Ponoko

Personal Factory template FAQs

What are product plans?

Product plans are design files that describe the parts of a product.

Why do I need to transfer my design to the Ponoko templates?

The Ponoko templates are there to help you make Ponoko-ready .eps or .svg files. The templates are already formatted so they are the correct size, contain the 'safe' cutting area and have the correct color mode for our laser-cutter.

Do I HAVE to use the Ponoko templates?

No, if you're using .eps files, but we recommend you do. Yes, if you're using .svg files. We created them so that you don't have to set up the correct size, safe 'cutting area' and color mode each time you create a design file for Ponoko.

What software are the Ponoko templates compatible with?

We've made templates for Adobe Illustrator CS®, Macromedia Freehand MX®, Inkscape or CorelDraw X3®. You can download them from here. Please let us know if you would like to use other software to create your .eps or .svg files.

Why do I have to save my designs as .eps or .svg files?

You can only use .eps or .svg files with Personal Factory.

To help, we've created step-by-step instructions for saving .eps files for vector art packages. Read the Adobe Illustrator CS® steps, Macromedia Freehand MX® steps, CorelDraw X3® steps or Inkscape steps. These steps are also in our downloadable starter kits.

Why can I only upload .eps or .svg files?

We have chosen to use .eps files because they have a greater degree of accuracy than other file formats. This means you have greater control over your design.

We have chosen to use .svg files because it is a file format that is widely supported by both web broswers and vector drawing software.

We are currently investigating how to accept other file formats.

How do I export .eps files from CorelDRAW X3®?

CorelDRAW X3®

Step 1. Transfer your design onto our templates. Choose 'File > Export' and select 'Save as type: EPS - Encapsulated Postscript'

Corel Step 1

Step 2. If you like, change the name - then click 'Export.' Make sure there are no special characters such as #$&*?!/;: in your name, and that the name ends with .eps.

Corel Step 2

Step 3. Make sure the EPS Export panel looks the same as this, then click 'OK'

Corel Step 3

You're now ready to upload your .eps to My Ponoko...

How do I export .eps files from Adobe Illustrator CS®?

Adobe Illustrator CS®

Step 1. Transfer your design onto our templates. Choose 'File > Save as' and select the format as 'Illustrator EPS'

Illustrator Step 1

Step 2. If you like, change the name - then click 'Export.' Make sure there are no special characters such as #$&*?!/;: in your name, and that the name ends with .eps.

Illustrator Step 2

Step 3. Select the format as 'Illustrator 8 EPS' format

Illustrator Step 3

Step 4. Make sure your final EPS Options panel looks the same as this, then click 'OK'

Illustrator Step 4

You're now ready to upload your .eps to My Ponoko...

How do I export .eps files from Macromedia Freehand MX®?

Macromedia Freehand MX®

Step 1. Transfer your design onto our templates. Choose 'File > Save as' and select 'Format: Editable EPS'

Freehand Step 1

Step 2. If you like, change the name - then click 'Export.' Make sure there are no special characters such as #$&*?!/;: in your name. You'll need to add '.eps' to the end of your name as Freehand doesn't add it for you.

Freehand Step 2

You're now ready to upload your .eps to My Ponoko...

How do I export .eps files from Inkscape?

Inkscape

Step 1. Transfer your design onto our templates. Choose 'File > Save as' and select the format as 'Encapsulated Postscript (*.eps)'

Inkscape Step 1

Step 2. If you like, change the name - then click 'Save.' Make sure there are no special characters such as #$&*?!/;: in your name, and that the name ends with .eps.

Inkscape Step 2

Step 3. When this panel appears, make sure "Convert text to paths' is ticked, then click 'OK'

Inkscape Step 3

You're now ready to upload your .eps to My Ponoko...

Using .svg files

What is an .svg file?

An .svg file is a type of vector file format we can use to make your design digitally. It contains images described using Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). In technical terms, this graphics format uses XML ‘tags’ to describe images. This means that drawings are stored as human readable descriptions.

Why has Ponoko started supporting .svg files?

It gives you more options. By supporting .svg files as well as .eps files, we can offer a wider range of services. We can simplify the process of using Ponoko for some people and give them a better experience.

What is the difference between .svg and .eps files?

They are designed for different end uses: svg files are designed for displaying vector images in a web browser and .eps files are designed for the print environment. Their different in-built features mean that .svg files work well for small, simple parts (such as jewelry or parts for small robots). On the other hand .eps files are good for bigger, more complex designs (such as parts of furniture) because the files tend to be smaller.

Ponoko offers two different ways of specifying designs. When should I use each method?

It’s best to think of the file formats by setting them on a spectrum of accuracy. .svg files are more complex to create, but they are much more accurate. Some people will find .eps files a bit of a hassle to create, but they provide the greatest accuracy.

As a guide - sse .svg files for items like jewelry where you need to deal with concepts like symmetry. Use .eps files for items like furniture where issues like tolerance are important.

I see my product can only include .svg or .eps design files. Why not a combination of both?

It keeps things simple. Sometimes we need to strike a balance between providing flexibility and making things overly complex.

Can I put .jpg, .gif or .png images in my .svg files?

No.

What’s a good vector package for creating .svg files?

Inkscape is a really good, free vector package that generates .svg files by default. You’ll find most modern vector drawing packages will export .svg files, including later versions of Adobe Illustrator.

How do I get .svg files out of Inkscape?

That’s the neat thing about Inkscape. All you need to do is save your drawing – it will automatically save it as an .svg file. Just make sure you’ve put your design into one of the templates we’ve provided for Inkscape.

Why do I need to use the Ponoko templates?

The templates help us make sure your pieces are cut to the right size and priced correctly.

How do I export .svg files from Adobe Illustrator CS3®?

Adobe Illustrator CS3®

Step 1. Transfer your design onto our templates. Choose 'File > Save as' and select the format as 'SVG (svg)'

Illustrator SVG Step 1

Step 2. If you like, change the name - then click 'Save.' Make sure there are no special characters such as #$&*?!/;: in your name, and that the name ends with .svg.

Illustrator SVG Step 2

Step 3. Select the SVG Profile and make sure it's set to 'SVG 1.1'. Make sure your final SVG Options panel looks the same as this, then click 'OK'

Illustrator SVG Step 4

You're now ready to upload your .svg to My Ponoko...

Do you support .svgz files?

No, not at the moment. But we’re working on it.

Are you going to stop supporting .eps files?

No. Although, due to technical limitations, there may be cases where certain features are only offered for .svg files.

Why have you added different file formats?

Because that’s what our users have asked for. People come to Ponoko with all sorts of experience and we want to support as many of them as possible. Some of our users have found that creating an .eps file can be quite tricky. Others don’t like using vector drawing to design their products.

Are there any problems with .svg files?

Yes. We have found that sizes specified in Inkscape are not translated correctly in Adobe Illustrator. This can mean that sizes and costs can be different sometimes. Using the templates we’ve provided for Inkscape solves this problem. These templates specify the height and width of the design areas using ‘points’ (a unit that both Illustrator and Inkscape respect equally).

Help! I've followed these instructions and it's not working!

Please get in touch if you're still having problems


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