Controlled by Arduino, with tutorial etc on the site.
A slightly more together looking variant here:
Something I’m noticing myself now that I’m getting away (hah) from programming and more into physical stuff… the prototype is generally corrugated cardboard, wood, hacked-acrylic… what the likes of Ponoko do is reduce the gulf between “hacked proof-of-concept” to “work of art” to…
…, an evening in front of a graphics program.
What Ponoko do is reduce massively reduce the energy that is required for the Second Machine Generation.
What I’d really love for them to be able to do (do you hear this Ponoko folk?) is a same-day turnaround.
I can remember when mail-order had a standard 28 day delivery time, then Amazon was invented and destroyed that model… in the UK I’ve ordered a book from Amazon and had it in my mailbox the next morning. Ebay took up this approach, and now we kindof expect more or less instant delivery. This would be really useful for Ponoko to be able to do, because there’s an experiment-cycle. Try->fail, try->fail, try->fail, try->succeed. This can take months.
So um… the core-value that I’m getting from Ponoko is the massive attenuation of the Concept->Art process. If they want to improve their service (to Me me me) then a big thing they could do is figure a way to radically lower the turnaround time.
But I don’t know their business, or what’s involved, or if this is a reasonable thing to suggest etc… If I were to buy my own laser-cutter though, that’s the reason I’d do it. To reduce the Concept->Art process. That’s what this stuff is for. De-Sublimation.
Anyway, back to the CNC…
These are starting to show up around the place quite a bit… eg: buildyourcnc.com, but nothing quite as cheap as the one above.