The Ponoko-Google Challenge: Show the World How Easy It Is to Manufacture What You Like

Googponoko2 If have written several times about Ponoko here, a platform where designers, users, and manufacturers meet and enable to production of cool items in a very democratic way. It allows you to turn the stuff you dream up into physical objects that you can hold in your hands.  "User manufactuing" at its best!

Ponoko now has teamed up with Google in a user contest to get people educated about the opportunities available for anyone to design things and turn them into real products — without the help of any "large" company! With Ponoko's new "Personal Factory 4", the process got even easier.

The Google-Ponoko challenge is to produce a piece of instructional content that’s equal parts enlightening and entertaining. Each entry must be titled “How to use Google SketchUp for Ponoko 3D printing,” but aside from that, the format is pretty open. Text, images and video (or some combination of the three) are all fair game.

The competition deadline is four weeks from now; all entries are due December 17, 2010. Visit the official announcement page for all the details, and have fun making the world a more interesting place to be.

About the Author:

Frank T. Piller is a Co-Director of the MIT Smart Customization Group at the MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and a chair professor of management at the Technology & Innovation Management Group of RWTH Aachen University, Germany, one of Europe’s leading institutes of technology. Before entering his recent position in Aachen, he worked at the MIT Sloan School of Management (2004-2007) and has been an associate professor of management at TUM Business School, Technische Universitaet Muenchen. Frequently quoted in The New York Times, The Economist, and Business Week, amongst others, Frank is regarded as one of the leading experts on strategies for customer-centric value creation, like mass customization, personalization, and innovation co-creation. His recent analysis of the crowdsourcing business model “Threadless” (co-authored with Susumu Ogawa), an innovative crowdsourcing business model in the fashion industry, has been elected as one of the Top-20 articles in MIT Sloan Management Review.