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Ponoko founder Derek Elley pushes the future of manufacturing

  • A revolution in manufacturing is quietly occurring around the world, bringing us ever closer to that dream of geeks the world over: the Star Trek replicator. We talk to one of the pioneers of this new frontier, Derek Elley - co-founder of Ponoko.

    For those who haven't come across it, Ponoko is a platform for the digital distribution of 'things' - not software, or music, or films, but actual, physical objects, rendered into their digital DNA and transferred across the Internet to production centres where they can be given form or even tweaked and altered to create a custom, one-of-a-kind variation.

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  • This is very interesting.  I had a look through their website.  It is rather focused on 2D objects so far, but I expect that will change.

    Here's an interesting idea.  Suppose we created a bunch of OSE designed toys, tools, gadgets, etc. intended to be fundraisers for OSE?  Do the CAD and GCode, up load them to Ponoco, and see if any money rolls in.  Some some extent, I see this as being like the early days of Etsy (which is waaaay too crowded now).

    Some ideas:

    *  Educational gear packs - laser cut wooden gears.
    *  Wind chimes - cut from steel or brass
    *  Christmas ornaments - ecology/permaculture themed.

  • The worrisome thing is that we did not already know about this.  Seriously.  I had previously searched for this sort of thing, and could not find it.  Google has failed us, and we are back to word of mouth again!  Honestly, I think this is a real problem, especially as people still have faith in google's abilities.

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