The Post-industrial Revolution
Wellington-based Ponoko is one of a wave of new companies offering personalised product manufacturing services online. Founded by David ten Have and Derek Elley, the Ponoko website lets customers upload designs for cases and enclosures as digital files, which Ponoko then laser-cut from metal or wood. The product is flat-packed and shipped back to the original customer, who assembles it at their end. Elley likens the process to teleportation in an interview with The New York Times: “… products will be shipped not in solid state, but as design files – meaning manufacture can happen as close to the point of consumption as possible. The future is one where people will be buying and selling product design files – and consumers will be able to control the manufacturing process direct from their PC.” Elley and ten Have plan to open fabrication stations around the world, starting in the US.