch, Makezine, MIT Technology Review, BBC News and The Economist.

Your appointment will enable us to continue to support our existing customers, and to hatch a new 3D printing initiative to transform our industry again.

TO APPLY

Send an email to derek-at-ponoko-dot-com to introduce yourself, send your resume, and your answers to these 3 questions:

1) Why do you want this role?
2) What gaps might exist between what we need and what you have?
3) Why are you the best person for this role?

We’re looking forward to meeting you :)

Ponoko Customer Blows Past Kickstarter Goal in One Day


Brad Hill is the creator behind LittleRP – A DLP projector-based resin printer that can be put together for as little as $499.

Brad set out to create a printer that was open, flexible and affordable. Rather than using proprietary resins, the LittleRP is designed to use as many different formulations of UV curing resins as possible. By focusing on smaller, higher quality prints, the LittleRP is able to provide high accuracy while keeping costs low.

The flexibility and low cost helps explain the explosive popularity of the LittleRP’s Kickstarter, which passed it’s funding goal of $25,000 is under 24 hours. As of this writing the LittleRP has raised over $98,000, just under 400% of it’s original goal!

The LittleRP’s sleek translucent enclosure is made from Ponoko’s Acrylic Orange Tint, and the housing is made from Melamine Finished MDF seen here:

The LittleRP works using a process known as 3D stereolithography, a 3D printing process that uses light-sensitive resin and a high intensity light source to build a 3D object, layer by layer, rather than using spools of plastic filament as on a majority of 3D printers currently on the market. You can check out the LittleRP in action on it’s Kickstarter Video:

Want to get your hands on your own LittleRP? Head over to Brad’s Kickstarter page to get one while you still can.

Inspired to make your own project? Signup to make and sell for free!

Laser Cut Rope Braiding Machine

Surplus store discovery inspires DIY mechanical marvel

Rope braiding machines are mesmerising to watch as they go through their mysterious machinations. Having spotted such a machine in a Surplus store, David from Mixed Media Engineering reverse-engineered the 1890’s product so that he could nut out exactly how the device works.

The result is a 16-bobbin laser cut wonder, with orbiting spools that guide the individual threads into an intricately woven mesh.

“I have been experimenting with some exotics such as carbon fiber yarns (rocket fusalage) embroidery thread for great braclets, surgical tube core with nylon shieth for pressure tubing, and para-cord nylon.”

There has been such a great response to the project that plans are in the works to turn it into a DIY kit on Kickstarter for others to enjoy. To catch a glimpse of those cogs in action, check out the brief clip of David introducing the rope braider at the source article.

via Hack a Day

Laser cut old things

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #172

Above is a Gothic Architecture Wood Lamp from 1 Man 1 Garage.

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

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

After the jump, dinosaurs, curls, and kickstarters… (more…)

The Kyub MIDI keyboard hits Kickstarter

The Kyub offers a six-sided twist on the usual 2D keyboard

Meet the Kyub, a compact, fully programmable MIDI interface that provides a new way to compose, record and perform music.

The Kyub features 11 fully programmable feather-touch keypads that connect to any computer or synthesizer via USB. Inside, an accelerometer tracks the movement of the Kyub to control the volume of the notes played.

These features make the interface really responsive, however the truly amazing thing is the way the Kyub is played. Check out the Kickstarter video below to see the Kyub in action:

The Kyub is designed as a kit that can be assembled at home by just about anyone, using laser cut parts from Ponoko.

If you’re short on soldering skills, you can back the Kyub and get a fully assembled unit as a reward. The Kyub is made to be as open and maker-friendly as possible, any computer-based synthesizer can be used to work with the Kyub.

If all this has got you excited for some cubed-out synth action, head over to the Kyub Kickstarter page to support the project and help make the Kyub a reality.

Giant laser cut cardboard velociraptor

Dinosaur costume roams the streets

Meet Felix. As you can tell from his gentle gaze, Felix is a friendly dinosaur and he loves to head out for a leisurely stroll.

Originally conceived (and worn) by Lisa Glover while exploring Industrial Origami as a part of her university studies, this jaw-dropping laser cut cardboard costume deservedly won her first place at a Halloween costume party in 2013.

The response to her 15 foot long wearable creation was so overwhelmingly positive that Lisa decided she had no option but to share it around. So she set out to re-engineer the jurassic costume into a form that is more manageable, and which is now the focus of a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Eager, cashed-up backers can get their legs into a giant velociraptor suit of their own, but for the rest of us there are some neat smaller rewards on offer.

Watch Lisa and Felix out for a stroll, and discover more at KitRex or on Kickstarter.