What does a personal manufacturing service from New Zealand have to do with a 3D printer kit manufacturer from New York City? A lot more now, apparently. The two organizations have teamed up to leverage each other's strengths.
MakerBot has opened a Showroom on Ponoko, where you can purchase and customize not only your MakerBot chassis, but also MakerBot electronics and whole assembly kits.
One of the most interesting personal aspects of the MakerBot is the chassis, which is supplied in pretty basic form in the standard kit. However, it's simply a collection of panels cut and holed in the correct pattern. Many MakerBot owners have highly customized their printer by replacing these panels, sometimes in pretty radical ways.
Now it's much easier to customize these panels through Ponoko's personal manufacturing service. The MakerBot CupCake design files are freely downloadable from the new showroom, allowing you to customize them in any way you'd like - without disturbing the functional pattern, of course. Then you simply upload the customized file back to Ponoko and use their service to physically manufacture the customized panels. The great part is Ponoko's selection of materials, which include 13 different acrylics, black and white Delrin, clear PETG, two species of bamboo, cork, hardboard, MDF and even veneer.
No two CupCakes shall ever be the same again.