Sell the awesome stuff you make @ SF & LA Renegade Craft Fairs. Now open for registration!

California craft fairs this summer

Ponoko is proud to support lots of independent designers in their maker businesses. And if you’ve ever used Ponoko to make stuff, there’s a good chance someone out there would want to buy what you made.

A great place to find people who would love to purchase things you make is a craft fair. And the Renegade Craft Fair is one of the best.

They just opened vendor applications for 2 west coast fairs this summer:
• Renegade San Francisco July 21 & 22
• Renegade Los Angeles July 28 & 29

If you don’t live in the golden state, don’t despair. Renegade has craft fairs in Austin, Chicago, Brooklyn, and London!

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Free Universal Construction Kit — 3D printable adapters connect all your toy building sets together!

the latest project from Free Art & Technology

Check this OUT: The Free Universal Construction Kit is a set of nearly 80 unique pieces designed to connect with 10 different building toys.

Each piece in the kit can be freely downloaded in STL format from Thingiverse. And that of course means that each piece can be 3D printed!

The kit is compatible with Lego®, Duplo®, Fischertechnik®, Gears! Gears! Gears!®, K’Nex®, Krinkles®, Lincoln Logs®, Tinkertoy®, Zome®, and Zoob®.

The adorable video below reveals the inspiration behind the kit as four-year-old Z explains “My thing is, I’m trying to make a carrr…”
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Last day to fund the SparkLab workshop-on-wheels for school kids!

32 hours and $3,000 to go

Remember the bookmobile from your elementary school days? That library-on-wheels that went from school to school bringing books to kids?

Imagine that van as a workshop-on-wheels carrying tools, tables, a laser-cutter, 3D printer, and other equipment. Going from school to school teaching kids how to make stuff! That’s what Stanford graduate students Aaron, Eugene, and Jason want to do with SparkLab.

And they are soooo close to hitting their $25,000 goal to make it happen. They need just $3,000 more, but there are only 32 hours left to go.

Donation thank-yous include a Sponsor Sprocket on the SparkLab truck, a lasercut truck postcard, a hand-made gift from one of the students, and a visit from the SparkLab truck!

Support SparkLab today, because tomorrow will be too late!

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Introducing the ShapeOko 3D printer/CNC kit!

The $300 open hardware CNC machine is here. And it’s also a 3D printer!

Last summer, Edward Ford announced a Kickstarter campaign to support a project he had been coming back to for years: the most affordable desktop CNC machine ever, completely open hardware.

Edward’s project was over 700% funded, and he immediately set out improving his initial design. He also set up ShapeOko.com, and blogged about his progress along the way.

It’s been 8 months of late-nights in the garage, community feedback, sourcing woes, and huge support. And a few weeks ago the first batch of ShapeOko kits shipped out to his Kickstarter supporters.

ShapeOko looks a lot different these days than the previous laser-cut MDF machine holding a ballpoint pen. : )

It now features extruded aluminum rails from MakerSlide, custom laser-cut steel plates, and an 8″x8″ cutting area with a Z axis height of 3.5″

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10 excellent tips & tutorials on 3D printing

So you’ve seen the famous wrench video, you’ve got yourself a 3D design program, and you’re ready to try out 3D printing.

But where do you start?

If you’re not using your own desktop 3D printer, you’ll want to check this out:

Things you must know for 3D printing with Ponoko. This forum post lists 6 key considerations when using 3D printing — things like minimum wall thickness, hollowing out your geometry, and material selection.

For details on all that stuff plus a lot more, jump into these super helpful tips and tutorials.

1. Strength guidelines of 3D printing materials

You need to pick a material before you start designing, so you can take the benefits and limitations of each material into consideration as you design. This strength guideline depicts what proportions are suitable for which materials.

2. What does wall thickness mean, and how do I get it right?

This is one of *the* most important things for getting a successful 3D print. This post explains how to determine the minimum wall thickness you’ll need to get a sturdy result.

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When digital fabrication meets architecture — 10 awesome structures from 2011

Best of the Blog 2011 – Architecture

From open-source buildings and zero-waste designs to scale models and temporary structures, here are ten awesome examples of what can happen when the tools of digital fabrication are in service to the field of architecture.

1. The world’s largest wooden structure


The enormous Metropol Parasol pavilion was erected in Seville, Spain last year. Spanning 230ft wide and 490ft long, the pavilion is said to be the largest wooden structure in the world.

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The Pirate Bay now lets you download physical objects

introducing Physibles

The world’s larget BitTorrent tracker, The Pirate Bay, has just announced the addition of a new category of downloadable files — Physibles.

Physibles are described as “data objects that are able (and feasible) to become physical.” And it’s The Pirate Bay’s belief that “the next step in copying will be made from digital form into physical form.”

They are talking here of course about digital files that can be sent to fabrication equipment such as 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers, Jacquard looms and so on. And with the continued improvement of such technology and it’s increasing adoption, The Pirate Bay believes that “You will download your sneakers within 20 years.”

Physibles is currently classified as Other in the line up of available torrents: Audio, Video, Applications, Games, and Other, but perhaps one day we’ll see the addition of Objects to the main categories.

We mentioned the possibility of The Product Bay two years ago, and today it’s officially happening. “We’re thinking of temporarily renaming ourselves to The Product Bay – but we had no graphical artist around to make a logo. In the future, we’ll download one,” concludes today’s announcement. (I’ve taken the liberty of throwing one together.)

Although there exist a handful of sites to find downloadable product files, including them in such a hugely popular file sharing site is a significant step in the personal fabrication movement. And just the beginning of what could make 2012 the year of the product design copyright fight.

via @golan via @bre

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Digifab fanatics, submit your work to the 2012 Acadia Conference in San Francisco

abstracts due 5 March 2012

Do you take digital fabrication so seriously that you should present at a conference about it?

Well now’s your chance. The theme of the 2012 Acadia Conference is Synthetic Digital Ecologies.

“The conference will highlight experimental research and projects that explore the reciprocity and synergy between bits and atoms, the digital and the physical, and between digital code and material logic.”

Acadia is looking for papers and projects from “architects, fabricators, engineers, media artists, technologists, hackers and others in related fields.” (I have a feeling about half the people I follow on twitter will be there.)

In addition to presentations, the conference will also host software workshops and an exhibition of curated projects.

The 2012 Acadia Conference takes place 18–21 October 2012 in San Francisco.

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Core77 Design Awards 2012 opens for submissions today

the best of design from all over the world

Core77, the design site powerhouse, has announced that the 2012 Core 77 Design Awards are now open for entry.

Although only in its second year, the Core77 Design Awards is on its way to becoming the last word in the recognition of great design. There are 17 categories this year covering virtually every corner of the design world. And the awards are open to all design practitioners, educators, students, researchers and writers.

The awards will be judged by a global jury, and all winners, runner-ups, and distinguished projects will receive tons of lovely coverage in the Core77 blog and awards publication. Winners will also receive the Core77 crayon-mold trophy.

If you’ve made something ingenious, exceptional, or just all-out awesome with Ponoko, this is a great opportunity to share your design with the world. If you do decide to submit a Ponoko-made project, please let us know so we can wish you luck and talk you up!

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Calling for customizable product ideas for the Zazzle Million Dollar Open Innovation Challenge

looking for mass-customization ideas worth a million

Zazzle makes customizable everything: messenger bags, t-shirts, coffee mugs, calendars, iPad cases, you name it.

But are they missing something? Come up with a great idea for a customizable product, make a 1 minute video pitching your idea, and you could win a million dollar investment to develop and launch your product.

The Zazzle Million Dollar Open Innovation Challenge is open through February 17, 2012.

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