Taking measures into your own hands
How do you know if your projects are as precise as can be? While we can get a certain level of control by squeezing our fingers together and taking an educated guess, sometimes you need the cold hard facts. That’s where measuring devices such as vernier callipers come in handy to narrow down the numbers.
Inspired by some 3D printed measuring tools they had seen, the guys over at Just Add Sharks fired up their lasers to cut a set of fully functional callipers (above) from 1.5mm birch ply. The components were laser cut and glued together, and then to round things off an additional set of radius guides (below) allow for internal and external radii to be checked for accuracy.
Looking for a fun weekend project? The files for these laser cut precision tools can be downloaded from the source article at Just Add Sharks, so head over there if you’d like to make your own laser cut measuring guides in your material of choice from the Ponoko Personal Factory.
via Just Add Sharks
An Independence Day Deal For The Independent Designer
The independent designer’s favorite deal is back! This summer, let’s celebrate Independence Day with a FREE $50 making voucher.
To Get Your $50 Making Voucher:
- Log in to your Ponoko account. If you don’t have one, sign up for free here.
- Place a $50 minimum order at the Ponoko US or NZ hub.
- Type ‘JULY16’ in the coupon box while checking out, and we’ll email your $50 Making Voucher.
Things You Should Know:
Offer good for making stuff with laser cutting at Ponoko. Showroom or sample store purchases do not qualify. $50 minimum does not include shipping. Other coupon codes or vouchers cannot be used with this offer. Offer good at Ponoko US and NZ only. Offer also valid for Ponoko Prime accounts. Offer starts 8:00am Pacific Time on June 4, 2016 and ends at 11:59pm Pacific Time on July 4, 2016.
About The Free Making Voucher:
Promotional voucher redeemable until Sept 4th, 2016. Promotional making voucher is good for a future laser cutting order, not the initial $50 order. One promotional voucher per account. (Making Vouchers are good on making costs only.)
Need something new to inspire your next laser cut wood project? Can’t find the right material that offers flexibility and versatility? Check out our latest additions to our material selection. The wood design on these peel & stick veneers offer incredible detail.
The premium grade real wood veneer has a pressure sensitive adhesive backing. The veneer is quite flexible along the grain and can be applied to curved surfaces. They’re great for jewelry projects, to stick on to acrylics or to create amazing 3D stickers. Your imagination is the only limit to you how you can use the walnut, bamboo amber and bamboo blonde peel & stick veneers for your next laser cut wood project.
Click on the images below to get all the details on our new premium peel & stick veneers.
Peel & Stick Veneer – Walnut
Walnut has rich, chocolate hues, auburn undertones, and beautiful grain patterns that make it appealing as material for projects that need stronger color contrast.
Peel & Stick Veneer – Bamboo Amber
Bamboo has a beautiful fine grain which may have some visible joints on the surface to break up the grain — giving it a unique appearance. The Amber version has a golden brown color, a great choice for neutral-looking jewelry projects.
Peel & Stick Veneer – Bamboo Blonde
The natural occurence of joints on this other new bamboo is also a welcome break from the fine grain. It has a golden color that is a few shades lighter than the Amber version.
We’d love to know your ideas for things you can make with these new materials. Comment them below.
Laser Cut Educational Toys
Personalised toys can make a great gift, adding something unique and memorable to show how much you care. It’s one of those things that many people think about doing, but never take the first steps to actually make it happen. Let’s take a look at how easy it can be to put together a personalised laser cut educational toy.
As you can see in this guide on Instructables, it is possible to achieve a highly resolved, professional-looking outcome even for those who are new to laser cutting. The guide, written by Ponoko’s own Dan Emery, walks through a process of creating the cutting pattern for the jigsaw pieces using Inkscape, and then building a custom map section that will become the laser etched details. (more…)
Have you seen our latest two-color acrylics in modern tones? We hope these spark your creativity and inspire you for your next laser-cut project. Our new acrylics are 0.8 – 2.1mm thick. With a thin layer of a different colored plastic on top. Engraving reveals the second acrylic color underneath. This results in a dramatic effect perfect for making jewelry, tableware, electronics enclosures, conference badges, signage, book covers, point of sale displays and more.
We have three new two-color acrylics available:
White on Black
Brushed Silver on Black
Black on White
What we love about the two-color acrylic is how it changes the overall look of the finished product. Here’s a great example of brushed silver on black:
Laser Cut Cross Stitching
The crafty, handmade look of cross stitch embroidery has something wonderfully warm and fuzzy about it. While the regular grid of holes speaks of an industrial precision, the contrast of woven yarn introduces a human element that is organic and inviting.
Laser Cut Cross Stitch Inspiration
The pendant above was made by Rebecca from Hugs are Fun as a gift for her dad. Over time, Rebecca has refined her techniques to become a bit of an expert at making all kinds of laser cut cross stitched whimsies. It’s well worth browsing through her website for inspiration, patterns, project ideas and even items to purchase.
How to use Laser Cutting for cross stitching
Cross stitching describes an embroidery technique of tracing out patterns using yarn or other coiled materials. In these particular examples, the yarn is threaded through a defined pattern of laser cut holes to generate the raster-like effect. With a little creative thought and planning, you can come up with many interesting variants based on this core idea.
The material of choice can be any of our usual laser cutting favorites. Bamboo ply, acrylic, metals or even leather and felt will all respond well as substrates for the cross stitch technique.
For versatile cross stitched patterns, a grid of laser cut holes will allow for quirky pixellated artwork or logos. It can also be effective to cut only the holes you need to define the form; leaving the substrate surface bare either to have presence in its own right or as an optional space for further laser etched details.
Can you give your brand a cross stitched crafty twist with the Ponoko Personal Factory? Let us know in the comments below. For more ideas for Agencies and Brands, see the other posts in the series.
Themed ‘Build Your Own’ event kits
Diy kits are a great way to engage people with the world that your brand inhabits. From a collection of snap-together laser cut parts, a miniature diorama can be created that entertains and stimulates playful conversation.
Connect to an event
The example here comes from Michiel Post van der Molen’s wedding, where guests were given a Build Your Own Honeymoon kit that enabled them to become immersed in the newlywed spirit. The package contained iconic laser cut silhouettes along with a felt base, where a grid of slots allowed personal interpretations of the ideal romantic getaway to be clipped into place.
Connecting with your brand
What unique worlds can be created to connect people with your brand using laser cutting from the Ponoko Personal Factory? Let us know in the comments below. By handing out simple, thoughtful construction kits to potential customers, there is an opportunity for them to become new storytellers and enthusiastic brand ambassadors. For more ideas for Agencies and Brands, see the other posts in the series.
Layers and Shadows
The play of light and shade on crisp laser cut linework has an eye-catching impact that is both dynamic and alluring. With only a little more effort than it would take to prepare files for printing in a more traditional 2d format, it is possible to use the same visual structure to create laser cut layered artwork that can literally jump out from the page.
Why does it work so well?
The example pictured above demonstrates that this approach to 3-dimensional graphic design can be applied with great effect to simple text and logos. When given only a partially complete outline of each letter, the eye naturally resolves the missing details. Further support from environmental lighting can also enhance the stratification in the design. This allows the geometric forms of the custom font to be instantly recognisable even without prior knowledge of what the typeface looks like.
How to use this technique with your brand
Some of the best laser cut designs are also the simplest. This is particularly true when working with layered material and sections that are cut or removed; the less complicated your design can be, the fewer the potential errors when it all comes together. Remember to work with the strengths of laser cutting, making use of (to name a few): crisp linework, precision alignment and the elegance of accurate repetition.
Can you think of a clever way to harness light and shade using laser cutting with the Ponoko Personal Factory? Let us know in the comments below. For more ideas for Agencies and Brands, see the other posts in the series.
image source: viral3k.com
Your Christmas Gift From Ponoko.
We’re celebrating Boxing Day with a happy one-day deal:
From midnight tonight until 11:59pm tomorrow, you’ll get 30% off the making cost of any laser cutting order when you use this code – W1WRYS – at checkout here.
Happy Boxing Day!
Note: Discount good for 30% off the making costs of your order. Offer good for Free Personal Factory accounts only.
Today we present the second opportunity for our design/make community to earn money in a new way.
You’ll design a unique departing gift for the incredible team of the Cirque du Soleil production of Quidam – an escape into a world of imagination
This comes as a result of us launching a new service for event marketers and businesses to design and make promo products from scratch, using our design/make community of 150,000 creative minds!
Your Design Challenge
Here’s your design challenge – including your audience, your goal, payment and process.
The timeline is kinda a now thing …
Portfolio Submissions Close Monday January 4th 2016 at 5pm PT
See how to submit your portfolio, along with available materials & design requirements.
This is another of what we hope will be many opportunities for you to earn a living from your product creativity online with our new service to match the $23 billion annual promotional products market with our custom product design community.
We hope you get in behind this second one to continue to send us the signal we’re on the right track for you …