Maker Faire 2011: Ponoko, Autodesk and TechShop Partnership Is a DIYers Paradise

pokono techshop photo

Photos via Jaymi Heimbuch
Maker Faire is the perfect place to find both the inspiration to become a maker, and the resources to act on that inspiration. Those resources were never more easily accessible than with a partnership created by Autodesk, Ponoko and TechShop. Thanks to this team-up, just about any design for any item you can dream up can be created. We've been fans of Ponoko for years -- it's hard not to love a company that makes your designs into reality. The same is true with TechShop, a subscription-based workshop in the San Francisco Bay Area that allows anyone to learn, and freely use, major workshop equipment that might otherwise be inaccessible. Ponoko, TechShop and Autodesk have a wonderful partnership that allows anyone to create a design for just about anything, make modifications using Autodesk software, and have it become a reality through Ponoko and TechShop.

ponoko design image

At Maker Faire, the capabilities were shown off to a small degree as kids were allowed to customize their own toys, which were printed on cardboard and constructed by the toy's designer.

Also shown off was some of the equipment that people have access to through a subscription membership to TechShop. Everything from drill presses to 3D printers are available for anyone to use to manufacture their own creations.

tech shop shirt photo

If there is anything that could get people more interested in DIY culture, crafting our own goods, making items to last, and becoming more savvy at design and repair, it's this sort of partnership.

We love systems that allow people to become more connected to what we bring into our homes. After all, if you spent the time to design and build something, aren't you more likely to keep it around and use it, rather than consider it replaceable or disposable? And are you not more likely to repair it should it break?

While TechShop is an incredible resource for makers, it certainly isn't a national thing -- at least not yet. But what is wonderful about Ponoko is that items can be made locally, even if you aren't the one doing the crafting.

As Ponoko states, "Importantly, we also provide the world's first digital making system that means these product designs can be priced instantly online and made locally, as close to the point of consumption as possible. It means goods can be made in the greenest way. Making on demand reduces warehousing and wastage. Plus, making locally emphasizes digital transportation of goods instead of the traditional shipping of physical products."

This is a wonderful way to look at the manufacturing of goods, and the next time I am in need of something, I'm going to look into Ponoko first.

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