Meet the peeps at Ponoko: Christina Westbrook, 3D printing community support manager

Christina joined the team when we announced our partnership with Autodesk and support of their 3D design tool Autodesk 123D.

She’s got a degree in 3D Modeling, experience with lots of different CAD tools, and a personal line of 3D printed products under C Westbrook Designs. You really couldn’t ask for a better 3D printing community support manager.

Get to know Christina and find out what inspires her personal work.

• Tell us more about your personal work:
I’ve recently become fascinated by the Steampunk genre. It’s a sort of like Victorian Era Sci-Fi, and a lot of my original designs have been inspired by it. I’m going to be selling my 3D printed, laser cut and maybe even CNCed wares at a Steampunk convention in January and Anime conventions throughout next year.

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Meet the peeps at Ponoko: Josh Reuss, digital maker

If you’ve been to the Ponoko forums in the last few months then you’ve seen some of the excellent tips and tutorials put together by our Oakland in-house digital maker, Josh Reuss.

Josh knows his stuff when it comes to digital making. Before joining the Ponoko team, Josh was using Personal Factory to make all kinds of products under the name Shopping Zen. And from the beginning, he put up most of his design files for free download.

Since joining the team, he’s made even more cool stuff. Check out his starburst clock, covered wagon, and hexagonal wall art — all made with
laser cutting using Personal Factory.

Learn more about Josh R in our monthly peeps interview after the jump.

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Meet the peeps at Ponoko: Matthew Dimond, online marketing manager

This week marks one year since Matthew Dimond joined Ponoko as online marketing manager at the Oakland HQ.

“I was also the first non Kiwi employee,” says Matthew “so it has been interesting and pretty funny learining our cultural differences. When not trying to figure out what my coworkers are saying, I am busy at home with my family. Who knew an 18 month old took up so much time and energy?”

Get to know Matthew a little more in our monthly Meet the Peeps profile.

• Where are you from, and where do you live now?
I grew up in Los Angeles CA and currently live in Berkeley CA. I have lived in San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.

• What do you do at Ponoko?
I help create and implement Ponoko’s online marketing strategy with a focus on our entertaining and informative email newsletters!

• If you weren’t doing this, what else do you think you’d do?
I used to own a restaurant, but had to sell it after 3 years of not really making any money. If I could have made a living with it, I would have kept at it. I might also be a dog trainer. I’ve done a lot of work with my dog and their capacity to learn is amazing. You can almost see their little brains processing what you want them to do.

• Tell us:
– someone you admire:
I find this a hard question. I certainly admire my wife (ahh), but I tend to admire smart, hard working people that do what they do with grace. Something to aspire to.

– some place you like going: I love being by the ocean and luckily can get to some beautiful beaches in less than a hour. I’ve enjoyed many great trips to Europe, Canada, Mexico and across the US and love exploring new places. South America is high on the list for an exotic adventure.

– something you love to do: I love hiking with my dog and family. I also really love seeing live music. I still manage to get out a couple times a month, although I try not to stay out too late as my daughter doesn’t seem to care that I might want to sleep in.

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Meet the peeps at Ponoko: Yana Skaler, production manager

When we interviewed our NZ based production manager, Yana Skaler described how uncannily similar she and our SF based Ponoko staffer Dan Emery are.

“We may as well be the same person, aside from trivial anatomical differences,” said Yana. “Dan is a lot taller.”

Learn what Yana and Dan do and don’t have in common in our latest Ponoko peeps interview:

• Where are you from, and where do you live now?
Unlike Dan, I was born in St-Petersburg, Russia. It’s slightly better known than Whangarei, but it doesn’t have a pretty waterfall. I live in Wellington, New Zealand now.

• What do you do at Ponoko?
As a Production Manager, my work in Wellington is very similar to Dan’s efforts in San Francisco, minus the 3D, CNC and possibly a few other abbreviations.

• If you weren’t doing this, what else do you think you’d do?
Just like Dan, I’d be travelling or teaching while doing post-graduate studies. It’s likely that I’d be traumatising scores of impressionable young people in a classroom because I have a teaching qualification.

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Meet the peeps at Ponoko: David ten Have, CEO


You’ve heard Dave talk about Star Trek replicators and the future of products. Now we get a little personal and hear what Dave likes to do, where he likes to go, and who he admires.

• Where are you from, and where do you live now?
Originally I was from a place called Dunedin… which some refer, lovingly, to as the Edinburgh of the South, but I only ever remember as being cold and dark. Now I split my time between Wellington NZ and Oakland CA, USA.

• What do you do at Ponoko?
I do a lot of talking, a lot of software development and a lot of ‘moving stuff out of the way’ for others.

• If you weren’t doing this, what else do you think you’d do?
Something just like this… it’s kinda what I’m wired to do and be.

• Tell us:
– someone you admire: Sir Richard Taylor, the head of Weta Workshops for teaching me that business is a game that has a whole range of measures of success.

– some place you like going: I go to a small farm just north of a town called Masterton. I get to dial down the speed a little while and watch the weather play out across the valley.

– something you love to do: As a single activity, I love writing software. It needs to be software that allows people to express themselves in new ways.

As a complete activity, I really love doing what I do at Ponoko. I get a lot from watching people bring their ideas to fruition, both customers and the people I work with.

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Meet the peeps at Ponoko: Rich Borrett, 3D printing community support manager

Rich Borrett likes all kinds of making: drawing, building, repairing things, cooking, etc. (In fact, he built that speargun you see above in a photo taken on a recent trip to Great Barrier Island.)

When he met our industrial designer Dan Emery at university and learned about Ponoko, offering his own making and I.D. skills was a natural fit.

So Rich joined the team to help launch 3D printing for Personal Factory.
Get to know our resident 3D printing guru!

• Where are you from, and where do you live now?
Son of an english engineer and a new zealand nurse, I was born in England, raised in Christchurch, currently living in Wellington.

• What do you do at Ponoko?
I look after the 3D queue, and help people out with their 3D designs. If you place a 3D order with Ponoko, I’m the one that checks it out and makes sure it’s going to print correctly before sending it through to the fabricators.

• If you weren’t doing this, what else do you think you’d do?
I studied industrial design, and I still love it. So I would probably be designing things. I enjoy working with metals and machines, so probably something along those lines.

I’m pretty into motorbikes at the moment, but I’m not really fussy.
As long as I get to make stuff, and I’m not too far away from the sea, I’ll be a happy guy.

• Tell us:
– someone you admire: John Britten

– some place you like going: My parent’s house in Waikawa (Marlborough sounds), where we go sailing.

– something you love to do: Since moving to Wellington, I have fallen in love with spearfishing – it’s like another planet underwater and it’s so beautiful – every dive is a unique experience. Even if if I don’t come home with fish, it’s still great to get out and be immersed in it.

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Meet the peeps at Ponoko: Catherine Field-Dodgson, community support manager

This isn’t the first time we’ve featured the wonderful Ms. Catherine here on the blog. We highlighted a few words of Catherine praise in a post called Ponoko Custom(er) Love, and now we can all get to know her a bit better.

• Where are you from, and where do you live now?
I live in Wellington, New Zealand but am originally from Whanganui.

• What do you do at Ponoko?
I’m one of the support team members who assists Ponoko’s customers with any questions they have. I occasionally tweet, answer questions on the forums, write blog posts about Ponoko-related events in Wellington and help to arrange meetups in Wellington for people who are interested in making things with us.

I’m reasonably new to the world of digital fabrication (I have a Masters degree in art history and was formerly a government press secretary), so I find it useful to draw on my own experiences as a maker with Ponoko. I’m able to help fellow Ponoko makers with their first-time projects and offer advice and useful tips.

• If you weren’t doing this, what else do you think you’d do?
Travelling around the world with my partner & our four-year-old — he wants to go to Madagascar! Either that or work with food in some capacity.

• Tell us:
– someone you admire:
I have a serious crush on Sam Bompas and Henry Parr, the jellymongers.

– some place you like going:
You can often find me at Cultured Petone eating icecream & cheese.

– something you love to do:
Plant things in my vegetable garden and make jam!

P.S. The chicken’s name is Penny : )

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Meet the peeps at Ponoko: Dan Emery, industrial designer

I thought we should all get to know each other a little better this year; so each month I’ll be introducing you to a member of the Ponoko team.

Starting things off is Dan Emery, an industrial designer who’s a big part of any cool new stuff you see around Ponoko — like materials and new making services.

Dan has created several designs for the Ponoko showroom (most of which are free to download btw!).

And he’s also a rather talented iPhone photo taker.

• Where are you from, and where do you live now?
Originally from Whangarei, New Zealand. I tell people that I’m from Wellington, NZ because people have a better chance of knowing where it is. And Wellington is awesome. Currently living in San Francisco.

• What do you do at Ponoko?
I lead the ‘Making’ team from the Oakland hub. This means managing existing materials suppliers and laser operators to keep the orders rolling through without any problems. It also means engaging with new materials suppliers and manufacturers to help expand the services Ponoko offers.

My Industrial design background gives me a lot of knowledge about how stuff is made and how to design for a given production process. The other aspect of my job is assisting our customer service team with requests for advice on designing and making things on Ponoko. A big part of this is creating the How-To make content on the blog and website and sharing this knowledge with our community.

• If you weren’t doing this, what else do you think you’d do?
Traveling the world or teaching design while working on a Masters degree

• Tell us:
– someone you admire: Tom Dixon
– some place you like going: My Dad’s place in Whangeri Heads.
– something you love to do: Going for coffee at Four Barrel.

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