Legal Stuff

Terms of use for Ponoko

Ponoko is an online marketplace for product plans that provides designers with the manufacturing services to turn ideas into real products, sellers with the web commerce services to sell their products and product plans, and buyers with the ability to purchase products and product plans direct from the source.

Designers retain ownership of all their intellectual property rights for their products and product plans. Apart from a limited license to display the products and product plans on our website, we are not given any interest in them.

These terms of use apply to your use of the Ponoko website, our services and operation of My Ponoko accounts. You need ensure that you have familiarised yourself with these terms prior to using the Ponoko website. By entering the Ponoko website, you acknowledge that you understand and agree to be bound by these terms. If you have any questions about these terms, the Ponoko website or the services, please contact us.

We may change these terms from time to time at any time by posting the amended terms. All changes will become effective from the date that they are posted and shall be deemed to have been accepted by all users of the Ponoko website as from the time and date that they are posted.

In these terms, we refer to: the creator of products and/or product plans as the 'designer'; 'you'; or 'your'; as appropriate; the seller of products and/or product plans as the 'seller'; 'you'; or 'your'; as appropriate the buyer of products and/or product plans as the 'buyer'; 'you'; or 'your'; as appropriate; Ponoko as 'Ponoko'; 'us'; 'we'; or 'our'; Ponoko.com as our 'website'.

Your use of our website is also subject to the Privacy policy.

How Ponoko works for designers and sellers

Designers and sellers must open a My Ponoko account to access our services. Opening an account is free.

My Ponoko provides designers and sellers with an online place to make, sell and share their products and product plans.

IMPORTANT: Any products, product plans and content that you submit for upload to the website must be your own original work or you must have the explicit permission of the creator to use it in the way you are.

Manufacturing your products and product plans

Designers and sellers may request a quote or place an order for the manufacture of any quantity of the designer's or seller's design (or components for assembly).

Once you have placed an order, it may not be cancelled by you without our agreement. A cancellation fee of costs incurred or USD$25 may apply.

We will then make and ship the products to you or to whomever you require them to be shipped.

Showcasing your products and product plans

You can showcase your creativity in your Ponoko showroom by uploading your product plans, photos, details, specifications and prices onto our website. Your showroom can be visited by anyone entering our website.

Selling your products and product plans

Buyers will deal direct with sellers and arrange sales, payment and shipping between them although Ponoko may facilitate credit card payment via a payment provider.

Ponoko does not purchase or sell the products or product plans nor is it the designer or seller of them, nor does it guarantee payment by buyers. Sellers will be liable to the buyers for any claims arising from the products and product plans that they sell, including timely supply, repair, replacement or refund. Where we have manufactured the products, designers and sellers may have recourse against us—see Our responsibilities below—but buyers may not.

A clear returns policy by the seller reassures buyers. For buyers, knowing where they stand in terms of returning items is a definite plus. If you have a clear returns policy, chances are that you are going to be more successful on Ponoko. You can set your own terms or you can apply the same terms that Ponoko offers to you, to your buyers—see Products made by Ponoko below.

Selling fees

Ponoko does not charge fees to list your items for sale, and does not charge sales success fees either. We reserve the right to change this at any time.

How Ponoko works for buyers

Visiting the showroom

Anyone may browse the showroom and send enquiries to designers and sellers or make purchases from sellers.

Buying products

Purchases are made direct with the seller. Payment and shipping are to be arranged with the seller although Ponoko may facilitate credit card payment by the buyer via a payment provider.

We accept no liability for any products displayed on the website, do not give any warranty nor make any representation about any products on the website, and are neither a seller nor agent of the designer, seller or buyer.

See Disputes between sellers and buyers for our terms relating to disputes about products purchased from a seller.

Products made by Ponoko


Nothing in these terms entitles you to return the products as being surplus to your needs, or for any other reason other than as set out herein.

We warrant only that the products manufactured by us meet your specifications and are manufactured in accordance with usual processes and standards. We do not guarantee that the product will be fit for any particular purpose.

Where the products are defective, you must provide us with full particulars of the product order, the nature of the defect and such other details as we may require. Do not return the products to us unless we request you to do so.

Where any claim is made against us, we may in our absolute discretion choose to replace the products or to refund the cost to you.

Any warranty claims must be made as soon as the defect is reasonably apparent and in any event, no later than 30 days after shipping of the products to you.

The limitations in section 12 shall apply to all claims against us.


While we will make best efforts to ship products to designers, sellers and buyers by the indicated date, we are not responsible for delay in shipping or failure to ship.

Advice regarding order shortages or damage in transit must be given to our customer service team no later than 30 days after receipt of products (refer to our returns policy below). We do not accept liability for any claims made after that time.

Shipping is complete when the products reach the address you have specified for shipping.


Ponoko offers a 365-day free replacement policy to designers on all products made and shipped direct from us to designers, sellers and buyers, if you've received your creation from us and it's not exactly what you ordered.

We will not replace goods because there is a problem with the product plan, your choice of materials or they don't turn out as you expect. You should expect to have several attempts before you perfect your design. Prototyping and refining product plans is an integral part of the Ponoko process, especially if you are creating interlocking parts.

Designers can contact us to request a replacement. Buyers need to contact the seller, not Ponoko, to request a replacement.

You can read more about Ponoko's returns policy here.

Disputes between sellers and buyers

We encourage sellers and buyers to try to work out any conflict that may arise when dealing with products sold by sellers to buyers.

Because we provide a system that gives control to designers and sellers, we cannot accept responsibility for the quality of the products or product plans (including quality of design, workmanship, etc). The seller approves the quality and format of each product, product part or product plan. We do not monitor or check individual products or product plans prior to being showcased through our website.

As a result buyers need to reply upon the seller's returns policy—so please read this carefully before you buy. If one does not exist, the buyer's purchase risk is higher than if a clear policy does exist.

In this case, if you have a question about your product, please contact the seller direct. Ponoko is unable to resolve problems or complaints for purchases made directly from a seller. This is a matter for buyers and sellers to negotiate.

Hardware supplied by third parties

Ponoko enables you to add third party hardware to you order, so a single purchase will deliver all of the items you need to make your complete product.


When you buy third party hardware items from the Ponoko site, you're paying Ponoko. We instantly pre-pay the third party supplier, to package and ship to you.


Your purchase of third party hardware is governed by the terms of that supplier, which can be found on their website.


Hardware is shipped direct to you from the third party supplier, not from Ponoko. The total amount you pay Ponoko includes the shipping charge from the third party hardware supplier. Shipping times can be found on the website of the relevant supplier.

Customer service

Because we are not directly involved in the completion of sales of hardware items, you will need to contact the third party supplier directly via their website for the following issues:

  • To check on your order or shipment status.
  • To cancel an order and receive a refund.
  • To return an order.

While we do not contact customers on behalf of third party suppliers and we do not mediate in disputes, if something goes horribly wrong please do let us know and we'll make it right.

Designmake Prime

Subscription account terms

Your Prime account may only be used by one person - a single account shared by multiple people is not permitted. You may create separate accounts for as many people as you like.

Payment, refunds, upgrading and downgrading

A valid credit card is required for a Prime account.

If you initially sign up for a Prime account, and you don't cancel that account within 30 days, you will be billed monthly starting on the 30th day after your account was initially created. If you cancel prior to the processing of your first invoice on the 30th day, you will not be charged.

Prime is billed in advance on a monthly basis and is non-refundable. There will be no refunds or credits for partial months of service, upgrade/downgrade refunds, or refunds for months unused with an open account. In order to treat everyone equally, no exceptions will be made.

Downgrading from Prime may cause the loss of content, features, or capacity of your account. Ponoko does not accept any liability for such loss.

Cancellation and termination

You are solely responsible for properly canceling your Prime account. An email or phone request to cancel your account is not considered cancellation. You can cancel your account at any time by clicking on the My Account / Prime link in the global navigation bar in your My Ponoko dashboard. This screen provides a simple no questions asked cancellation link.

All of your Prime benefits will be immediately ceased upon cancellation.

If you cancel Prime before the end of your current paid up month, your cancellation will take effect immediately and you will not be charged again.

Ponoko in its sole discretion, has the right to suspend or terminate your Prime account and refuse any and all current or future use of Prime for any reason at any time. Such termination of Prime will result in the deactivation or deletion of your account or your access to your account, and the forfeiture and relinquishment of all content in your account. Ponoko reserves the right to refuse Prime to anyone for any reason at any time.

Modifications to the service and prices

Ponoko reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Designmake service (or any part thereof, including any part of Prime) with or without notice.

Prices of all Designmake services, including but not limited to monthly subscription plan fees to the service or specific Prime services, are subject to change upon 30 days notice from us. Such notice may be provided at any time by posting the changes to the Ponoko blog (blog.ponoko.com).

Ponoko shall not be liable to you or to any third party for any modification, price change, suspension or discontinuance of Designmake or Prime.

Intellectual property rights

Designers' intellectual property

You retain ownership of all intellectual property rights for your products and product plans. Apart from the limited license to display the products and product plans (see below), we are not given any interest in them.

You grant Ponoko a non-exclusive, worldwide, transferable license to display the products and product plans uploaded to the website along with all uploaded content.

The license extends to use in Ponoko promotional materials including the website, electronic and printed marketing material and advertisements.

The license applies from the date a product plan and/or content is uploaded and continues for a period of 6 months after the product plan and/or content is removed.

Granting a license to Ponoko does not restrict your rights to grant the same or similar rights to other persons while these terms apply.

We will not, without first obtaining your express authorisation, publicly display or distribute to third parties the technical specifications of any product plan that you upload to the website. For the purposes of this section, technical specifications include CAD drawings and other computer design formats.

You must inform us of any change in ownership to a product plan or part thereof.

You can read more about our copyright and intellectual property policy here.

Our intellectual property

We own, control or have the right to use and provide the website, all content on or from the website such as data, text, images, articles, photographs, illustrations, audio and video clips but NOT including your products and product plans.

You may electronically reproduce and store the content of the website solely for your own personal use. You may not display or distribute the content of any part of the website or its content in public, including any reproduction in any form on the Internet, without our express permission.

Any infringement of our intellectual property rights will be fully enforced under New Zealand law.

Your information

Your use of the website and our services will generate certain information that will be recorded electronically by us. Such information collection and our use thereof is subject to our privacy policy.

Information of this type may include, for example, your IP address, your usage statistics, etc. We will also record your contact details, credit information and any related personal details that you supply or that we obtain independently.

You acknowledge that we, our employees, carriers, contractors and agents may use or disclose any of the information identified in the previous paragraph for purposes connected with the supply of the services to you. Examples of purposes connected with supply include, for example: administration of your My Ponoko account or the website; carrying out credit checks; keeping you up to date with new offers/changes at Ponoko; sharing with contractors to enable you to use or facilitate your use of the website, to ship the services and to manufacture products.

You may at any time make a written request to see any personal information that we hold or to ask us to correct any mistakes in that information.

Email policy

This demonstrates our firm commitment to your privacy and the protection of your information.

Why did you receive an email from us?

If you received a mailing from us your email address is listed with us either: (a) As someone who has expressly shared this address for the purpose of receiving information from us; or (b) You have created an account with us.

How we protect your privacy

Your information is protected by our Privacy policy.

Sharing and usage

We will never share, sell, or rent your email address with anyone without your advance permission or unless ordered by a court of law. Your email address is only available to employees and contractors for purposes of contacting you or sending you emails based on your request for information or having created an account with us.

How can you stop receiving email from us?

Each email we send you contains an easy, automated way for you to unsubscribe from our mailings. To unsubscribe simply follow the instructions at the end of any email. You will never be emailed again. (Note: We retain the right to email you in the case of critically important information. For example, our system is about to change in a way that may cancel your actively used account. We assume you’d like to know about information as important as this. We expect this type of email will be few and far between, if ever.)

Our responsibilities


We will provide access to the website and use reasonable endeavours to ensure that the website operates reliably and consistently, but we do not guarantee that the website will operate uninterrupted without any faults.

We are not responsible for any losses suffered by you as a result of: any interruption of the website however caused; suspension or termination of your access to the website or cancellation of your account; any sales or purchases of products; your use of the website.

Your responsibilities

My Ponoko accounts

Access to your My Ponoko account is by your designated username and password. You may change your password at any time.

You are responsible for ensuring that no unauthorised access is obtained through your account. You will be exclusively liable for all activities conducted through your account whether or not authorised by you until such time as we are notified of the unauthorised use.

If we have reason to believe that there is likely to be a breach of security or misuse of the website, we may suspend your account without notice.

You may not create alternate accounts for any purpose whatsoever.

Designer's responsibilities

Ponoko provides a manufacturing service for you to turn your product ideas into real products. This means when you make an item on Ponoko, you are entering into a direct relationship with Ponoko.

You are responsible for:

  • the quality of your product design and the resulting product;
  • uploading the correct file type so it can be read by our systems for pricing and making;
  • your materials choices;
  • paying Ponoko all fees due.

You shall not:

  • submit product plans or enter material into your showroom that may be objectionable in any way, as determined by Ponoko;
  • fail to make payments due to Ponoko.

Seller's responsibilities

Ponoko provides a marketplace for you to sell your products and product plans. This means when you sell an item on Ponoko, you are entering into a direct relationship with an individual buyer (facilitated by Ponoko).

You are responsible for:

  • conducting yourself in a professional manner;
  • listing your policies regarding shipping and returns;
  • communicating with your buyers to resolve all issues;
  • making and shipping your products to buyers in a timely fashion;
  • paying Ponoko all fees due.

You shall not:

  • list an item that you do not intend to, or cannot, sell;
  • set your Showroom policies contradictory to those of Ponoko's site-wide policies;
  • engage in any activity which may avoid Ponoko fees. This includes, but is not limited to, posting any content (text, graphics, links or URLs) in your Ponoko Showroom which may result in buyers purchasing your items off Ponoko, completing a transaction off Ponoko with a buyer who originally found your item on Ponoko and listing an item below its intended purchase price.
  • fail to make payments due to Ponoko.

Buyer's responsibilities

Ponoko's role is to connect buyers and sellers—we are not a retailer. This means when you buy a product or product plan on Ponoko, you are entering into a direct relationship with an individual seller (facilitated by Ponoko).

You are responsible for:

  • agreeing with the seller's individual policies (including shipping and returns) before buying from them;
  • ensuring your shipping address you enter into Ponoko is identical to your address in PayPal (if you pay via that method);
  • paying the seller when you make an order from them.

You shall not:

  • attempt to pay Ponoko for any items you order—make all payments to the seller.
  • fail to make payment to the seller.

General responsibilities

You are responsible for:

  • ensuring that all information you provide to us is correct and complete;
  • ensuring that your use of the website and the services is lawful and do not interfere with the use of the services by any other person;
  • complying with these terms, and any of our policies relating to your use of the website;
  • complying with all other lawful requirements relevant to your use of the website;
  • keeping us informed of any changes to your contact details.

You shall not:

  • without our written authorisation provide the use of your My Ponoko account to any third parties save to the extent necessary to give effect to these terms;
  • copy, modify, distribute, demonstrate to a third party, decompile, reverse engineer or otherwise deal with any part of the website or its content in any way which would be detrimental to our rights or the rights of any designer;
  • use the website for any or on behalf of any other person, including any related or associated company.

Your warranties to us

You represent and warrant to us in relation to each product and product plan submitted to the website, that the product and product plan does not contain or infringe the intellectual property rights (copyright, trademark, brand etc) of any third parties and that you have the right to market and license the product and product plan.


You agree to keep us indemnified against all claims, actions, losses and expenses of any nature which we may suffer or incur or for which we may become liable in respect of or arising out of these terms or your use of the website or the services.

You will hold Ponoko harmless from any third-party claim for intellectual property infringement in relation to any product, product plan or content.

System integrity/security

Information sent using the secure sections of the website is never sent over the internet unencrypted—it is secured using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol. However, all electronic data on the internet is potentially susceptible to interception by others. Accordingly we cannot and do not guarantee that data transfers using the website will not be monitored or read by others.

We do not store credit card information unless expressly instructed to do so by you for the purposes of payment of a recurring amount. When this information is stored, it is not stored by us, but by our payments processing company.

Payment & invoicing

Payment by credit card

Where you pay us via credit card for anything whatsoever or where we facilitate your payment to a seller via a payment provider, you agree to indemnify us against any default by your credit card company to make payment to us in full.

Shipping and transit

Fees for materials and manufacturing are quoted exclusive of transit costs. Any courier or handling charges in relation to your order will be notified to you at the time you place your order and be added to the price. All customs duties, if any, are your responsibility alone.

Sales Tax

All fees quoted on our website are exclusive of sales tax. Sales tax may be added to the price of items at the end of the checkout process when you will have the opportunity to pay.

Computer errors

In the event that computer error results in a material misstatement of the fees of your order we may, prior to your receipt of the order or at any time thereafter, require that you pay us the different between the amount actually paid by you in respect of your order and the correct amount payable.

In the event that we become aware of any misstatement prior to shipping, we will make reasonable endeavours to contact you and advise you accordingly. You may elect to cancel your order to the extent of the misstatement.

Disputing amounts

If you believe that a mistake has been made in relation to amounts charged by us, you must notify us in writing at least 10 business days after receiving our invoice. We will acknowledge in writing receipt of your request to investigate within 5 business days of your notice to us. Our acknowledgment will specify an indicative timeframe for completing the investigation.

Upon completion of the investigation, should it be determined a refund is required either all or in part, the amount will be refunded within 10 business days of such completion.

Suspension or termination of access to website

You acknowledge that we may terminate, suspend or restrict your access to the website at any time at our absolute discretion.

Exclusion & limitation of liability

We will not be liable to you under the law of tort (including negligence), contract or otherwise for any loss of profits or savings or for any indirect or consequential loss or damage, arising out of or in connection with the performance or non-performance of any of our obligations under these terms or otherwise out of your use of the website or our services.

In any case, our liability to you arising out of any claim for damages for any reason will under no circumstances exceed either the cost of replacement of the product or refund of the price paid.

The parties acknowledge that where our services are used for a business purpose the provisions of the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 are specifically excluded.


If you have a complaint relating to the website you should contact us here.

We aim to provide a written response to all complaints within 10 business days.

General terms

Entire agreement

These terms (including any terms or policies explicitly incorporated by reference) amounts to the whole of the arrangement between you and us relating to your use of the website or our services. These terms replace any prior related agreements and understandings between you and us.

No waiver

No delay, neglect or forbearance in taking enforcement action in relation to any provision of these terms by any party will be a waiver, or in any way prejudice any right, of that party.


If any part of these terms is held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that part will be severed and the remainder of these terms will remain in full force and have full effect.


We may subcontract to any third party all or part of our obligations under these terms.


Third parties may take the benefits of rights expressed to be for their benefit in accordance with the Contracts (Privity) Act 1982.

New Zealand law

These terms is governed by New Zealand law and any legal action against us must be taken in a Court in New Zealand.

If you or any third parties access the website from outside New Zealand, this is done at the user's own risk and the user is responsible for complying with the laws in the place where they access the website.


We will send relevant invoices and notices, if and as required under these terms to the email address nominated by you.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you keep us informed of any changes to your contact details.

You will be deemed to have received a notice sent by email at the time that we send it.


We reserve the right to change these terms from time to time. All material changes will be published on our blog.

The agreement as amended will take effect from the date the relevant amendments are published on our blog.

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