Distributed manufacturing platform Ponoko has announced they've got a new manufacturing hub: London, UK-based RazorLAB. This adds to their already established empire of hubs including New Zealand, San Francisco, Milan and Berlin. What does it mean? Greatly decreased shipping costs for makers using Ponoko's services. In fact, Ponoko has actually been subsidizing shipments to the UK until now to remain competitive.
The new hub is another in a continuing line of "independent" shops using Ponoko's "making system", joining the Milan and Berlin operations. These are independently operated shops that are affiliated with Ponoko. We don't know the deal between Ponoko and the independent hubs, but we suspect it's a pretty good deal for these shops, since the association brings makers and their designs from around the world to their local manufacturing facility. Oh, and how can we forget the near 150 very small fabricating shops in the 100kGarages project that are also associated with Ponoko.
The more you look at it, the more it appears Ponoko is a global coordinating layer on top of the manufacturing base, a layer that funnels consumers to the right equipment in the right locations.