Ponoko launches subscription manufacturing

reprap

Ponoko is an on-demand manufacturing service. You submit your design and they’ll cut it out of one of their many materials. The site is built so you can sell your products or designs directly. They recently took a major step with the introduction of Designmake Prime. It’s a monthly subscription based service with many benefits. It lets you submit DXFs for evaluation instead of their standard EPS or SVG. You can request any material you want and they’ll provide direct support. You also get priority in manufacturing queues. While they’ve always offered an à la carte service, this new move puts Ponoko directly in the role of a traditional manufacturer. Offering manufacturing as a service shows their intention of former a relationship with their customers, but at the an individual level, which most manufacturers can’t approach because of scale.

Ponoko first came to our attention when RepRap published an acrylic version of their machine.

[via Fabbaloo]

Simple servo bot plans

had_arduino_servo

oomlout has posted some interesting plans for a simple robot. It’s based around an Arduino and is a platform similar to the Parallax Boe-Bot. The Arduino sends PWM signals to continuos rotation servos that drive the two main wheels. All of the structural components are laser cut from acrylic with slots to hold standard hex nuts. It’s an interesting technique, but the design has a lot of potential for improvement. Right now it uses two different power supplies and a breadboard for simple connections. From the video below, you can see that the balance could be improved as well. [Read more...]