New Zealand-based 3D printing online marketplace and service provider Ponoko has partnered with German-based fabber Formulor to open a making hub in Berlin. It means EU-based creators using the Ponoko online making system can now choose to have their products made in Berlin – paying just a fraction of the shipping costs which has made ordering products from Ponoko’s US and Pacific-based making hubs prohibitive.
The development also opens up the European market for creators around the world. Items can now be produced in the EU and shipped locally, reducing the cost – and environmental impact – of long-distance shipping to the EU.
Ponoko CEO David ten Have says the Berlin hub is a departure from the existing making hubs in San Francisco, California and Wellington, New Zealand which are owned and operated by Ponoko.
Formulor has 12 years’ laser cutting experience, with support from leading material supplier Modulor. The Modulor name is well known in Germany – creative professionals have been using them to source materials for more than 20 years.
“It provides a glimpse into what we see as the future of Ponoko,” he says. “Over time we see our role expanding to be about connecting creators, digital fabricators, materials suppliers and buyers of goods rather than simply providing manufacturing services ourselves.”
“So just like eBay provides the marketplace for buyers and sellers to engage, Ponoko provides the world’s first marketplace for buyers and sellers of product designs – and now digital making services.”
The benefit of Ponoko’s online making system for fabricators like Formulor extends beyond accessing pre-paid making jobs from Ponoko’s 25,000 users. “Our automated online quoting system puts an end to manual quoting on a job by job basis,” says Ponoko strategist Derek Elley. “It also means standardized design file formats and automated job status alerts resulting in a much more streamlined and profitable making and customer service process.”
Ponoko says it is working with other digital making service providers to add more making hubs around the world.