The idea is that designers (or shoppers) on Ponoko who find a great design now have the option of having the item built locally by any one of (eventually) 100,000 garages equipped with ShopBot tooling.
We think this is a great idea, because it not only reinforces the green idea of "doing things locally", it also takes some pressure off of Ponoko's ultra-busy manufacturing facilities. It makes sense: Ponoko has a storehouse of designs and a broad audience of shoppers, while ShopBot has thousands of their machines deployed worldwide, waiting to build stuff. 100KGarages simply puts the two together.
The view from the CEOs explains this clearly.
ShopBot President Ted Hall:
Ponoko's making system gives our ShopBot owners the ability to receive a new stream of work from a wide range of customers. Our partnership also means everyone now has easy access to their own local 3D fabricator. This is the first step to providing a solution for the doers and makers out there who want to join in re-building America, one garage at a time.
Ponoko CDO David ten Have:
Our online making system makes it easier than ever before to turn ideas into real things, and by partnering with ShopBot we bring together more than 20,000 creators and over 6,000 fabricators to use a powerful online service to design, make and deliver goods locally.
At this point, it's still a bit new and according to their site:
It may sound a bit complicated at first but our idea is to be as open and unconstrained as possible, while also making it possible to get stuff done easily. We don't want to force fabricators or designers into a particular framework and will allow each a range of options for participation. We expect that the system and methods here will continuously evolve as we learn about what works best. There will be opportunities for feedback and interaction in the forums and we encourage everyone to participate.
We totally agree with the idea and wish 100KGarages 100K successes.
Via 100KGarages (Hat tip to Olga)