The Ponoko 10-day Jewelry Design Challenge

Body adornment dates back 30,000 years. It serves as a way to communicate our personal identity to the world and has a physical and emotional relationship to our bodies.

Your challenge is to create inspired and evocative jewelry on a laser cutter — within 10 days!

You can treat material in a variety of ways using a laser-cutter. You can cut shapes and mark patterns on the surface. You can create a single 2D piece or something more complex assembled from a number of parts.

Jewelry Making For Beginners

Everything you need to know about jewelry making for beginners.

See the ultimate guide here

Laser surface treatments can be a graphic in nature or a texture. There are infinite possibilities for treating the surface of a material to add value and interest.

Jewelry need not be 2D. You could make 3D jewelry using layers of material connected in an interesting way. Think about how multiple pieces can be combined to create an interesting design.

Attention to detail, material combinations, connections, production feasibility and quality will be key to making your design stand out.

Up to $10,000 in prizes

Up for grabs:

* Open round
o The designers of the top 25 entries get their product made for free — that’s materials, making and shipping
o Plus they’ll be invited to submit their entry into the final round

* Invitation round
o The top 10 designs win US$300 cash
o Plus there’s an additional Grand Prize of US$1,000 cash for the overall winner

Design requirements:

* It must be possible for Ponoko to make the main component of your design.
* Designs must be new (i.e. not already hosted on Ponoko).
* You can only use materials in the Ponoko materials catalog.
* You can use extras such as hooks, chains, clasps, pins etc (supplied and assembled by you).
* If you submit multiple designs, they must be unique. Please don’t just submit iterations of the same design.
* Designs may be as simple or as complex as you want.


There are two phases to the judging process:

1) Open Round: Submit your product design idea

The first round will be judged on a graphic representation and a description of your idea. Entries will be accepted between 1 March 2008 and 10 March 2008.

Here’s how: Upload images of your idea into your MyPonoko account. The images need to show what your design looks like (sketches, renders, photos, 3D drawings) plus you need to include a description of up to 200 words that communicates your design concept. (See “How to enter” below for more information about submitting your design.)

2) Invitation Round: Submit your finished product

If your design is selected among the top 25 entries, we will make it and ship it to you free of charge. We will also invite you to enter your design in the final round. Entries for this round close on 28 March 2008.

The final round will be judged on photos and text description of your completed product.

Judging criteria

Entries/finalists will be judged on the following criteria, in no particular order:

1. Innovation in design concept
2. Clarity and resolution of design
3. Originality
4. Presentation and photography
5. Interesting use of material(s)
6. Attention to detail
7. Production feasibility

How to enter

Open Round is from March 1st to 10th 2008, you’ve got 10 days!

Go to your MyPonoko account and upload the following elements into your Showroom:

1. Product design .eps files
2. Photos/images representing the final product
3. Up to 200 words describing your idea
4. Enter the tag “Competition1Open”

The key here is getting your idea across. 3D sketches and photos of cardboard models are great ways to show what something will look like.

Remember, your entry must be submitted between March 1 and March 10 2008. This means you have just 10 days to come up with an idea and upload it into your Ponoko Showroom. This is the challenge – we want to see how good you really are!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to entering the Open Round

What happens next?

Monday 17 March 2008: We announce the winners of the Open Round

Congratulations! The top 25 entries into the Open Round will be made and shipped for free and go through to the final round.

Friday 21 March 2008: We will have delivered the top 25 products to the Open Round winners

If you’re one of our Open Round winners, we’ll be busy making and shipping your stuff to you. Once you get it, you will have about a week to assemble your product, add any finishing touches, photograph it and upload the new photos into your Ponoko Showroom.

Friday 28 March 2008: Entries close for the Invitation Round

Go to your MyPonoko account and upload the following elements into your Showroom:

1. Photos of your final assembled product
2. The tag “Competition1Finalist”

Tip: Photos on a plain white or black background look best. Use a tripod if possible and avoid using a flash. If your camera has a macro function using this will help with any close up photos or detail shots.

Monday March 31st 2008 – We announce the winners of the Invitation Round

Congratulations! The top 10 finalists will win US$300 and the grand prize winner will receive US$1,000.

See the following page for important details on Competition Terms & Conditions (including details on your intellectual property & copyright and competition eligibility).

Please contact us if you need help with any aspect of this competition.

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this is so tempting
I have about 4 different ideas in my head and now i’ll have to actually get round to creating them

Can’t wait to see them Sue.

Can we submit things we’ve designed and made on a laser cutter previously but not submitted to Ponoko, does it need to have been designed during the 10 day challenge?

I am definitely sending you something!

is it ok if we get our designs made ourselves?
or does being part of the competition mean we need to wait?

now i’ve designed things, i want to make them now

I have a really interesting mass personalized one for this one…

Good luck to every one!

Hello, this is really exciting! I have about a million ideas running in my head right now…
Assuming I get them on paper and uploaded before march 10th, how many entries can everyone submit?

Hi Lise,

You can submit as many designs as you like but we do request that if you submit multiple designs, they must be unique. Please don’t just submit iterations of the same design.

can you submit 2 version of the same design
I’m torn between two options for one of my designs so i’m wondering if that’s ok

Hi Sue,

Unfortunately, according to the rules: “If you submit multiple designs, they must be unique. Please don’t just submit iterations of the same design”.

Good luck in choosing.

Hi, I need help!! I try to upload my .eps, but I can´t. The web saids me:
The colors in this .eps file appear to be different from the Ponoko cutting and engraving colors. Check that your document is set up to use RGB colors and not CMYK. Please check and try again.
I check that but it´s all right, I don´t know what the problem is… I have send you a mail with the files.

I have a quick technical question, as I live in europe, what time exactly is the deadline to submit a design ( in US time is fine, but I’m confused with eastern/western times)… Is it on monday at midnight?

will you guys be looking at the eps files in the original round, it seems silly to explain something if the file speaks for itself

I think I have result my problem. I have to use and install Inkscape, but now is ok! I think…

ditto on the time question. Monday night at midnight Eastern time? or is is Sunday night?

All times are USA Pacific Coast Standard Times and you will have until 11:59pm on the 10th to get your designs into the showroom.

Hi Sue,

You are up late working judging by the time of this comment! If there is nothing but the eps to look at then I’m sure the judges will look at that. But as you know they can be a little drab so the opportunity to flesh out your story is there if you want it.


Hi I am having technical difficulites with the showroom, I created a name for my showroom and I uploaded my eps.file and a photo no problem, but when I try to upload it to the showroom it just says error on page and done, and the page dosn’t do anything. what am i doing wrong?

8 hours to go to and I still can’t post my design in my showroom, tried logging in and out again, tried re-loading all my photos and eps files, turned my computer off and tried it all over again… no dice. please help.

chi: Something similar happened to me and I change Internet Explorer to Mozilla Firefox. try!

tech support for ponoko is totally awesome! apparently explorer has some issues and firefox is the way to go! thank ponoko

murie: sorry I didn’t see your post and I wrote to tech support but I want to thank you for the tip too.

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