Kickstarting a landmine detonator

Mine Kafon: a low cost, wind powered mine detonator

Of all the maker projects I saw in 2012, Massoud Hassani’s Mine Kafon stands out in my mind as the most valuable contribution to global society.  Hassani grew up in Qasaba, Kabul in Afghanistan, he is now an industrial designer living in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. In his studies at university, Hassani recognised that the current means of land mine removal hasn’t had a lot of development in the last 60 years, it is still a labourous, dangerous, slow and expensive operation.  Mine Kafon is designed as a low cost solution to the problem of old, but still active, land mines. It is a land mine detonator inspired in part by childhood toys that Hassani and his friends crafted from cheap materials. (more…)

Related posts:

Ponoko unboxing of lasercut Kickstarter rewards

Ponoko-made project by Garland West

Ever wondered what it’s like to get a shipment from Ponoko? The video shows Garland West, an artist/crafter outside of Charlotte NC, unboxing her recent lasercut order featuring a variety of materials and sheet sizes.

You can see her peeling the protective paper and popping out her designs including bamboo business cards, acrylic jewelry, and a big red octopus.

“A lot of the items you see in the unboxing video are pledge rewards for my Kickstarter project,” she says.

“I made thank you cards from cardstock, yoga pose jewelry from bamboo, and coasters out of cork.” And the octopus? “Oh, that’s not a reward. It’s a ‘clocktopus’ project I’m working on.”

(more…)

Related posts:

Pro yo-yoer creates & demos flatpack lasercut yo-yo

Ponoko-made project by Drew Tetz

Drew Tetz is a professional yo-yoer who travels the country competing as part of the official Duncan Crew. When it’s not yo-yo time, he works as a graphic designer in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Drew has combined his design skills and yo-yo know-how to create a flatpack yo-yo with Ponoko. His design was a runner-up in the recent EvD lasercut toy design competition, and you can see him assemble and demo the yo-yo in the video below.

(more…)

Related posts:

Creating the award trophy for the Inspiring Stories national film competition

Ponoko-made project by Lu Davidson


Lu Davidson is the project coordinator behind the Inspiring Stories Trust of New Zealand, a charitable organization dedicated to telling the stories of New Zealanders who are taking action and leading change.

Her current project is organizing the 2012 film competition awards ceremony which is taking place in Wellington this Saturday, November 17 as part of the Festival of the Futureand creating trophies to present to the winners.

“Its been 9 months since we launched the Inspiring Stories National Film Competition, themed ‘Young Kiwis Making A Difference’.” Lu tells me. “This competition motivated young aspiring filmmakers to tell stories of incredible people doing awesome things in their communities and all over Aotearoa. I want to make the awards ceremony extra memorable for our young filmmaking winners.”

So Lu approached us about creating unique award trophies for each of the winners. “Josh at Ponoko suggested keeping it simple, using lasercutting with a single material. He also emphasized the importance of making a prototype.”

(more…)

Related posts:

Create your own jewelry by mapping your favorite places with Meshu

Ponoko-made products from Meshu founders Rachel Binx and Sha Hwang

When Rachel first moved to San Francisco, she was looking for work and knew she wanted a job in data visualization. “I was using Twitter to find potential contacts,” Rachel says. “Sha was gracious enough to meet me for dinner, and the rest is history!”

The two of them hit it off, eventually moving in together in a sunny carriage house in the Mission. And yes, Rachel landed a great job at a design studio. But the story doesn’t stop there.

Last year, Rachel and Sha sat down in a tea house and started brainstorming ideas for a side project: something that could combine their skills in design and data visualization with their love of travel.

The result was Meshu — a web-based app that brings together data visualization and digital fabrication.

Meshu lets you design products like necklaces, earrings, and cufflinks based on the connecting lines of various places.

For example, you could create a design using your Foursquare checkins or the route you took on your epic road trip. And you could have that design turned into a pair of one-of-a-kind lasercut earrings or 3D printed cufflinks.

(more…)

Related posts:

Artist transforms flat lasercut designs into 3D installations with heat forming

Ponoko project by Jenny Balisle

Bay Area artist Jenny Balisle works in three distinct mediums: painting, pen and ink, and sculptural installation made from heated acrylic sheets.

As explained in her artist statement, her body of work is “conceptually linked by dichotomous relationships — simple and complex, beautiful and grotesque, micro and macro perspectives, and natural and manmade environments.”

Her acrylic sculptures embody this concept by turning completely flat pieces of acrylic, which she lasercuts with Ponoko, into much more complex three-dimensional sculptures.

To achieve this, Jenny uses a heat forming technique. “It’s a delicate process,” she says. “I have to take great care not to crack or warp the acrylic or yellow the white surface.”

(more…)

Related posts:

Scan this, DIY lasercut business cards with QR codes

James Stokebrand leads by example. Lots of examples.


Last year James Stokebrand, a computer engineer living in Chicagoland, discovered Ponoko and decided to create some lasercut business cards.

“I was laid off in April 2011,” James explains “but I prefer to stay busy so I got the idea to create business cards with a QR code to my LinkedIn profile.”

But the first try was far from perfect. The cards were too big, corners were too sharp, and the text alignment was off. (The blurring in the images is for James’ privacy, not the result of the lasercutter.)

The second cut fixed most of the problems with the first round, but the cards — made of 3mm black acrylic — were too thick.

(more…)

Related posts:

What you get when you fasten Gothic flanges to a flashlight — the Magmace.

Ponoko made project by Jim Rodda

Jim Rodda introduces his Magmace as “6.8 pounds of cold-rolled, Krylon-coated, All-American neo-medieval whoop-ass.”

The Wisconsin-based maker and full-time arcade video game designer started the project by 3D printing prototypes with his Replicator. Jim then decided to get a little more hardcore and create his mace with lasercut cold-rolled steel from Ponoko.

The metal flanges are attached to a 6D cell Maglite flashlight with a pair of hose clamps. I asked Jim where he got this idea.

“I used to live in a part of the country where power went out intermittently, so it made sense to have lots of flashlights velcroed to walls around the house. So now I have like 9 different flashlights,” he explains.

(more…)

Related posts:

Jewelry by Black Swan Design

Victoriana of the Long White Cloud

Black Swan Designs re-emerged after the Christchurch earthquake at Mel’s post-quake office (aka home). Fortunately, outsourcing fabrication (especially when the design files are in cloud) means that even a natural disaster can’t stop the Maker wheels from turning. The Black Swan aesthetic is strongly inspired by the Victorian era – a vintage and ornate style that lends itself to traditional jewelry making techniques. However, Mel found that even with her jeweler background, creating the desired aesthetic using conventional jewelry making methods would result in the finished product being priced out of the local market.

Mel decided to try laser cutting to fabricate the Black Swan Designs line of necklaces, earrings, brooches and rings. Most of the highly detailed jewelry is cut from bamboo and black acrylic, and there are plans to introduce paper and 3D printed ceramic into the range, as a shift towards more eco-friendly materials. Once the laser cut pieces arrive at her door, Mel farewells her manicure and diligently removes the backing paper from all the tiny parts. Afterwards the pieces are painstakingly glued together, and findings are attached.A few words from the designer after the jump:

(more…)

Related posts:

Laser Cutting for Costume Design

And cutting time and cost of making while at itWhen Aaron Davison discovered that the Ponoko NZ hub was only walking distance from him, he was too intrigued not to try out the service.  Since then he’s been using it for al sorts of projects and experiments.  So far, Aaron has produced laser cut 2-D and 3-D costume pieces, buttons and templates from various materials.  He’s experimented with acrylics, Styrene, Bamboo Ply, Eurolite Poplar, leather and card stock.

Aaron’s material selection is guided largely by his experience as a modelmaker – something he’s been doing for years.  Now the manual making techniques he’d learned over the years have been, in most part, taken over by the digital processes, resulting in more time spent on designing and refining ideas than making.  The manual component of the process is still there, but mostly in form of finishing, such as sanding, staining and assembly.  The general outcome? It takes less time, effort and money required to produce a more polished product.Years of hobbyist prop designing have resulted in a multitude of digital files waiting to turned into physical objects.  The main obstacle to this used to be lack of access to the right tools and enough funds to transform those ideas into real things.  Now Aaron is revisiting his old designs to prepare them for production with laser cutting, 3D printing and CNC routing.

Not everything is laser cut to be the final product.  In the case of the N7 Helmet from Mass Effect, the laser cut card stock parts formed an armature that was fiberglassed on the inside and used as a base for sculpting.Read more abour Aaron’s process after the jump:

(more…)

Related posts: