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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Felt – Material of November

Personal Factory big softie

In a forthright expression of bias I announce that wool felt as one of my favourite materials to work with.  It’s dense and soft at the same time, it’s very durable and it laser cuts very nicely.  Like quality leather, it ages with grace.  It’s stable, non-fraying and has a consistent texture.  There are colors for every taste, and they are deceivingly non-toxic and UV-resistant for their vibrant hues.  The 100% merino wool is a sustainable resource that comes from cuddly fluffy sheep.  Every spring they are relieved of their heavy woollen coats, some of which end up felted on an industrial scale.

It’s a good idea to laser cut any felt item well in advance of them being used, as the felt has a strong burnt wool smell after cutting.  The smell dissipates with time, and you can speed up the process by cleaning the felt or leaving it in fresh air.

Some of the most popular applications for felt are jewelry, accessories and homeware.Pictured: Feisty Elle earrings and brooch, Chromatophobic coasters.

Of course, felt doesn’t have to stay flat.  Its soft, flexible quality lends it to 3D forming using sewing or other fastening methods, as seen in the Nervous necklace, the DS4 Design charging stand cover and the Chromatophobic satchel.Felt products are incredibly lightweight, which is very useful for items like earrings and also saves on shipping.

Felt can also be stiffened to become rigid, and this can be achieved with very little other than common wood glue and some patience.  Josh R’s clock faces experiment is a great example of material manipulation.For the month of November, you can get 50% off selected felt!

Wool felt is available from Ponoko US, Ponoko NZ, RazorLab and Formulor

You can also get your own samples of different colours from both the US and NZ sample store.

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NEW material: Superfine Plastic in white for 3D printing — with gelatin support material

replaces old clear Superfine Plastic

We’ve added a new 3D printing material to the Ponoko catalog:
Superfine Plastic in white.

This material is has a very smooth, milky white finish and excellent accuracy and detail. It’s not quite as durable as our Durable Fine Plastic, but it uses the same dual resin build technique that allows for interlocking, hinged or nested objects. The second resin, a gelatin support material, is removed with a high pressure water spray.

Take a look at the Superfine Plastic White material page for full details and design tips for getting optimal results from this material.

And you can pick up a sample of our new Superfine Plastic White for $4.50.


Please note:

Superfine Plastic White will be replacing our clear Superfine Plastic. The old Superfine Plastic will no longer be available after as of November 27.

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Fall felt colors, spotlight on PETG & a sample store for each hemisphere — The New Material Monthly

October edition

We didn’t add as many new materials as usual this month, but we *did* launch the brand new, New Zealand material sample store!

The NZ sample store is your one-stop-shop for swatches from the Ponoko NZ materials catalog. And just last week we added 2 new felt colors to the NZ catalog: bordeaux and camouflage.

Speaking of felt, we’ve got a *FELT SALE* going on that will make you feel warm and fuzzy all over.

In the meantime, read up on Yana’s material of the month — the very useful PETG.

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NEW laser-cutting materials for NZ: 2 new felt colors!

wine + camo

We’ve got 2 new holiday-friendly felt colors in the NZ materials catalog!

Say hello to 3mm 100% wool felt in a luscious grape color we call Bordeaux. (You can buy a sample of Bordeaux felt for $3NZ.)

And give a warm welcome to 3mm 100% wool felt in a mossy green hue we call Camouflage. (You can buy a sample of Camouflage felt for $3NZ)

These colors go great together as subtle, alternative holiday palette to the typical pop-ish cherry red and kelly green.

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October PETG

A very userful abbreviation.

You may not realise this, but PET is one of the most ubiqutous plastics around.  Chances are you’ve got it within arm’s reach.  I’m talking about plastic bottles.  PETG is essentially the same polymer, but with a lower melting point, and it’s extruded in sheet form for commercial applications.

PETG has none of the glamour of acrylic.  It doesn’t come in bright colours, it doesn’t feel substantial, the engraving quality on it isn’t amazing.  So why bother? PETG is very impact resistant.  Unlike acrylic, it won’t snap or shatter if you drop it.  You can heat form it, you can cold bend it, you can rivet it and most relevantly, of course, you can laser cut it.  It is available in conveniently thinner-than-acrylic thicknesses of 0.5mm and upwards.  PETG is also recyclable, so it’s better than a Hummer.  Although that’s not saying much.

So what’s it good for?The combination of flexibility and durability makes thin PETG a suitable choice for packaging such as the box above from Chris Lee.  Joe used this material to design and make a surface protector for a turntable, keeping it free from dirt and scratches.  Clear acrylic would be a less suitable choice for this application because it’s brittle.  Thin PETG is a great material for stencils because its transparency helps with the registration.  It is also a perfect choice for flexi-rulers, such as the surfboard-shaping template above from YakasDesign.  It should be noted that engraving somewhat compromises the structural integrity of the material, and that needs to be taken into consideration during the design stage.Josh Reuss designed very useful bookmarks for people who still prefer to read on paper.  These tiny but mighty corner tags will keep books free from unsightly pig’s ears.  The files for these are free to download, so you can make your own with Personal Factory.  These are little, so lots will fit on a P1, and you can make a corner tag for everyone in you book club!  Another free PETG download is a vary-form garment ruler.  This is a standard version, but it can be easily customised to create a ruler for specific proportions that are not catered to by generic pattern drafting equipment.  The engraving can be filled in to make the markings more visible.

PETG is available from Ponoko NZ, Ponoko US and Formulor.

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The new Personal Factory material sample store for New Zealand!

Yippee! Material samples for NZ!

The wait is over. You can now buy samples of all 58 (and counting) materials featured in our New Zealand materials catalog!

Today we open the Personal Factory material sample store for New Zealand, a counterpart to our US material sample store launched earlier this year.

In addition to launching our NZ sample store, we’ve also added tons of new samples to the US material sample store since it opened — like CNC mdf and plywood, fingerprint resistant acrylics, 3D printed glazed ceramic, and more.

Pricing at the new NZ material sample store is conveniently in NZ dollars.

Samples start at just $3(NZ) each in NZ and $2.50(US) each in the US!

For NZ orders, domestic shipping starts at $2. International shipping starts at $6.50. Or pick up your samples at our HQ in Wellington and pay $0 shipping!

For US orders, domestic shipping starts at $5. International shipping starts at $15.

P.S. Be sure to check out The New Material Monthly for a look at all the new materials we’ve added each month.

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Felts, fluorescents, and polarizing film! — the New Material Monthly

September edition

September was another great month of new materials to make stuff with!

There are new laser-cutting materials available at Ponoko US, Formulor in Germany, and Vectorealism in Italy; plus a new 3D printing material.

Check ‘em out in this roundup of all the new materials added last month.

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