New Making Renaissance

CHI • SIGCHI Human Factors in Computing

Best paper Being The Machine (2015)

Reconfiguring Agency and Control in Hybrid Fabrication


Being the Machine is a system that asks humans to receive, interpret and execute the G-Code instructions typically provided to a 3D printer in order to construct new objects. In essence, Being the Machine makes the human user into a 3D printer. Technically, it consists of a laser pointer that illuminates a single dot on a surface. The dot moves along the tool-paths generated from a digital model that the human has inputted, showing the human how a 3D printer would lay down material and inviting them to follow by hand – for the human, this feels like a game of connect-the-dots, and upon completion of the task ‘described’ by the laser pointing machine, the human has sculpted a three-dimensional object. The materials used by humans to craft objects with the Being the Machine system have ranged from flowers to Cheez Whiz to pipe cleaners to balloons.


Laura devendorf portrait 900px.jpg
Laura Devendorf