Ponoko Customer Turns Product Into $100,299 In Just 20 Days

Ponoko + Kickstarter = Designer’s Dream

We covered this briefly before, but it’s going bananas! So we thought it was a good idea to introduce how designers are using Ponoko and Kickstarter to make and sell their products.

Jeremy Williams is a San Francisco based engineer and video game enthusiast with a passion for pixel art. His latest project, the Game Frame, is a fully-programmable grid of LEDs designed to make it easy to display animated pixel art anywhere. Jeremy’s product on Kickstarter just passed $100,000, and is trending to hit over $150,000 before closing.

The Game Frame was initially just a fun personal project – Jeremy loves 8-bit pixel art and wanted to find a way to display it on his walls – but after his prototype was demonstrated for Tested in June, the positive feedback inspired him to see if he could turn the Game Frame into a real product.

Using laser cut parts from Ponoko, Jeremy went through several iterations to refine his design. After months of prototyping, and multiple prototypes, Jeremy arrived at a Game Frame that was sleeker looking, cheaper to build, and easier to use.

With a new Game Frame in hand Jeremy set out to test the market viability of his new product.  There’s many ways to do this, like setting up a website, an ETSY store, or selling at a local event. But he decided to use Kickstarter to put his product directly in front of potential customers to gauge interest in the Game Frame, and to gain pre-orders to fund his first production run.

The enthusiasm was overwhelming. Within 4.5 hours the Game Frame had met it’s initial goal of $15,000. Within a week, he had over $50,000 in backing. As at press time, Jeremy has already sold 448 Game Frames = $107,123 and counting!

Now comes the fun part: Jeremy will spend the coming months fulfilling the orders for his Kickstarter backers, wiring the PCBs, soldering LEDs, & assembling laser cut frames using his Personal Factory at Ponoko. The first orders are scheduled to ship in June.

Jeremy’s story is an inspiring example of how you can take a cool idea, make it real at low cost with Ponoko, and discover a whole market you never knew you had.

We’ll be following this and letting you know more about how to use Ponoko and Kickstarter as the story unfolds.

If you’re interested in starting your own product line too, you can signup for free here to make and sell your own products.

Related posts:

Bringing Pixel Art to Life

The Game Frame gives you a dose of 8-bit nostalgia.

The Game Frame is a fully-programmable grid of LEDs designed to make it easy to display animated pixel art and old-school video game graphics.

Game Frame creator Jeremy Williams got the idea after playing a virtual arcade that featured game artwork hung on the wall. “After searching fruitlessly to buy something like that in the real world, I decided to make it myself” said Williams.

Prototyped with laser-cut parts from Ponoko, the Game Frame has already passed it’s $15,000 Kickstarter goal and is well on it’s way to pass the $100,000 mark.

Backers can pre-order a fully assembled unit at the $230 level, or assemble their own for $150.

The campaign ends March 9. For more on Game Frame, check out the Kickstarter video below.

Related posts:

Laser cut laundry

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #163

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

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

Above is a laser cut acrylic laundry necklace from Oronkol.

After the jump, coasters, school, deers, and Loki… (more…)

Related posts:

Laser Cut Cupid

Flying straight to your heart on Valentine’s Day

Did you make something special for a loved one this Valentine’s Day? For those with a laser cutter handy (that includes Ponoko users, too!) here is a cute little Laser Cut Cupid from Rob Ives that is sure to win over more than a few hearts.

All of the parts for this romantic automata are available for free over at Instructables and on Rob’s blog. Assembly is quite straightforward, and made even easier thanks to the detailed instructions provided. With the laser cut parts, some thin dowel, and wire from two paperclips, your Cupid will be flapping away in no time.

Turn the handle, and watch as the laser cut wooden gears work their magic.

There are also a few small neodymium magnets to keep the wings in place. Click through to see images of the laser cut parts and assembly process.   (more…)

Related posts:

Exploded hardware wall art

Creative inspiration as products are exposed in all their glory

We all know the story… the kids who spend hours pulling apart every product they can get their hands on will grow up to become tomorrow’s designers, engineers and creative geniuses. Well, the offices of Bolt in downtown Boston show that this is more than just a cliché.

Building a great hardware product is brutally hard work and our walls remind us of that everyday.

Set with a relatively small budget for decorating the office space in an inspirational way, the Bolt team made a list of their favourite hardware products of all time and purchased each item from eBay. The products were then disassembled, cleaned, and mounted on the walls in all their exploded designer glory.

This can be seen as merely an ‘art project’, with all the innards of the products exposed and neatly knolled into place. But as the exposed products become more and more a part of the every day, they have become valuable tools to educate, inspire and remind of how important exquisite design and meticulous engineering are to the success of a business.   (more…)

Related posts:

Laser cut Marble Machines

Demonstrating the impact of changes in scale for laser cutting

Those two guys who just can’t help adding their own magic touch to laser cutting have been at it again. Martin Raynsford and his enthusiastic colleague Dominic Morrow kicked off the New Year by revisiting an old favourite project: the laser cut Marble Machine.

This time around, they gave the scale a twist – first sizing things up, and then scaling right down to something definitively cute and tiny.

As you can see in the following videos, the Marble Machines are a neat example of how easy it can be to resize an object for laser cutting.

“I’ve been telling people that one of the joys of CAM is that if you want a different size you just scale everything to 200% and recut it, so I did just that… and it works perfectly”

Just be sure to double-check before cutting! Martin and Dominic were careful to take into account all parameters including material thickness and the size of the marbles. For the Massive Marble Machine, two layers of 3mm MDF were laminated to create the required 6mm material thickness. It uses a 20mm ball bearing from another past project.

Going in the other direction, the Mini Marble Machine is so small that you need an implement to turn the teeny little winder that activates the mechanism.

Watch those marbles go round and round in a few short videos after the break. (more…)

Related posts:

A laser cut hive mentality

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #156

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

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

Above is a laser cut rubber BOLERO HEX (jacket) and COLONY pencil skirt from Ego Assassin (may be NSFW).

After the Om, magpies, hands, guitars, moths, clocks… (more…)

Related posts:

Laser cut vibrating mirror

Fuzzy reflections for the New Year

As another calendar year clicks over, you may find yourself reflecting on the past 12 months and pondering what the New Year will bring.

Staring into the mirror is one way to indulge in some serious contemplation… and with this interesting project from Instructables user Wolfgang Kahler, gazing at your reflection can have some surprising results.

The mirror has an array of laser-cut discs at its centre, right where the viewer’s face is likely to be positioned. Each disc is connected to a tiny motor that vibrates under the control of an Arduino Uno, with visually compelling patterns achieved in what could be seen as a simple animation.

As you can see from the video after the break, this results in a dynamic interactive experience that is considerably more high-tech than the traditional fun house novelty mirror.   (more…)

Related posts:

Elegant laser cut clocks

Taking inspiration from ornate European public timepieces

There is a lot to see at the Renegade Craft Chicago Winter Market in 2013. For those lucky enough to be in town on the 7th and 8th of December, one of the designers to look out for is Chicago native Sarah Mimo.

Over the past few years, Sarah has been building on a body of work that is inspired by an earlier visit to London and Prague. While on these travels, she found the beauty of Europe’s public clocks particularly memorable and has incorporated this influence into her artwork.

The result is an exceptional collection where she brings her own flavour to the idea of an ornamental timepiece. Laser cut and then finished and assembled by hand in her Brooklyn studio, these clocks are sure to pass the test of time.

See more from Sarah and other creative artists at the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market on December 7-8, or for those who miss out, there is plenty of laser cut eye candy on her website.

Sarah Mimo via Renegade Craft

Related posts:

The Chart of Hand Tools

Over 300 illustrated tools of the trade

We may be immersed in the digital workflow of laser cutters and 3D printers, but there are still dozens of hand tools that makers are using every day.

The experts of laying it all out, Pop Chart Lab, have put together a wonderful collection in their print The Chart of Hand Tools.

“Meticulously illustrated tools celebrating the tinkerers and the doers: those who build, repair and create.”

Whether it’s the finely tuned measuring devices that ensure every dimension is just so, or the brute force of over 20 different hammers and mallets, somewhere on this illustrated panel will be the tools that enable you to realise your creativity.

Click through for a detailed view. (more…)

Related posts: