Materials FAQs

What materials can I use?

You can choose from the range of wood and ply sheeting and acrylic listed in our materials catalog. You can also access the materials catalog through your My Ponoko account. We plan to expand the materials over the coming months.

Can I use my own materials?

No. Parts can only be cut from materials we supply. Of course, you can use other materials to embellish your design once you get the product parts back from Ponoko.

Will there be burn marks on my cut parts?

Yes, they may be some on the parts cut in wood. To remove them, you can lightly sandpaper them off. Plastics do not suffer from the same kind of burn marks.

How do I get my materials to fit together or interlock?

If you are designing an object with parts that interlock, you will want the thickness of the material to be exact. In the real world, natural materials are not exact. Materials can be up to .5mm greater or less than the specified thickness. This is called tolerance. For example, a 6mm acrylic may actually be 6.2mm thick (+0.2mm) or 5.8mm (-0.2mm). This will impact how your parts fit together. Because material thicknesses vary, it may take a prototype (or two) to figure out how to make your product perfectly.

Also be aware that the laser cutter will burn away some of the material along the cutting line. This varies depending on the depth the cut needs to be. In other words, the thicker the material, the slower the laser moves and the more material lost. This loss is likely to be in the region of 0.1 to 0.2mm.

Each material you use will have a different 'tolerance'. You can find out more about the tolerance of each material by looking at the material information in the materials catalog. You can also access the materials catalog through My Ponoko.

For more tips about tolerance, download the making guide

What are my options if a material I've used is no longer available?

From time to time, we have to remove a material from our catalogue. If this happens, you can no longer make with that material but you can edit your design and add a different material.

You can still show and sell your product. We'll add a note that the material is no longer available in your showroom. If you have stock for sale, we suggest you indicate this in your product description. Otherwise, we suggest you change to show only.

We will let you know whenever we remove a material from the catalogue that you have been using.

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