the ‘Bots are coming!

Drumroll, please ….. tomorrow the very first “MakerBot Innovation Center” will open at SUNY New Paltz’s Digital Fabrication Lab. Here’s to our future explorations. Let’s make something good.

I’m especially looking forward to hearing Bre Pettis, one of MakerBot’s co-founders and CEO, speak. Is he to 3D printing what Steve Jobs was to personal computing and consumer electronics? We shall see …

Meanwhile, see www.brepettis.com/

photo-2Later: And here is Bre …

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notes on Out of Hand / MAD

Four months after it opened in October 2013, I finally made it to Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital, the exhibition showcasing digital fabricated artifacts—apparel, domestic objects, furniture, jewelry, vehicles, even buildings!—at the Museum of Art and Design / MAD.

A few pieces were standouts for me: a chair form wrapped in what looked a stretchy, tensile, plastic lace. And a lovely series of apparel with the kind of architectural shaping and folding rare in analog design and production. A family tree of 3D printed miniature chairs was amusing in its recombinant way. (It’s the current background for this page.)

In keeping with the very nature of the exhibition, rather than shipping finished works to MAD, some pieces were locally 3D-printed by the Dutch-founded, NYC-based Shapeways. The work in the show is the best advertisement of both their shop and what 3D printing has to offer.

That being said, Shapeways’ own gallery space within the larger show was lackluster and disappointing. Can someone find a more interesting way of showcasing materials and processes than tchotchkes?

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hackerspaces

Last night I joined a dozen folks gathered in a hackerspace in Highland for a hands-on session on how to make interactive soft art. Four hours later, I’d created a battery-powered circuit connected to a pressure sensitive interface. Depending on where you touch the interface, the soft, stuffed heart (hey, Valentine’s Day is coming!) glows at a variety of intensities and colors. My hands were too busy to document the process, but here are outcome shots:

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Nice to learn as we chatted and worked that many of the people there were SUNY New Paltz graduates from the Art Department and School of Science & Engineering. As my 12-year old daughter commented (she made a glowing heart, too), they all seemed too young to have accomplished so much: many teach (K-12 and higher ed, public and alternative settings), all are creatively engaged, many prototype and invent (interfaces, software, hardware, hybrid materials) in-house and solo. The mixture of art, science, analog, digital, material, post-physical is naturally STEAM-y.

The event was run by Squidwrench. On the horizon is a project involving our Art Education students and run by my colleague Prof. Aaron Knochel.

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