Actually, while we're certain Ponoko would like more clients, it's their users who need you. You see, Ponoko is a kind of web-based clearing house for custom designs. Makers can find a design, submit a design or simply buy objects made from submitted designs.
But there's another approach too: you can request the creation of a design. In other words, ask and (hopefully) you will receive your objects. A crafty designer can create the design, and then presumably the requestor will buy copies of it.
Some of the more interesting requests are very practical, like the:
Shovel light - A flashlight that attaches to a shovel for night digging. Living in Arizona, it's very hot, and I actually do most of my gardening at night, but sometimes it gets too dark or the lights I have aren't enough. If I could dig with a lightweight flashlight attached to my shovel it would make my life much easier. I think it would be a great product. Probably good for mobsters too :D (haha just kidding)
Others are more vague:
Unisex corporate gift - We need a gift to distribute to our international partners and clients that is easy to ship to multiple locations throughout Europe, North America and Asia. We would like the item to be gender neutral and would possibly like to insert a small greeting card
Some are a bit suspicious:
Nasa robot mast - I want to add a USB web-cam to my wheeled indoor robot.
But the robot is small, and I want to be able to look out of windows
etc. by mounting the camera on an extending arm of some sort.
I quickly decided that a vertical mast (fighting gravity) would be more
energy-efficient than an articulated arm (fighting torque) ....
And some are just plain silly:
i want a blue hat that is really owsom. it will be blue and really cool!!!!!!!!!11111111
1212 Boogie Boogie Ave. Seattle, WA, 98117
Ideal price per unit:$1000000.00
Delivery by:Tue, Dec 23 2014
We suspect that there are more than a few crack designers among Fabbaloo readers who might stand to make a bit of cash were they to attempt some of these challenges. Especially the Owsum hat!