Final Machine

This page chronicles progress on our final design machine!


Our final proposal is a synthesis of several concepts we’ve explored in previous exercises. Our analog drawing machine worked with sand and aimed to reshape an existing stock, as opposed to subtraction/deposition of material. That factor, along with the material properties of sand, have been brought on for the final design:

The progressive layers of activity are a z gantry – which controls the tool performing on the material – riding on a carriage attached to an X gantry. This X gantry is pushed by a motor performing in the Y axis. The entire XYZ assembly is mounted above the bed, all of which is mounted to a lazy-susan, with the fan attached external to all rotation. The motors are fed information from a ramps arduino Shield, flashed with a simple Repetier Firmware. This way, inputs for the machine – i.e. simple sets of rotation coordinates – can produce executable gcode, allowing us to explore simple drawing operations that gain complexity by virtue of the complexity of the rotation operations.

Ideally, the geometry generated will continue to engage broader concepts of memory and self-erasure. the forms generated by machine are expressive partially due to their impermanence, and force a contemplation of the lifespan of material – a specifically potent factor in our chosen site, the Gobi Desert, which is topographically and materially in a constant state of flux – and function in forms. Similarly, the program, which proposes a mass burial site for unclaimed, or otherwise socially rebuked corpses, negates the common western logic of preservation as the desired condition for the dead.


Most of the failueres in early schemes for the frame were tolerance based. We also experimented with Raptor high-strength PLA – the grey pieces pictured below – but found them to be a bit too unpredictable for the time being. Will need to build up a profile to slice them for better results:


Video Documentation of assembly: