Ordering from an “online factory” – Ponoko

Ever since my first iPod, I’ve been frustrated with my headphones getting tangled. Recently, I had the idea to wrap them around a spool, then make a pouch to house the neatly wound earbuds. It would keep them more organized and safely stowed.

First, I selected the medium template, to try a few design variations.

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 9.30.37 AM

But it was going to cost $140!!! So….

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 9.30.04 AM

I chose the smaller template, and made only one design. I added a bunch of buttons and logo patches to use up the scrap material. (Because, why not?)

Then, I ordered it in felt and leather, to have an example of each material.


Overall, I was frustrated that Ponoko started emailing me non-stop asking if I needed help. Then, there was no way to get a quote for a larger quantity without signing up for the paid service. And- it is CRAZY expensive. Here’s a taste of life after ITP with no laser cutter! Stay tuned for the project arriving in the mail!


One thought on “Ordering from an “online factory” – Ponoko

  1. Hi Natasha,
    Thanks for writing up your experience with Ponoko. I just wanted to leave a few notes.

    1) Sorry the help emails got on your nerves. You can reply to one, and you’ll get blocked from receiving the next one.

    2) You mentioned using up the scrap material. The way it works is that you are charged a per minute rate of cutting. So the more lines in your design, the more expensive it it. Your design would be considerably cheaper without the buttons and patches.

    3) You can get a quote on any size order you like. The paid service just reduces your per minute cutting charge to $1.35 per minute. But we’re also working on a discount plan based on the size of the order and potentially a material discount. (Felt and leather are some of our most expensive materials.)

    Let me know there’s anything I can do to improve things for you. We want people to love Ponoko, and I’m super sorry to hear we didn’t make you happy. : (

    Kristen Turner
    CMO Ponoko

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