Digital Fabrication

I take a pragmatic approach to building things: defining design goals and working them through methods that are quick to iterate and prototype. I’m usually trying to find the easiest way to invalidate a design so that unproductive branches on the amorphous tree of potential end products can be eliminated. The best way to do this is cultivating a set of tools and techniques that get things made fast. This usually means my designs are 3d printed, laser cut, or CNC machined.

The mold and core components for the trefoil tentacle.

The mold and core components for the trefoil tentacle.


I employ a lot of mold making and casting to duplicate components or build prototypes from difficult to form materials. Often the molds themselves are derived from 3d printed parts. You might not be able to mill yourself a silicone shape (with some exceptions) but you can quickly mill a mold and cast it. If the CAD is solid, you can even turn that work into the basis of a mass manufactured product.

These posts showcase some of my latest digital fabrication work:

ShopBot Camera Arm – Handsfree Project Documentation

I’ve been wanting an extra set of hands to hold a camera while I document projects for a long time. Kari and I are writing a book for MAKE all about soft robotics, and I figure there’s probably not going to be a better time to have a serious documentation setup than when someone’s paying […]

Tardis Ring

Years ago, I designed a series of Tardis and Dalek rings as an experiment in SolidWorks modeling. I wanted to have a ring design that would support a sculptural element with a shank that would change proportionally to feel natural in a wide variety of ring sizes. I was also way into Dr. Who at […]

Tessellating Box

Last night at Resistor Trammell and I poked around with a project to put on the space’s brand spanking new Shopbot. I like tessellating things. Trammell likes putting computationally generated patterns on things. The plan is to take the box I designed, which will be built from six identical routed panels with hidden finger joints, […]