Ponoko Online Furniture Manufacturing: If You Dream It, They Can Build It


TreeHugger has mentioned the concept of downloadable design many a time before, with good reason. It's a great way to localize product manufacturing and cut down the distance and time (and carbon footprint) of everything needs to get to you. Unfortunately, to this point, a lot of the downloadable designs have been pretty small and simple; because we're limited to printing on a flat piece of paper, it's tough to make something like a (full-size) chair or table. For everyone else who doesn't have a workshop of their own, there's Ponoko. The New Zealand-based company helps you upload your own digital design, find a local manufacturer to create it and then send it back to you. Burgeoning designers can also submit and then sell their designs to other Ponoko users, who then in turn have it manufactured locally to them. The system is still in beta, so we aren't sure how everything works, but it's a terrifically intriguing idea and seems to be a great way to put design within reach of everyone and give furniture design a little open-source twist. If you've got some designs ready to unleash on the world, sign up to help them test, check out some examples in their blog and stay tuned for more. ::Ponoko via ::Core77

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