1 DAY WORKSHOP INTENSIVES Starting January 31st!

 DFR Director, Kari Lorenson

DFR Director, Kari Lorenson


This 1 Day Online Intensive Workshop is an overview on software from Sub D to Solid Modelers and others to CAM and geometry repair software. This 1.5 hour live workshop gives participants of all levels invaluable insights into the mechanics of digital fabrication software workflows.

DATES: Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 12:30 PM EST

(please note the time zone)

Workshop Intensive Terms and Conditions


Digital Fabrication Residency program's 1 Day Workshop Intensive, Digital Fabrication Toolkit: Machine Overview is an overview of machines from pro to desktop consumer level, processes, and resources for artists to understand what options there are including service providers. This 1.5 hour workshop gives participants of all levels invaluable insights into the larger picture of what is happening in digital fabrication. 

DATES: Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 3:00 PM EST

Workshop Intensives Terms and Conditions


There are so many materials and ways a laser machine can be a powerful machine for any 2D or 3D artist. This video illustrates the basics of understanding the types of cuts and engraves a laser machine can do.

Transforming a 3D file into sliced sections that can be machined out and then assembled is a powerful workflow for artists. DFR worked on a special project with 2015 summer resident McArthur Freeman to highlight this process.

In 2015, DFR welcomed Hybrid Program resident Kelly Leslie onsite to work with the DFR team. The very talented Leslie had DFR's machines working away transforming her stunning designs into a variety of artworks including this sample produced on our 10 needle digital embroidery machine.

   Now that the holidays are over and we are all left to absorb our memories of what exactly we swore our New Year's resolutions to be...DFR can help you feel like you have one or two art specific goals on that list checked off! 

   As an artist, I am always interested in technology and how it could be used especially for sculpture and textiles, it can sometimes be a bit daunting though when you feel the weight of how much time it may take to learn the software. In my many years of working in education and working with artists who would essentially really benefit from how a machine or software could save them time or frankly money and open up their studio process, the first step or rather knowing where to make the first step is the hardest. 

   All the content online that talks about a particular machine or software becomes this mountain that you have to survey before you can even begin to climb. That's why the DFR team early on came up with the idea to put together a series of workshops that puts the artist on top of the mountain so he or she can really see the lay of the land. Starting January 31st, we are starting our 1 DAY WORKSHOP INTENSIVES that are online live with the DFR team. We will be presenting an overview talking about all levels for both software and machines, i.e. free to mid-level to industrial. To be honest there are alot of software programs but one thing it helps to understand from the beginning, is that you do not necessarily have to understand a software program from the front door to the backdoor. You need to know the part that helps you get a particular workflow accomplished. How many artists use Photoshop to touch up images for portfolios but don't quite understand all the other stuff? Well, we are all guilty of not taking full advantage of Adobe but there is only so much time. Knowing how Fusion 360 (a 3D program) can help you build an armature or piece of hardware or how it provides the CAM for a CNC machine, is powerful stuff. Rhino, SolidWorks, NetFab (to name a few) are all serious powerhouses for making sculptural forms. 

   In addition, we are going to discuss resources and service providers along the way. There is way more than Shapeways and Ponocko out there and if you ever have a really large project, where do you start looking for a fabricator? What kind of files will they need etc. 

   So as you think what you need to do next in the studio, think about proposals for public art, for grants, for exhibitions. Most people on review panels are in a dark room watching images run across a projector screen. The visual is usually your first way to be in the running and getting the panel's attention. In an art world where we are taught to construct solid concept for the work, just to get in the door and get them interested in understanding what is behind the work, you need a visualization of what it is you are proposing. Yes, SketchUp is great and for many artists that is all they need but the more realistically you can present your ideas in the setting, the more viable your project appears to the panel. 

   This past December, I went down to the Miami art fairs and saw alot of great work. At one of the fairs running into an old colleague we were talking about digital fabrication and when she said she saw one or two digital looking artworks, I was struck by a realization how digital fabrication technology has flown under the radar for so long. It's understandable to see digital fabrication as only present when there are artworks that push the digital interface to the front of the work, so you can see the polygons or something that is visually referencing the digital interface. However artists and fabricators have been using digital fabrication strategies for decades. 3D scanning small models to enlarge them or creating a 3D model that is sliced in the software into sections that are then cut or carved or a mold is created for a casting, are regular workflows. Using 3D printing to cast bronze another example fruitfully be used by bronze fabricators as an alternative lost wax process. As with any process, there is post-production work, painting or finishing in some way the material so seeing how it was made is concealed. A beautiful secret encapsulated in all artwork regardless of process and time.  

   Let me herald in 2016 stating there is not enough in the world talking about how art is made. The big difference in the last few years is the accessibility of software and machines that make these processes more financially feasible to more artists. Using digital fabrication does not limit you, in fact it allows you to create editions, or investigate form quickly and run through what works and doesn't work faster than traditional methods. Digital fabrication helps you engineer something using software in ways that deliver a degree of precision and scalable ideas that can be very powerful. And yet, knowing how a material responds, knowing how this is traditionally done, is an invaluable knowledge for using technology. A hammer was a technology at one time.

  Even if all you know is a basic understanding of Illustrator or some other vector program, right there you have a start to something that can lead you to machines that you didn't know you were skilled to work with. Draw a line in a vector program and you are essentially drawing a tool path for a machine. Kinda cool.

   I'll wrap this up with saying that we hope you'll join us for our Online 1 Day Workshop Intensives. Please come with questions and we will be happy to answer them. And if you are ready for some time on a laser machine, 3D printer, CNC router or digital embroidery machine, to name a few, apply for our 3 DAY ONSITE RESIDENCY PROGRAM. We are welcoming various artists into our facilities to work side by side with the DFR team.

Happy New Year! Let DFR know how we can help make 2016 a great year for you.