Leather – February material of the month

Hell bent for leather

Unless you are of the vegan variety, you probably have quite a few things made of leather, mostly footwear and luggage.  Leather is a wonderfully versatile material, and I’ll always pick it over its plastic substitutes.  Working with leather requires skill, but is incredibly satisfying, provided you have the right tools.  In the last few years laser cutting has become more and more prolific as a tool for manipulating leather, and now features prominently in many everyday leather items.  We’ve featured some laser cut and laser engraved fashion previously, but that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Leather in fashion has seen its peaks and troths, and it’s definitely at its peak currently if the catwalks are the vogue yard stick.  Laser cutting is behind much of that popularity, and as always the fashion trend is driven by the hi-fashion avant-garde designers who push the concepts and boundaries of material use and perception.  Some of the notable ideas come from Visbol de Arce’s Anatomy collection, current king (or in this case, queen) of the fashion mountain Iris van Herpen’s Synesthesia, and a selection of rather unusual bags from James Platt.

More sweet leathery goodness under the cut:

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4 new materials for laser-cutting for the NZ hub

new fabrics & plywoods

We’ve added four new materials to the NZ making hub!

First up is a new 3mm thickness of Hoop Pine Plywood. It’s an interior grade level plywood and produces very crisp laser engraving results. Good for furnishing and accessory designs like boxes, small furniture, shelves, displays etc. A P1 size is just $4.30. Get a sample for $3NZ.

Next we have 1.5mm thick Upholstery Leather in Driftwood. It’s vegetable tanned and finished with oils and waxes. The underside has a soft suede finish, great for use with bags, wallets, shoes, or decorative pillows. Prices start at a little under $14 for a P1 size piece. Get a sample for $3NZ.

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Overview of all the awesome materials we added in 2011!

37 in 2011

Materials are the spice of life when it comes to making your own stuff. And this year we added THIRTY SEVEN new materials to the Ponoko making hubs (not including new material thicknesses)!

Before we jump into this, one of the best ways to see what materials you can use to make stuff is to check out the Ponoko sample store.
[ USA store here ] [ NZ store here ]

Not only do you get a survey of all the materials we offer, but you can purchase samples for pretty cheap. These samples will show you the quality of the materials as well as the performance of the making process (e.g. laser-cutting, cnc routing, 3D printing.)

So here’s a roundup of all the awesome materials we added in 2011.
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NEW material: laser-cuttable cardstock in 3 colors!

cardstock comes to Ponoko US = a whole new range of things to make!

Awhile back we gave our most frequent customers the chance to tell us what new material they wanted to see in the Ponoko materials catalog, and we promised to add the top two materials by the end of the year.

We brought on matte black silicone rubber last month, and today we’re announcing CARDSTOCK!

We even let our top users vote on what colors they most wanted, so we’ve got black, ivory, and red.

The cardstock laser engraves really well. It looks awesome, to be honest. And one trick you can do is use a medium vector engraving line to create perfect fold lines. Because it’s paper, its 100% recyclable and can be easily joined with glue or tape.

And you can buy a sample of our new cardstock materials for $2.50 each.

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Melamine Whiteboard for a White Winter

You can even get some of it for free

If you’re in an office environment, you probably see melamine whiteboard every day.  It’s a very common material for shelving inside cabinets.  Your bathroom cabinet is also likely to be made from this stuff.  Whiteboard, and no, not the type you find in a classroom, is MDF that’s been coated with a thin, durable veneer of melamine.  The veneer is cleaner-friendly, and unlike uncoated MDF, it is moisture resistant.  Laser cutting whiteboard provides a very useful bonus: the heat from the laser seals the edges, making them more hard wearing.  Provided, the carbonised surface is not sanded off, the laser cut edge is considerably less susceptible to absorbing moisture than a conventionally cut one.

I have a whiteboard version of the madebydan coffee table that’s at least four years old.  It’s practically never free of clutter, it is frequently used as a step ladder (sorry, Dan), a crafting surface, drinks are spilled on it, food gets dropped on it.  Right now I have my feet on it.  Yet, after a quick wipe with a damp sponge, it’s nicely white again.

Whiteboard products and projects after the jump:

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Cheaper, stronger, better + matte black rubber — The New Material Monthly

November edition

It’s been a great month for new materials and material updates. And a lot of them aren’t just new, they’re new and *improved*. We’ve even been able to majorly reduce the price of one of our most popular wood materials.

Here’s the 411 on all the new materials added in the month of November.

Silicone Rubber in Matte Black


Back in October, we asked our most 1337 Ponoko-pros to name and vote on their top 2 most wanted materials. And we promised to add them to the material catalog by the end of the year.

So you can thank them for the addition of Silicone Rubber in Matte Black.

It’s pretty awesome looking. Get a sample of Silicone Rubber in Matte Black. And stay tuned in 2012 for more rubber colors.

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NEW MATERIAL: silicone rubber in matte black

Ponoko US materials catalog brings in the black

There’s a tough new material on the block, or rather the bed of the laser cutter, and it can take the heat.

Our silicone rubber in matte black can withstand extremes in temperature from –50° to +400° F and is super durable.

It looks really badass with a medium raster engraving, giving it a great black on black effect. And because of the powdery white residue which collects in the laser grooves, it also looks great with a heavy vector engraving, providing a nice black/white contrast.

The powder, by the way, can easily be wiped off.

The awesomeness of this material does come at a bit of a price with a P1 sheet costing a little over $15, but still less than our clear silicone rubber which starts at $19.88 a sheet.

But you can score a sample of black silicone rubber for just $2.50.

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Material update: Plywood Birch comes way down in price

big birch savings in the Ponoko US materials catalog

If any of you makers are a fan of our Birch Plywood, you’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve found a new supplier with way cheaper prices!

So we’ve been able to lower our prices of both thicknesses of our P1 Birch Plywood.

A 1.5mm sheet was $15.59 and is now $11.26. That’s 28% less. And a 3.2mm sheet was $12.62 and is now just $6.82. That’s 46% less!

And of course you buy a sample of Birch Plywood for $3.

We’re really happy to find this new supplier and be able to offer lower prices, because it means lower costs for you to make stuff!

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NEW material thickness: fire felt gets slim

1.2mm / .048″ red felt available at Ponoko US

Just a quick note to let you know that we’ve brought in a new 1.2mm/.048″ thickness for our popular Fire Felt.

This is now our thinnest thickness available for this color felt in the US materials catalog. Other thicknesses available are 3mm and 5mm.

Fire Felt samples in 3mm thickness can be purchased for $2.50 at the Ponoko US Sample Store.

Be sure to check out our November material spotlight on felt as well as our 50% OFF FELT SALE.

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Kinda NEW material: Cork is back in action!

now thinner, finer, and gets better results

Awhile back we had to discontinue our cork material because the laser-cutting results just weren’t that good. But material man Dan has found a new, better cork!

Our new Natural Cork material is now thinner and has a finer grain, giving it better results from laser-cutting. (Check out that width sample thing.)

Cork is light weight, soft, compressible, and naturally rot and fire resistant. It floats too. But best of all, it’s a renewable resource — the cork bark can be ’stripped’ off allowing new bark to grow in its place without killing or damaging the trees.

You can check out all of corks fantastic qualities first hand by ordering a Cork sample for just $2.50.

For making stuff out of Cork, material sheets start at just $4 for a P1 size. Can’t wait to see what you make!

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