The Art


Motion Control

Motion control is the process of computer controlled kinetics-- the foundation of robotics. CNC (computer numeric control) is an antiquated term for this process, recalling an era when programmers entered the numeric commands and coordinates for each machine move. The ability to precisely control the path of a tool enables fabrication of objects that would not be possible or practical by hand held methods. Despite their increasing use in industry over the past decades, the high cost of robotic tools has essentially prohibited their use by artists.

Obviously, exploration of this new medium requires access to the tools. There are three options:

The first is impractical-- cost of even a small-scale commercial system exceeds $10K. $100K-$1M is not unusual for larger systems.

Collaborative ventures with industry is an alternative taken by some artists already. As the demand for greater design input increases, the number of artists utilizing the capabilities of these industrial tools will undoubtedly grow.

I have spent the past 5 years pursuing the last option. Cheap computers and high-grade motion control components flowing out of techno-corporations as scrap have made possible the construction of robotic tools dedicated to use in my studio. The costs of building such systems are low in terms of dollars-- but time demands can be exorbitant.
I hope that this page will serve not only as a showcase for my work, but equally as a place where others who are interested in the potential use of this technique may obtain practical information. 

The PROCESS: A non-technical overview / the details
The Studio
Gallery I: engravings
Gallery II: sculpture
Inspirational Sources
Future Directions
Biographical Data

Comments / questions? Send email to: Bruce Shapiro
Last revised: 10/26/95  *