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:
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.