CHI 2015
🏆 Best Paper

Being the Machine: Reconfiguring Agency and Control in Hybrid Fabrication

Laura Devendorf and Kimiko Ryokai

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Abstract:

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.

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