If you haven’t seen the work of artist, roboticist, and art-robotics speaker Laura Greig, you’re really missing out. She’s used her MakerBot Thing-O-Matic to build this XY plotter for recreating images of the Gutenberg 42-Line Bible. 1 Especially interesting is her description of the evolution of her XY plotter:
My favorite thing about this XY Plotter prototype is how the colors of plastic hold its history. I’d only change spools when they were expended, and only print new parts when they were redesigned. The next iteration will scrap everything to make way for gear trains.
I had never before considered how the plastic parts in a project could be seen as stratified sedimentary layers, pointing out the evolutionary progress of a design. With big changes in a project signified by entirely redesigned assemblies, different plastics, different colors – perhaps even better printing configurations. It makes me wonder about my own projects – how much of a given design is now vestigial DNA? 2 What advances resulted from the fortuitous mashup of other designs? Will my project ever go through a dramatic sea change requiring everything be scrapped and started anew?
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