Personal Factory FAQs

Here are answers to some of our most commonly asked questions.

For more in-depth information on these and other areas, click the relevant links to the left.

If your question or issue is not addressed here, you'll find discussions on these and many other Ponoko topics in the Ponoko Forum.

How long will my order take?

Depending on the volume of orders we are processing, laser cut designs will take between one and two weeks to be made. The time it takes for 3D printed designs to be made depends on the material type you have chosen - the plastic materials will usually be made within one to two weeks, with Stainless steel and Gold plate often taking between two and four weeks. We will be working to speed up all of these turnaround times in the coming months.

Shipping time depends on your location, but usually takes between one day and one week. If you would like to upgrade to a faster shipping option, please contact us.

For more specific information including shipping details, see our Creator shipping FAQ or Buyer shipping FAQ.

To help speed up the turnaround of laser-cut designs, you can sign up for a Prime subscription.

How much will it cost to make my laser cut design?

The cost is determined by the complexity of your design and the material type and thickness you’ve chosen.

The laser cuts materials at a range of speeds and as a rule it takes longer to cut thicker materials. The laser is also faster at cutting straight lines than it is at cutting curves. As a general rule of thumb, the more lines your design has, the more it will cost to make.

When you add the materials to your designs in your Personal Factory, you’ll get an instant price for how much it will cost to make it. If you need to, you can then go back and refine your designs and upload them again. Check out our 2D design tips for advice on how to make your design more economical.

You can also reduce your laser-cutting making costs by 1/3 by signing up for a Prime subscription.

How much will it cost to make my 3D-printed design?

The cost is determined by the material type you’ve chosen and the overall dimensions and volume of material used in your design.

Both overall dimensions (making cost) and volume (material cost) are measured in cubic centimeters (cc). These costs are different for each 3D material type, and are outlined in the materials catalog.

When you add the 3D materials to your STL, DAE, VRML 97 files in My Ponoko, you'll get an instant online price for how much it will cost to make. If you need to, you can then go back and refine your designs and upload them again.

Why can't I add 3D materials or hardware?

At present, both 3D materials and hardware such as SparkFun electronics are only available through the Ponoko USA making location. If you're not based in the USA, you can still order 3D materials and hardware, but you must change your making location to Ponoko USA and have them shipped internationally.

How do I order more than one design / material at once?

All the designs you wish to make at one time need to be uploaded together. If you want to make one product from multiple materials, you’ll need to upload one design file per material. The easiest way to do this is to simply duplicate the file you want to use, and add the material type or color to the end of the filename.

Select your first file and upload. As soon as it has started uploading, you can select your second/duplicate file and repeat that process as many times as required. Click ‘Done’ once all of your files are uploaded and you can then add materials.

What size restrictions are there for laser cutting?

There are 3 design templates per design software package, used to make on our three 2D material sheet sizes:

181 x 181 mm7.1 x 7.1 in
384 x 384 mm15.1 x 15.1 in
790 x 384 mm31.1 x 15.1 in

What materials can I use?

You can choose from the range listed in our materials catalog, which we are expanding on a regular basis.

For more information about materials for laser cutting, see our 2D materials FAQ.

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