The inspiration for Yvonne Laube’s adorable animal mobiles, switch plates, night lights, and holiday ornaments initially came while she was decorating the nursery for her newborn son.
“I was looking for pieces that were clean-lined and both modern and traditional,” she says. But when she couldn’t find quite what she was looking for, she decided to make her own designs with Ponoko’s laser cutting service.
And luckily for her, Yvonne’s single entry into last year’s YippieYay contest won her the opportunity to try Ponoko free for a whole year.
He works with a wet collodion process, a method dating back to the 1850s. “The end results are ambrotypes, appearing on glass in the form of a negative until backed by black velvet, thus rendering the positive image,” he explains on his website.
The photographic plate holder Jody uses in his practice “finally deteriorated to the point that it was no longer useable, and finding a well made replacement was imposable. The lack of reliable plate holders inspired me to start making my own.”
So in addition to fine art photography and commission work, Jody started In Camera Industries — a small business selling accessories for in camera photography.
Specifically, In Camera Industries sells high quality, photographic plate holders that can be used for “wet collodion (ambrotype/tintypes),
paper negatives, dry plate, daguerreotypes, and any in camera process.”
Maurice Ribble designs a hardware hit for fiber hobbyists.
Spinning wheels always bring to mind fairy tales: Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold in exchange for a maiden’s first born child, Sleeping Beauty cursedly pricking her finger on the spindle.
But luckily, Maurice Ribble’s story isn’t so grim (pun intended.) Maurice is a computer engineer who lives with his wife Emily in the Boston area. “I always say my wife’s first love is knitting because she’s done it for much longer than she’s known me,” he says.
Emily often spins her own yarn for her knitting projects and totes a manual spinning wheel to her knitting group. “The mechanics of the spinning wheel were fascinating to my engineering mind and her need to travel with it gave me some great reasons to set about making a very portable, electric spinning wheel,” Maurice explains.
Soon he had requests from Emily’s friends to make them one too. “One thing lead to another, and now you can buy them on the internet,” he says. And lots of people are buying them.
With nearly 2 million views and over 43,000 subscribers to her design-meets-DIY YouTube channel, Karen Kavett clearly knows how to build an audience.
At just 22 years old, Karen works full-time as a video blogger and freelance designer in San Francisco.
She’s been creating videos on crafting, graphic design, “and other nerdy stuff” since 2008. She’s signed with one of the top online video agencies and her design work ranges from UX for YouTube to cover illustration for a NYT best selling author.
And she’s recently decided to expand her brand to a line of typographically inspired jewelry she makes with the help of Ponoko’s laser cutting service.
Let Karen introduce herself to you — and get a look at her mirrored acrylic ampersand necklace — in the video below.
“I had known about Ponoko for a long time,” says Michiel, “but never had a great reason to use the service.”
That reason finally came while he and his soon-to-be wife Jo-Ann planned their Berkeley, California wedding. “Many of our guests were traveling from different countries, and we wanted to give them something special to say thanks for making the journey,” Michiel explains.
His idea was to use our laser cutting service to create a DIY kit that let people build their own honeymoon scenes.
“Clouds are such a beautiful expression of the way landscape systems function” says Helen Reynolds, an artist and instructor of landscape architecture in Wellington, New Zealand. Last year she began a series of work exploring cloud shape and formation, including a sculptural installation she created with the help of Ponoko’s laser cutting service.
“Changes in the landscape make changes in the cloudscape, and I love that connection,” Helen explains of her initial interest in the subject. “They’re the responses of water vapor in the contracting or expanding atmosphere and castles in the sky.”
After creating several drawings and hand-cut cloud sculptures, Helen decided to use laser cutting for a project proposal that had been accepted for exhibition at the Dowse Museum of Art.
Jay Thomson wears a bow tie to work every day. “[People] get a kick out of seeing them, and they often will strike up a conversation with me about my tie. They’re always amazed when they find out I make many of the ties I wear,” Jay writes on his website Lavaguy.com
So Jay decided to find a way to streamline the bow tie making process. He designed 7 different tie shapes and used Ponoko’s laser cutting service to create acrylic templates (shown in action in the photo above).
Kevin Taylor was the ‘T’ in T&C Lures, a small business started by two guys who loved to fish in the San Diego bay. His partner (the ‘C’ in T&C) was taking a CNC machining class and “just wanted the challenge” of creating his own lures. Their first product, the swimgrub shown below, made the rounds at fishing forums and quickly became very popular.
But after just a few months of starting the company, C moved on and Kevin was left to carry on design and production. He would either have to pay a lot of money to a product development agency or learn to do it himself. So he decided to dive in and learn.
After some initial research on CAD and rapid prototyping, he came across SketchUp 3D design software and Ponoko’s 3D printing service.
Rather than make CNC machined masters for molding the lures and bait, Kevin decided to try 3D printed models. Below are images of his SketchUp designs as well as a model he produced with Rhino.
Andrea’s inspiration came from the medieval history surrounding his home near Modena, Italy. “It’s not a strict reproduction of a real castle. I wanted to include as many medieval elements as I could,” he says.
As part of the prize, Ponoko sponsored free laser cutting for the winner. Andrea’s epic design required thirty-two P3 (about 31″x15″) size sheets. Rather than ship an entire castle battle over from the US, we worked with our friends Vectorealism, a laser cutting service based in Milan, to have Andrea’s design made closer to home.
The picture below of Andrea’s son standing behind the castle walls demonstrates just how big this toy is!