Manufacturing on Demand: Resources for Inventors and Small Business

Ponoko logoA relatively new service called Ponoko provides manufacturing on demand. The user uploads a design and can order that as few as one copy be created and delivered. Ponoko laser cuts the design out of any of the following materials: Acrylic, PETG, Styrene, Hardboard, MDF, Plywood, Veneer MDF, and Whiteboard. The product is shipped as a package of interlocking pieces that are assembled on delivery.

Ponoko may be a resource for inventors. However, an inventor should not disclose an invention before a patent application is filed, or in the absences of an application, a confidentiality agreement from those to whom the invention is disclosed. The Ponoko website does to address whether a submitters design will remain confidential. In fact, Ponoko allows a user to post their design on the Ponoko website for others to purchase.