Guaranteed 3-day turnaround on laser cutting at Ponoko

Trial period through July 31

We recently surveyed everyone on our newsletter list, combed through the results, and put together a top 10 task list of things to change, improve, and generally get done here at Ponoko. One of the key requests was faster turnaround.

So for the rest of the month, we’re going to offer guaranteed 3-day turnaround in the US and NZ for a small fee. By 3-day turnaround we mean cut, packaged, and sent within 3 days. Shipping times will remain the same.

This trial is to get a sense of the actual demand for 3-day turnaround and what pricing might work for you and us. So let us know you want faster turnaround by placing a 3-day order (or leave us a comment).

How to get 3-day turnaround on your order:

1. Upload your file, and place your order.

2. Type “3DAY” in the *special shipping instructions* —AND— include your PAYPAL email address!

3. We will email you a PayPal request for a fee based on your order amount (see fees below). If for any reason we can’t get your order out (such as out-of-stock materials or your files literally take 4 days to make) we’ll email to let you know and work something out.

3-day turnaround fees:

(Order amounts below *do* include shipping charges.)

• Orders up to $50 = $10 fee
• Orders from $51 to $100 = $20 fee
• Orders from $101 to $150 = $30 fee
• Orders from $151 to $200 = $40 fee
• Orders from $201 to $300 = $60 fee
• Orders from $301 to $500 = $100 fee
• Orders from $501 to $1000 = $150 fee
• Orders over $1000 = contact us at service-at-ponoko-dot-com

Why faster is better:

You guys asked for faster turnaround so you could prototype new products quickly and deliver the products you make and sell to your own customers asap. We tested faster turnaround in NZ in May. Here’s what some of our customers had to say:

“Cutting my prototyping turnaround from 2-3 weeks to just one week is a HUGE benefit to me.” – Jenna of Jenna Appleton jewelry

“The rapid turnaround time allowed me to make design changes and test them on my prototypes fast, keeping the creative flow and enthusiasm for the project strong.” – Marc of

“I loved the peace of mind that came with the quick turnaround, not having to worry about how long a queue my work was in.” – Melanie of Kimono Reincarnate

Get 3-day turnaround on your order now:

Place your order. Type “3DAY” in the special shipping instructions AND type your PayPal email address.

Got questions?
Leave a comment or drop us an email: service-at-ponoko-dot-com

P.S. 3-day turnaround is NOT available on metal laser cutting.

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Matthew Kendall

I already get faster turnaround as one of the benefits of paying $39 a month for Prime. The Prime documentation says “your orders are sent to he top of the list and processed first” which is a little vague, but it does seem to reduce making time from about two weeks to a few days.

With the introduction of this new scheme, will I remain at the head of the queue, or will I now be behind customers paying $10 for 3-day turnaround? And if so, how much can I expect Prime processing time to be extended by?

Hi Matthew,
Thanks for your comment. We thought about this a lot before running this trial, especially because Ponoko Prime members pay a monthly subscription fee for faster turnaround.

We’re making sure that the 3-day turn around orders do not interfere with our regular turnaround times. Prime account turnaround is 6-8 days, and standard account turnaround is 10-14 days in the US.

We’re actually using the rush fees to pay laser operators to come in earlier and stay later than our normal business hours so that we can deliver the 3-day orders all while not setting back our normal production queues.

To make this extra-transparent, we started tweeting daily status updates on turnaround times. You’ll see that US Prime queues have been maintained at 7-8 days and standard accounts have been maintained at 12-13 days.

I hope that clarifies things.
Let me know if you have any other questions or feedback/suggestions.

I don’t have an order to place right now to show support for it, but this feature will be very helpful to me. I’ve definitely had to turn down jobs because I couldn’t guarantee turnaround time. Thank you!


Thanks for your comment, Melissa. We’ll have some good news on this very soon.

Hi Ali, I tried to look up your email to see if you placed an order, but I don’t see an account under that contact. Please email service-at-ponoko-dot-com if you placed an order that you want to upgrade to 3-day turnaround.

Paul Cardno

I think this quick turnaround is a great idea. I find the cost increase of between %39 (20/51) and 15% (150/1000) to variable and to high. Although that said I might do this but I’m going to have to restructure my design process as I have structured things around the slow return. One week turn around will allow me to get much more into the flow of things and with some projects this is really going to work.

Paul Cardno

Q – does the order amount include GST?

Hi Paul,
You’re right about the gap between the fees. We had to do it this way for the trial offer, which will end tomorrow. We’ll be posting an update soon on how the trial went and what our next step is to keep this going for you guys.

As for your 2nd question, to make it easy the amount is the total including GST. But if tax is putting you over the bracket into a new tier fee, just place your order and drop a note to service-at-ponoko-dot-com and we’ll look at charging the lower fee.

Bob Rosland

I’ve placed two orders using the 3-day turnaround option and I am very pleased with the results. I’m hoping you guys fully implement this feature within the next few weeks as I plan to upgrade to a Prime account, because a 1-week total turnaround at a discounted cutting cost and free shipping on large orders is too good to pass up.

Thanks Bob! We’ll have an update soon on a timeframe for implementing 3-day upgrade on orders.

Bugger, just went through this and realized this ended yesterday, so I guess I need a refund? Never could figure out why I still have to pay for shipping and then get separately billed for shipping?

Hi James. We’ll go ahead and upgrade your order to 3-day turnaround. You don’t get billed separately for shipping. Your shipping charges happen when you order. We send a PayPal request to collect the rush fee to cut/package/send your order in 3 days.

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