Fine Motor Skills: Operating standard robotic fabrication as a generative system

Sharan R. Elran, Yuval Harel, Amit R. Zoran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our concept of a digital spirit refers to the agency of technology in the creative process and the potential to use it as an autonomous agent that both influences and participates in the artistic process. By attributing a digital spirit, we are able to have a more collaborative and interactive relationship with technology, where the role of the artist is to guide and direct the design rather than fully control it. In this work, we extend the autonomy of this spirit to allow the machine and the material to interact freely and generate forms independently from our will. In this new approach to digital fabrication, we transform a deterministic mechanical procedure into a creative exploration. Rather than designing traditional machine operations, we propose machine-material operations tailored for a specific material context. As a test case, we show a digital agent that manipulates clay while allowing the material's internal dynamics to play a dominant role in the finalization of the design. Through this machine-material interaction, we are able to generate an abundance of forms and complexity that would be impossible to create by hand or through traditional programming. It exposes an untapped expressive potential of digital tools that is made possible by operating digital machines outside the paradigm of tight control.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number30
Pages (from-to)30:1-30:9
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques
Issue number2
StatePublished - 16 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 ACM.


  • Ceramics
  • Digital Craft
  • Fabrication
  • Hybrid


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