NEW Materials: Three New Premium Veneers

Three new premium wood veneers for your premium products

EDIT: 7/15 – To celebrate the launch of these new premium materials, we’re throwing a design competition with over $2,500 worth of prizes up for grabs!

Left to right: 3.5mm Maple, Cherry & Walnut Veneer

We’ve expanded our material selection in the US with three new premium wood veneers.

These high quality veneers have a wood laminate on each side which is sanded smooth and finished with a clear coat. The premium appearance makes these materials ideal for jewelry, coasters, clocks, or other high end products.

Click on the images below or head over to the materials page to get all the details on our new premium woods.

Premium Veneer MDF – Cherry:

Premium Veneer MDF – Maple:

Premium Veneer MDF – Walnut:

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Laser cut from behind

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #182

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Above is a laser cut plywood cake topper from My Madeline Trait.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

After the jump, coral, castles, maps, butts, and Pi Borg… (more…)

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Laser cut artworks inspired by nature

Leaves, MC Escher’s Rippled Surface and some sci-fi just for fun

Using a laser cutter to add physical presence to 2D artworks can be really effective, as these recent explorations from Maxime Beauchemin show. Having kicked things off with a rather elegant laser etched ATAT walker, he then moved on to more everyday ephemeral visions.

Pictured above is an acrylic replication of MC Escher’s iconic Rippled Surface print, where Maxime faithfully recreates the layered illusion of water surface, reflected trees and rippled distortion.

Turning to laser cut wood for another project, the delicate structure of a decaying leaf skeleton is revealed.   (more…)

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What’s in a name laser cutting

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #181

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Above is a laser cut acrylic octopus necklace from C.A.B. fayre.

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Fold-out arm on a DIY laser cutter

Space saving portable design takes laser cutting on the road

Here is another interesting DIY laser cutter project, this time featuring a novel departure from the standard construction we are used to seeing.

Instead of running within a constrained space, the compact laser cutter has an arm that swings out in a format reminiscent of the RepRap 3D printer.

When the laser cutter is in use the arm opens up to 90 degrees perpendicular to the box and the laser head runs along it.

The main structural elements are made from aluminium extrusions, and there are a few custom CNC milled and 3D printed components to fill in the gaps and connect other off-the-shelf parts.

This looks to be a novel way to build a laser cutter that you can take on the road with you. No more heavy equipment fixed in place in the workshop… just be careful not to set it up on your grandma’s favourite coffee table!

For more info, including a thorough photo essay of the development process behind the fold-out laser cutter, click through to the source.

via DIY fold-out laser cutter

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We’re Hiring! Community & Customer Success Manager

Ponoko is looking for a Community Manager to lead our growing community of product designers

You can’t imagine anything better than working with an innovative industry pioneer, leading an online community of 100,000+ product designers making and selling their custom products online.

You’re a natural communicator who delights customers all day long by delivering a highly empathetic, top quality and timely customer service experience.

You will answer questions regarding our services, help our customers successfully prepare their design files to make their product ideas real, and liaise with our production team to ensure on-time delivery of quality custom products.

This is a great opportunity for a recent communications or arts graduate, designer or maker to immerse into the world of custom product design and online digital making. And to be the ‘customer’s voice’ at our innovative and creative business, renown for over the top customer service.

Ponoko was the first to help designers make and sell their products online, enabling them to make a living from their creativity. We’re one of the world’s leading companies in the online digital making industry, and have been featured in places like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, CNN Money, Inc. Magazine (cover), Forbes, Wired, Core77, TechCrunch, Makezine, MIT Technology Review, BBC News and The Economist.

Key Duties
• Manage our community of designers and inspire creative opportunities.
• Answer inbound email (and some phone) questions relating to customer orders, design file preparation, materials and our service generally.
• Interact with our community through various channels – email, social media, in person at events.
• Inspire customers through timely and creative resolution of their enquiries.
• Coordinate order fulfillment and customer happiness with the production team.
• Delight customers with the unexpected, and put a smile on their faces.

Reporting
• Report to the Chief Executive.
• Manage the customer service team.

Key Qualifications
• 2-3 years in customer service / customer success / community management.
• Impeccable verbal and written communication skills.
• Thrives in situations where electronic communication is the primary medium.
• Happy, empathetic, calm and professional when assisting customers.
• Proactive. Detail oriented. Process driven. All three.
• Likes to lead and enjoys working independently.
• Effective at multi­tasking and prioritizing the daily rush of tasks.
• Vector design skills with Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape and Coreldraw.
• Current authorization to work in the United States on a full­time basis.

Other Qualifications We Love But Don’t Require

• Designing for digital fabrication.
• Experience with laser cutting.
• Managing others towards a goal.
• 3D modeling with Solidworks, 123D, Inventor, Blender, SketchUp, Rhino, Meshlab, and Netfabb.

Benefits
• Market salary.
• Unlimited paid time off.
• Run your own ship.
• Employee rates on laser cutting your own stuff.
• Stock options.

To Apply
Introduce yourself and send your resume and examples of your customer interaction work or writing to derek [at] ponoko [dot] com.

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Rolling out the laser cutting

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #180

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Above are laser cut rolling pins from Zuzia Kozerska. Thanks to Mathew Messner for the submission and image courtesy of This Is Colossal.

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Introducing Loyalty Pricing for Prime Members

Save up to 55%, just for sticking with Prime

As a way to say “thanks” to all our loyal Prime customers, we are offering a lower per-minute rate for laser cutting for every month you are a Prime customer.

Your lower per-minute rate starts the month you sign up for Prime:

Month 1: 32.5% off ($1.35/minute).
Month 2: 33.5% off ($1.33/minute).
Month 3: 34.5% off ($1.33/minute).
Month 4: 36% off ($1.28/minute).
Month 5: 37.5% off ($1.25/minute).
Month 6: 39.5% off ($1.21/minute).
Month 7: 41.5% off ($1.17/minute).
Month 8: 43.5% off ($1.13/minute).
Month 9: 46% off ($1.08/minute).
Month 10: 48.5% off ($1.03/minute).
Month 11: 51.5% off ($0.97/minute).
Months 12+: 55% off ($0.90/minute).

You will automatically receive your new loyalty rate each month you renew your Prime subscription. You will always receive the lowest price as between your loyalty rate and your volume rate.

How to get these lower rates:

  1. Join Prime.
  2. Place your order as normal.
  3. That’s it! Loyalty pricing will automatically be applied to your order every month.

Notes: Lower pricing applies to laser making costs (excluding metal laser and 3D printing), when ordering from Ponoko US and NZ. You’ll lose your entire loyalty status if you quit your Prime account.

If you have any questions about volume pricing don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Laser Cut Mitre Joints

Connecting planes with angled precision

Running interesting laser cutter experiments is one of the things that Just Add Sharks does best. In this exploration, they have addressed the question of how to break away from the mortice and tenon joints that have become so familiar in laser cut projects.

By creating a laser cut jig that holds the material at a specific angle, they were able to cut edges that can fit together in a manner that is clean and precise. No more stepped blocks and slots! Here is what the jig looks like:

Much easier to achieve than modifying the axis of the laser cutter itself, this jig provides a firm support to a pre-cut panel, and does not require any other machine modifications. The angle of the cut can be controlled by altering the vertical supports.

“Manually changing the angles like this is tiresome so the next sensible upgrade would be to build an ‘any angle, any material thickness’ jig for the same purpose, but that is a job for another day.”

The Just Add Sharks blog has an overview by Martin Raynsford that talks through a few of the considerations that led to the first successful cut. Having proven that it can be done with standard perpendicular joints, they adjusted a few specs on the jig to produce a icosahedron, pictured below.

via Just Add Sharks

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Laser cut flower power

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #179

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Above is a laser cut and etched African Padau wood lotus necklace from Shadow Fox Design.

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After the jump, flowers, feathers, fingers, and a clock… (more…)

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