I’m currently enrolled in an MFA program at UWM with a focus on Digital Fabrication and Design. So, you may be asking “What exactly is Digital Fabrication and Design?” I’ve got my own ideas of what it is, but I’m also going to explore what others might think it is, or not even realize it is.
Let’s start with checking in on the Wikipedia definition for Digital modeling and fabrication:
Digital modeling and fabrication is a process that joins design with the Construction / Production through the use of 3D modeling software and additive and subtractive manufacturing processes. These tools allow designers to produce digital materiality, which is something greater than an image on screen, and actually tests the accuracy of the software and computer lines.
The OpenDesk project has a nice short definition “Digital fabrication is a type of manufacturing process where the machine used is controlled by a computer.” There is again the reference to CNC machines, 3D printers, and laser cutters.
Both of these focus on the process and the tools used. They mention machines controlled by computers. There is some mention of design, but no mention of art. (We’ll get to that part later.)
OK, we’ve got some definitions now, and I’m sure you’ve got your own idea of what digital fabrication and design entails. Next time we’ll look at a specific example from an artist.