A big welcome to Derek, Dave and the rest of the team at Ponoko who have made the move into the third dimension by adding 3D printing to their current 2D laser cutting.
Realized in partnership with Cloudfab, Ponoko are offering a range of 3D printed materials from their US hub including white polyamide, UV curable acrylic resin, ZCorp, stainless steel and gold plated stainless steel. They add 3D printing to their existing options which includes laser cutting of a vast range of materials along with electronic components via Sparkfun.
It is exciting to see another voice emerge along with Shapeways to promote the huge potential of 3D printing to independent designers and 3D printed products to potential buyers.
I tried to upload some of my stuff and had considerable difficulty. STL upload didn't work at all from Firefox. I eventually got something small to upload in IE which passed all their checks. It seems super-slow, even when I live in the US. I'm not sure if they will take a zip file ...
problems with pics uploading/cropping - lot's of errors too many input stages for uploading just one design..
customers pays you directly to your PayPal and gets your email from Ponoko for interacting with you about the order(!?!?) .. - no thanks
i could only get one shipping option when setting up a design for sale : customer pays designer , designer places the order with ponoko then ships it himself to customer !?!?!.. - no thanks !
(couldn't find the other option where ponoko takes care of shipping directly to customer)
Now why would a customer choose to pay the designer directly... ?? paying ponoko makes more sense to me .. and sales most likely could be much better since customers prefer to trust a business like ponoko and not some dude somewhere on the globe..
If ponoko would take care of the ordering / shipping / customer support / markup fee payments/ like shapeways does then it's worth opening a shop there - but right now it's one big headache for me.
I agree with some of the other commenters here: what a great way to welcome a competitor, and I've noticed before that Ponoko is generous in writing about Shapeways as well. I'm sure both will benefit from that kind of attitude.
And I agree with Dizingof: as long as there is no 'automated' sales & shipping process in Ponoko, my use for it will be very limited. I'm currently very busy with other work, but Shapeways sales continue; what a perfect opportunity for designers.
Congratulations to Shapeways for welcoming the competition. I'm looking forward to the day when the market for 3D printing will become saturated and very competitive. It will be companies with great customer service who will lead this.
Hey Shapeways, great attitude, I'm glad to see we have the same mindset. You're asking what you can do to improve your service. Maybe you could start offering 2D laser cutting service? That would make my shapeways shop more complete!