3D printing service from Ponoko

In 2007, Ponoko began offering a 2D laser-cutting service that let people upload their designs and sell manufactured items online. Today, Ponoko announced a 3D manufacturing service called Ponoko Personal Factory 4.
201011181340 CloudFab has joined our global digital making network, giving Ponoko customers the ability to create 3D printed designs. All with no set up fees, no minimum orders, and a free 365-day replacement policy.

We’ve added five new 3D printable materials to our materials catalog including durable white plastic, superfine plastic, rainbow color ceramic, stainless steel and gold plated stainless steel.

Ponoko Personal Factory 4 will auto price, auto check, and auto fix your 3D designs. We’ve also got 5 new starter kits for 3D modeling softwares: Alibre, Autodesk 3ds Max, Blender, Google SketchUp, and Solidworks.

The ! Exclamation Lamp is a glimpse of what’s possible: laser-cutting for flat surfaces, 3D printing for rounded and complex shapes, and electronics hardware to “bring everything to life.” It’s available as a free download in the Ponoko marketplace so you can customize your own.  

Ponoko Personal Factory 4


  1. Thanks Mark for featuring our new Personal Factory 4 here!

    If anyone has any questions for us, don’t hesitate to get in touch via the Ponoko site.

    We feel that the opportunities presented by combining more than one digital fabrication method as well as open source electronics offer a ridiculously exciting future for custom products.

    I cannot wait to see what people are inspired to make!

  2. There are also a couple dozen other places that offer similar services. Quickparts and Redeye are two I’ve used. Or just type rapid prototyping into google.

  3. Looks good, Josh! I’ve tried out Shapeways and was satisfied for the most part; I’m glad to see an alternative – and some competition – out there. Y’all will get my next project.

  4. Wait. Since when is it possible to print [b]steel[/b] ?

    This is Teh Awesome. I wonder if there’s a similar company in my country…to file under “Great Business plans”, I guess.

  5. @pKp: My eyes went wide when I saw that, too. Here are the details from Ponoko, which were news to me:

    Stainless steel objects are printed in a hybrid of stainless steel infused with bronze. This is the hardest of all the 3D materials.

    The material retains the dark grey color of stainless steel throughout the model.

    Technology description

    Stainless steel objects are made in a 3-step process:

    1) 3D printing in stainless steel – A Prometal 3D printing machine uses an inkjet head to deposit an organic binder onto a stainless steel powder surface. Each layer of powder is adhered in succession until an object is formed. After the printing has finished the object is placed in an oven to cure the binder.

    2) Infusion – Objects are taken from the ProMetal 3D printing chamber and excess stainless steel powder is removed. These objects are then transfered into a furnace container with bronze. This is heated in a furnace at a high temperature to infuse the bronze into the porous stainless steel objects. This produces a solid metal object that is a hybrid of stainless steel and bronze.

    3) Finishing – The object is bead blasted to smooth the surface after the infusing process.

  6. Somewhere in time and space, Gene Roddenberry is smiling!

    We are witnessing the first pioneer’s of the future replicator

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