Ponoko.com Ready Files

This topic contains 16 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  jessiewbailey 10 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • Author
  • #2317


    Hi there,

    I’m in the process of putting together a set of files for the 1.0.2 version to cut with Ponoko’s online service. I’m not sure how affordable cutting all the parts will be…but we’ll have a good idea once all the parts are nested and uploaded.

    Goal: To have a set of Cut Sheets to make it possible to cut a complete set of wooden LIL CNC parts through Ponoko.

    Some Tasks:

    -Setup cutlines and rasters to match colors and thicknesses Ponoko needs.

    -Re-nest pieces to maximize material use.

    -Share cutlines as much as possible to reduce cutting time/cost.

    -Attempt to fit the .25″ materials, MDF and Hardboard Ponoko has.

    For a start I put up Cut Sheet 5.


    I’m using the Single Symbol AI file on your download page as the source for this.

    Any feedback or suggestions would be great, thanks!



    This will be great. I was going to give it a try but I don’t think I have the needed skill.




    That’s great to hear. Ponko recently blogged us and also recommended that we post files to their site. We’ll get in touch with them to see if we can negotiate a deal for LILCNC community users. One consideration: you’ve started with the longest parts in the design. The group may want to consider reformatting these pieces to bring down shipping/material sheet costs. Of course, this is hard to do before you have the original design in hand. In any case, we’d be happy to review your work as you go. Looking good so far!



    Ponoko files would be great, especially if we could get a group discount!



    I’m still working on setting these files up:) one question that I had towards those who know this project better than myself.. is it better to keep the cut sheets as they’re shown in the DIYLILCNC_instructions_v1.0.2.pdf or can I move parts as needed to minimize the material needed?

    If people tend to make this in stages I can see wanting to keep certain parts of the CNC together…



    @JoshR, I’d say re-arrange as much as you need to. It’s better/cheaper to have efficient layouts than it is to cut parts in stages.



    Still plodding along on this. Here is some initial pricing estimates:)

    Firstly Ponoko has something called a Prime Membership. This a monthly plan that costs $39.00 but proves to be useful for larger orders. It reduces making fees from $2.00 a minute down to $1.35; additionally saving you some on the shipping and handling with a quicker turn around on order completion.

    On making cost alone you break even at 60 minutes of machine time. I have total time estimate of over 5 hours for cutting out/etching these parts… So the pricing I’m showing below is the reduced Prime pricing @ $1.35 a minute. I’m arriving at time and price estimates from uploading the part sheets to Ponoko’s ordering system and dividing the making cost/1.35=minutes.

    You are unlikely to get a group discount, as the laser cutter is going to take the same amount of time no matter the number of copies. That said it doesn’t hurt to ask; I can when/if we find out the number of interested folk.

    Materials: Ponoko has a hardboard 5.5mm/0.217 inches thick. Seems to be a good candidate for this project.

    We need 7 of the largest material sheets(‘P3′) $10.50 each. For a total material cost of $73.50.

    Etching the part names: As you currently have them I have an estimated cost of $24.40, at around 18 minutes. This is a rough estimate as I pulled all the names off the 7 sheets and uploaded them separately so I could determine a cost of the names themselves.

    Might consider doing a numbering system 01, 02 etc for parts and etch a very small number on each part. Or forgo the names altogether and locate parts based on where they are sheets?

    Cutting Cost: $388.80, estimated time of 288 minutes. This is with the parts nested but not yet sharing cutting lines. I’m in the process of removing as many lines (like my example file) as possible so this number will drop.

    Materials: $73.50

    Etching: $24.40

    Cutting: $388.80

    Prime: $39.00

    Shipping: Often Free for this size job.

    Handling: Free with Prime.


    Total Cost: $525.70

    So, next step is to move the parts together and make them share cutlines and see how much that lowers cutting cost. Could knock off $100 or more, hard to tell yet. Then decide what the best solution is for naming the parts.



    Josh if you have the layered dxf file separated out into one dxf per layer or even one Illustrator (AI) per layer is there any way you could post those? I want to take a poke at converting the paths for cutting on a cnc. I don’t have easy access to a laser cutter but I do have access to a cnc machine I can use to cut parts. I’d be happy to post back any progress I can make in the process.




    @JoshR, that’s really great info, thanks for sharing.

    As Taylor and I learn more about how others negotiate laser cutter access, we’re seeing ways to make the files more manageable.

    Our next update will definitely include getting rid of the DXF layers, either with individual files or one big sheet with everything.

    Please keep us updated with suggestions for file setup as you progress. Thanks!



    Good news! Michael Caron aka munchymonster was kind enough to share his individual DXF files with the community. Check out the downloads page for a zip file of unlayered DXF’s. Thanks munchymonster!



    Nice work on those dxf files munchymonster, they’ll help people get around this layering flattening issue.



    agreed. thanks so much. Why were they squished together to begin with?



    @johnthomas75, we originally authored the DXF file to be used in a software like Illustrator or AutoCAD that supports layers. We did this mainly for our own convenience as each layer contains about one laser-cutter-bed’s worth of parts (for the machine we used).

    Turns out, more people than we thought are using apps like Sketchup and others that don’t support layering. For the next official update I think we’re going to re-format as one large sheet with all the parts, and just let folks rearrange as needed.



    Hi all,

    Had some free time this holiday weekend for this project so I got all the parts nested and up onto Ponoko.com


    I was going for the lowest cost possible. This version removes all the part names but retains any arrows or position markers. I have plans for versions that have part names, or a numbering system.

    Cost Breakdown:

    Making:$291.97 (@ $1.35 per minute)

    Materials:$61.46 (7 P3 sheets of 0.25 inch MDF)

    Prime: $39.00 (lowers per minute to $1.35 from $2)

    Shipping $0

    Total: $392.43

    Other Goals:

    -Version that has part names (higher total cost)

    -Sample Part File. A small low cost file that people could order to see how the MDF works and fits together.



    hey guys,

    i’ve admired this project from afar, especially the sweet use of laser cut parts.

    my cnc project can be seen on cnc zone http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=96416

    anyway, i saw this thread and wanted to say that i have easy access to a 12×24″ laser (e.g. 10 feet from me) and can get stuff cut on a 18″x32″ laser with 3 business day turn around. both lasers are in architectural model making shops so the quality is going to be good.

    the point being if someone wanted to format the drawings i could give you a price and it would be better than ponoko.

    for instance: a 12″x24″ sheet of material would be around $2 for tempered hardboard. typical laser charge is $1/minute. no monthly fee, or minimum order. ever. lol, like i would even want to keep track of that…

    if anyone is interested i’m up for working with anyone to get something figured out.

    a template is available @ http://www.feyereisenstudios.com/

    it is in dwg format. layers and such are explained in the dwg.


Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.