What to do with your first laser cut design

Four scenarios and next step options for first-time makers

You’ve created a design and uploaded it to Ponoko, placed and order, and now you have your first piece of laser cut delight. So now what?

It all depends on what stage of the process you’re in. We’ve come up with four scenarios to keep things moving. See which one best describes you.

Scenario #1

You: My design is not quite right – it didn’t work out!

Ponoko: Don’t let this get you down. The first try pretty much never turns out perfect for anyone. Making something is a process, and you’re in the prototyping phase. Most of our customers have to make 5-10 prototypes to get their design just right. Don’t forget that we will do whatever it takes to help you get there!

What to do next:

• If you’re not sure why your design didn’t work out or if you think we messed something up, get in touch: service-at-ponoko-dot-com
• If you know what needs to be changed, revise your design and try again. To speed up the prototyping process, we recommend putting multiple versions of your design on a single sheet of material and see which one works best.

Scenario #2

You: My design looks pretty good but I need to add some finishing touches.

Ponoko: Good idea! Finishing touches are what make laser cut designs go from good to great.

What to do next: Check out our Finishing Techniques section on the forum. There’s stuff on coloring engraving, washing felt, staining woods, etc.

Scenario #3

You: Everything looks good, but I still need to assemble the final product.

Ponoko: Good for you! We would love to see pics! If you feel like sharing, tweet a photo to @Ponoko

What to do next: Right now, there’s not much that we can do in the way of helping with assembly. But here is some moral support: Assemble it! It will be awesome! We are just as excited as you are!

Scenario #4

You: My design is all put together and looks super fly. I bet people would totally buy this thing.

Ponoko: Nice! People totally would buy it. Or at least they might. You should find out.

What to do next: List it for sale somewhere. But here’s the thing, you have to promote it even just a little bit or no one will know it’s for sale. Give us a heads up that you’re now selling your design, even if it’s just one. We’ll post it to facebook and tweet about it and maybe help you get your very first sale.

Did we leave out a scenario? Let us know in the comments and we’ll come up with a What To Do Next that’s personalised just for you.

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