Ponoko Photomake: Create Real 3D Objects From Simple Sketches

FILED UNDER: Design, Technology

Ponoko have developed a great new laser-cutting service called Photomake that lets you transform your drawings into real objects without even leaving the house. The web-based service requires you to upload a clear photo of your drawing for the system to scan, the design will then be laser-cut from a material of your choosing and shipped to your door.

The system seems like a great way to effortlessly create personal items from your own designs and is surprisingly inexpensive, considering that each piece is a custom creation. See the video below for a walkthrough.

Perhaps the greatest thing about Photomake is that it gives everyone the opportunity to inexpensively buy some personal factory time and create something without requiring any design or graphics software skills. You simply need to be able to hand-draw something with a pen and paper and take a picture of it.

Once you’ve uploaded your photo and selected your material, the system will instantly calculate the price to create the piece. If you confirm your order, it will go into the production queue (5-10 days) and be delivered to your door upon completion. You can track your order in your account, via email or by an RSS feed so you always know how it’s progressing.

You can choose from a number of different materials for your design including Acrylic (which comes in a range of colors), PETG, Styrene, Hardboard, MDF, Plywood, Veneer MDF and Whiteboard. The cost for laser time is around $2 a minute, so the simplest designs will tend to come out the cheapest.

Right now the service is only offering laser-cutting, but may offer 3D printing, computer-controlled routing and other emerging technologies in the future. Exciting!

Photomake via MAKE


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