Ponoko

Laser cut metal

Aluminum and stainless steel are great for creating durable and attractive products. Our laser cutting technology allows you to achieve a level of precision and build quality at unbeatable value. Build stunning art pieces, unique decorations, house appliances, and virtually anything you dream up!

Showroom

Showroom
Laser Cut Cable Car
by San Gatiche
Silver Laser Cut Aluminum Seder Bowl
by Yair Emanuel
Birdie TV Necklace
by Erica Schwartz

Materials

Metal
Aluminum

0.040 inches

Metal
Stainless Steel

0.036 inches

Metal - Aluminum

What is it

6061 grade Aluminum.

This is a medium strength alloy possessing good ductility and therefore good formability. Aluminium alloy 6061 is known for work hardening rapidly and is readily weldable. It also possesses high corrosion resistance particularly in marine environments.

Photochemical Machining

Laser cutting Alumunim is great for relatively simple designs like electronic housings or lamp shades. If you want to make jewelry or something with intricate cut-outs or engraving, your design might be better suited to a new metal fabrication technique we are trialling called Photochemical Machining (PCM). The formatting requirements are slightly different for PCM so see here for the guide - Everything you need to know for Photochemical Machining (PCM).

Design notes

The fabrication process for metal is different from all our other materials - as such there are a few important points to note:

  • We won't be able to apply Prime discount pricing to metal orders.
  • Getting your metal pieces cut may take longer than standard orders. If you want to make designs on other materials as well, we would recommend placing the metal order separately.
  • Please read things you must know for laser cutting metal before starting your project as there are some specific design requirements for this material.

Environmental info

Recyclable.

Adhesives, joints & fastenings

Aluminum is best connected with mechanical fastenings or welding.

A two part epoxy may be used to stick metal to other materials. For more info about gluing metal see this site.

Metal - Stainless Steel

What is it

304 grade Stainless Steel.

This is the most versatile and most widely used stainless steel, available in a wider range of products, forms and finishes than any other. It has excellent forming and welding characteristics.

Photochemical Machining

Laser cutting stainless steel is great for relatively simple designs like electronic housings or lamp shades. If you want to make jewelry or something with intricate cut-outs or engraving, your design might be better suited to a new metal fabrication technique we are trialling called Photochemical Machining (PCM). The formatting requirements are slightly different for PCM so see here for the guide - Everything you need to know for Photochemical Machining (PCM).

Design notes

The fabrication process for metal is different from all our other materials - as such there are a few important points to note:

  • We won't be able to apply Prime discount pricing to metal orders.
  • Getting your metal pieces cut may take longer than standard orders. If you want to make designs on other materials as well, we would recommend placing the metal order separately.
  • Please read things you must know for laser cutting metal before starting your project as there are some specific design requirements for this material.

Environmental info

Recyclable.

Adhesives, joints & fastenings

Stainless steel best connected with mechanical fastenings, soldering, brazing or welding.

A two part epoxy may be used to stick metal to other materials. For more info about gluing metal see this site.

Getting started

Latest article about laser cutting

Awesome Laser Cut Robots That Fit in Your Pocket

Ponoko-made pocket sized robots by Junichi Tsuneoka.

Junichi Tsuneoka is the illustrator and designer behind CHIBIPOCKET – collectable laser cut robot toys that combine traditional woodworking techniques with digital laser fabrication.

Junichi has been a graphic designer since 2002, creating vibrant character-driven illustrations for his company Stubborn Sideburn. In 2012, he was inspired to jump into making three dimensional art when one of his clients hired him to design their vinyl toys:

“When I first got the sample I really liked the idea of my design becoming a 3D form. I had been doing only flat print projects till then so it was very refreshing for me. I wanted to do more 3D projects to expand my design possibilities.”

Junichi experimented with several production methods ranging from soft vinyl, plastic mold and 3D printing before landing on laser wood cutting. “It’s very close to how I usually design graphics and print digitally” he explains, “yet there is a bit of crafting quality.”

His first robot figurine was meant to be more of a personal project rather than a product line, but after showing it around it became clear there was a lot of interest in the idea. “I got a lot of good feedback plus I really enjoyed making it,” he says, “so I decided to expand the project.”

Junichi used his Personal Factory to instantly price lots of design iterations while expanding his new product line:

“It’s very handy that you can see the price right away when you upload the file” he said, “it gives me a chance to modify the file so I can control the price really easily.”

By digitally prototyping with in this way, Junichi was able to control costs early so he could stay competitive at the retail level later on.

CHIBIPOCKET was inspired by the types of toys Junichi grew up carrying around in his pocket. ?Chibi? is a Japanese term for ?short person? or ?small child?. In popular culture, chibi has mostly referred to characters with oversized heads and small bodies ? similar to babies ? to emphasize cuteness and child-like spirit. “My original concept of the whole product line is about my childhood memory.” he says, “So I decided to do pocketable art/toys.”

When I asked what initially drew him to Ponoko, Junichi explained that speed is key:

“When I work with individual laser cut service, I had to spend quite a bit of time giving instructions for custom jobs and communicating back and forth.” he explains. “That would cause errors and a lot of extra time to spend. I don’t have to experience that with Ponoko.”

Each figurine combines several pieces of laser cut bamboo and fluorescent acrylic, which is then hand-sanded and finished with Sumi Ink to bring the characters to life.

What’s on the horizon for Junichi? CHIBIPOCKET was recently commissioned by totem resolve to make all the 10 Wu Tang Clan members into handmade bamboo toys:


Left to right: GZA, RZA, UGOD, Cappa Donna & Ghost Face

Junichi’s robots are available at CHIBIPOCKET.

Inspired to create your own product line? Make it with Ponoko!