Ponoko Product of the Week – March 24th 2008


Product of the Week this week is very different to last week. It’s a model Rotary Engine from Pete. While this isn’t for sale, you can email Pete through his “Contact the Designer” button on his product page if you are interested in this fascinating creation. Pete describes his experience on creating the model:

“This is my first ponoko test – i plan to build a working rotary engine model out of stacked pieces of acrylic.

So far Ponoko have vastly exceed my expectations and my model pretty much works straight out of the box.

I need to manually refinish the housings a little to provide proper clearance, and plan to recut the gears to make them mesh better, but i’m absolutely blown away by what i’ve been able to acheive in a very short space of time with this project”.

Pete’s buddy Tim Norton wrote about the model Pete created on the PlanHQ Blog, and how it helped him see exactly how a rotary engine works. Sounds like this would make a great gift for a kid who’s shown an interest in engines (or even an adult for that matter).

So well done Pete, and congratulations on being the Ponoko Product of the Week!

model rotary engine

rotary engine model

Photos via Tim Norton and the PlanHQ blog.

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I’ve always loved rotary engines myself (I had a 1990 Mazda RX-7) and that model, although simplified, stays true to the rotary form. I even noticed that the rotor has three little placements for uhhh… I forget what they’re called… but those thingies that separate the chambers and keep a seal. Seal-keepers? Seal-uppers? Hmm…

Anyway, this also showcases the coolness of Ponoko, and I can’t wait to try it out for myself! Maybe tomorrow, though, since it’s already almost 5 a.m. and I have yet to sleep!

I think it would be great if more and more products get to be sold; whether they be muses of designers, or things made to be sold.

Hi Shawn, we are working on making it a bit easier for designers to make things “for sale” immediately. But for now I think a lot of designers are still a bit shy about selling their ideas in such a raw form. I think that it’s truly a result of this being a very new idea. It’s enough to create something on a drawing and then have it created piece by piece for you, but to then sell it anywhere in the world to someone you’ve never seen or met. It’s quite a strange feeling to see ideas become real with such speed.

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