Ponoko Rocks, Baby

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This Week on Rev2 - Ending 13th Oct 2007

It’s not too long before someone in my extended family will be expecting their first child. Exciting times are ahead with everyone talking about whether it will be a boy or a girl (the parents chose not to know) and if it is a boy or a girl what gifts should friends and family buy. I’m hoping for a boy so I can buy boy toys for the little fella. The parents have requested that if we do buy toys, could we go with the wooden variety. Chinese plastic (and the lead based paint on them) do not have the best rep with new parents these days.

So I’m on the hunt for wooden toys. To be more specific, I’m on the hunt for a rocking horse. I figure a boy or a girl will love one of these. Being a geek, my rocking horse search starts online of course. But before I start, I have my daily ritual of checking the various RSS updates from the vast number of blogs I read. One post in particular catches my eye, its about Ponoko a new start-up who were recently debuted at TechCrunch40. Ponoko is all about facilitating designers and helping them sell their creations- all online.

As it turns out, Ponoko have updated their website so I decide to follow the link and take a closer look at what this new site is really all about. I’m impressed by their service which enables you to use their site to design basic products that will be made out of basic materials such as plastic or wood. The designs are then manufactured using laser cutting technology by Ponoko. You can choose to sell your designs, the products themselves or both.

The designs and products offered on Ponoko are a little limited at the moment, however, it didn’t take me long to find exactly what I was looking for- this wooden rocking horse. And while I’m sorting out the baby gift on Ponoko I may just need a nice little landscape viewing stand for my new iPhone!

I must admit when I first heard about Ponoko I was not really sure what exactly it was that these guys did. Their new website is doing a great job of clearly explaining this and I have to say I’m impressed. These guys are on a fast track to something great in my opinion. The service that they offer is brilliant on so many levels but in particular Ponoko immediately struck me as a very environmentally friendly manufacturing business of the future.

By creating an extremely transparent process right from conceptual design through to manufacturing, these guys are going to make their community think twice before purchasing something that they could potentially design and build themselves on Ponoko. My need for a rocking horse for a new family member is a perfect example. I have a genuine concern as to how this toy has been made and what it is made out of and Ponoko’s designs and products address this concern.

Ponoko rocks baby. Literally.


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