Has anyone used this service?

What do you think of it?

I think the prices are ridiculously high!

I do like the software however; and the ease of purchasing parts…

I think Pololu should come up with the same scheme for laser cutting!

Offer a free downloadable cad program that allows one to design their part and then submits it to Pololu for cutting!

It would have to act like the eMachineShop software: Figuring prices based on quantity, cut time, materials selected, etc…

Either that, or if Pololu accepted eMachineshop saved files, and somehow ported them over to their laser cutter - that would work too!

What dissuades me from using Pololu’s laser cutting service is there is too much back and forth (seemingly) between Pololu and the customer…

I just want to submit my file and have it cut - 'nough said!

For that to work: I need to know the exact (live) price as I design or modify parts on the fly…

Just like eMachineShop!

Sometimes it may take 20 or 30 redesigns to get the right price/qty.

Waiting hours or days for Pololu to quote prices for every modification won’t work…

And the possibility of wasting several hundred dollars only to find out you were off by 0.1" on a hundred parts is not cool…

What do you think Pololu? - Is this possible?


I’d prefer to keep the ability to submit .DXF or .DWG files. For me that’s one of the downers of eMachineshop – I don’t want to have to learn another piece of software just to get a quote. I can handle a lot of back-and-forth before that tradeoff works in favor of custom software.

I’m betting you can get a pretty fast estimate on how much a job would cost just by calculating total line length on all your cut lines. There will be additional time spent moving from cut to cut, but my guess is that’s pretty minimal in terms of total time spent.

The only real unknown for me would be how much kerf to expect out of the laser for a given material and thickness, but that’s a matter of asking the question and using the answer to adjust my CAD drawing.

I don’t know how having custom software would help you avoid the possibility of paying for several hundred dollars in parts only to find out you’re off by 0.1" on some dimension. Been there, done that, and 90% of the time it’s a case of me making a mistake while manually making the part. The other 10% of the time happened on CNC parts, and it was a case of my not being careful enough to check my dimensions in CAD. Since switching to a 3D CAD package where I can just fit my pieces together and look for interference, that last 10% has pretty much disappeared. Best way to test this is to have a single prototype made, measure the heck out of it, and then green-light the full production run. It shouldn’t much matter what software you’re using at that point.

Sorry if it seems like I’m coming on a little hard and heavy. I really don’t intend to. But I remember back when Jim Lewis was bringing the idea of eMachineshop into being (back when he was first working on the Quark, which really is a remarkable spinning top), a lot of time, effort, and money went into developing the CAD software. That cost is simply being passed on in the form of machining costs. In the grand scheme of things it’s not free. It’s part of the cost of doing business.


Well Im new to the forum but Ill throw my 2 cents in on this one. I agree the prices at eMachine are very high…too high for my wallet. And I too dont want to learn another piece of software. But the idea was a good one and will work for alot of folks. As for the going back and forth part…Ive submitted 4 quotes so far to Pololu using thier desired software and have had 2 of those cut. Each of time I have received my quote back within 24 hours and the last one was quote request in…quote price back to me…confirmation and payment…parts cut and shipped…4 days. In my book that aint painful at all.


I Prefer machinepier for machining and ezpcb for electrical. they are cheaper and better service.

I’ve actually ordered a part from eMachineShop, and was very happy with the results: the tolerances were very tight, the pieces aligned and fit beautifully and the material had clearly been worked consistently.

Getting a good price from them is definitely an art form, and it’s unfortunate that the things they specialize in (complex parts, multiple machines involved) are the most expensive.

Pololu’s range of laser cutting services is much more restrictive, but their prices look excellent. If you can get your piece done that way then you’re sure to save money; if not, eMachineShop will bleed you dry but they do at least deliver the goods.