We want to thank everyone who participated – whether you submitted a project or voted for your favorite – we were blown away by the caliber of the designs submitted, and thrilled to see whats possible with the our new premium materials.
We’re releasing new materials and planning more challenges for the very near future so you can all stretch your design talent again!
Shrinking an air-raid siren to fit into your pocket
Quoted as being ideally suited for those looking to be really annoying, this laser cut project by Mark Langford on Instructables might catch your attention. Taking the same principles that give air-raid sirens such an impressive audio impact, he has condensed them down into a neat little package that can fit on a key ring.
After several iterations, the mechanics of the three-layer design were perfected and (as you can hear in the following video) it really does work. Extra points of course go to the fancy eyebrow acrobatics!
Here is how it works:
The air you blow in blows out through the pattern of holes, and at the same time, it makes the turbine spin.
If there was no turbine, the air would just hiss out of the holes, but the holes and blades are designed so that the spinning turbine alternately covers and uncovers the holes, rapidly blocking and releasing the air in a series of pulses that make the noise you hear.
See the Turbine Whistle on Instructables where you can learn from Mark’s thorough project walkthrough. There are plenty of step-by-step photos and of course you can download the files to make a pocket siren of your own.
In July, we challenged designers to showcase their skills by creating a product using one of our three new premium materials. At first, we weren’t sure what to expect; This was the first time we ran a contest where designers actually created something tangible to enter, as opposed to just submitting their design files.
Would we get any good entries? Would folks just take the free sheet of material and run? We didn’t know.
We were thrilled to find that although the amount of submissions were somewhat smaller, the quality of entries we recieved were through the roof. The creativity & quality of the submissions made selecting the finalists a challenge in itself.
Four scenarios and next step options for first-time makers
You’ve created a design and uploaded it to Ponoko, placed and order, and now you have your first piece of laser cut delight. So now what?
It all depends on what stage of the process you’re in. We’ve come up with four scenarios to keep things moving. See which one best describes you.
You: My design is not quite right – it didn’t work out!
Ponoko: Don’t let this get you down. The first try pretty much never turns out perfect for anyone. Making something is a process, and you’re in the prototyping phase. Most of our customers have to make 5-10 prototypes to get their design just right. Don’t forget that we will do whatever it takes to help you get there!
What to do next:
• If you’re not sure why your design didn’t work out or if you think we messed something up, get in touch: service-at-ponoko-dot-com • If you know what needs to be changed, revise your design and try again. To speed up the prototyping process, we recommend putting multiple versions of your design on a single sheet of material and see which one works best.
Round and round she goes, and where she stops, nobody knows
Check out this gem of a project from Mario Klingemann, otherwise known as Quasimondo. A few years back he whipped up a Typographic Gear Generator that is able to create pairs of wheels that interlock with mesmerising precision.
The gears can then be laser cut and added to your next mechanical marvel for all to enjoy. There is something whimsical and kind of cute about bundling in this extra layer to an otherwise run-of-the-mill laser cut component.
Pictured here (and in the following clip) is a laser cut geared wheel turning around a quote from the 1950’s tv classic, The Original Amateur Hour. Other variations that Mario has tried out include a Muybridge-inspired horse in motion, demonstrating that the process works just as well with images as it does with text.
In this four-part series of introductory laser cutting tutorials we have shown you just how easy it can be to become a digital maker with Ponoko. Now it is time to watch the laser cutter do its thing and see those designs become real, tangible objects right before your eyes. Just hit Play on the video above.
Here’s a little refresher on what got us to this point.
First branch of long-dreamed half makerspace/half cafe opens its doors
When it comes to laser cutting services in the UK, it’s hard to beat RazorLAB for precision and expertise. Now you can throw in some tasty treats and a chat with the guys in the the know because they have just opened Makers|CAFE.
For those who need a little caffeine to cultivate their creativity, this really is a dream come true:
“…a space where people could have a quality coffee while having their prototypes made on the spot”
It’s an exciting time for makers in London, and Makers|CAFE are celebrating with a launch party this Thursday (August 21) where a lucky few will enjoy live music, free drinks and laser cutters + 3D printers in action.