Being the Machine is a project that I am developing that takes a critical perspective on the design of digital fabrication systems like 3D printers. In essence, it is a project that asks a human to perform the actions of a 3D printer in order to produce physical versions of digital models from everyday materials. From a critical point of view, this project questions our relationship to machines and asks if there is some role “smart” systems can play beyond simply helping some one produce something. From a practical perspective, 3D printing by hand opens up opportunities to expand the possible building materials and think about building at scales that are still difficult for 3D printers. I am currently developing this project as Graduate Student Researcher and an Artist-In-Residence at Instructables/Autodesk. You can become your own 3D printer if you follow the instructions at:

Related Publications

Documentation of my Constructions can be found at

Related Publications

Laura Devendorf and Kimiko Ryokai. 2015. Being the Machine: Redistributing Agency and Control in Hybrid Fabrication. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15 – Best Paper Honorable Mention). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 449-458.

Laura Devendorf and Daniela Rosner. 2015. Reimagining Digital Fabrication as Performance Art. In CHI EA ’15: CHI ’15 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Laura Devendorf and Kimiko Ryokai. 2015. Redeform: Participatory 3D Printing in Public Spaces. In Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 423-424.

Laura Devendorf and Kimiko Ryokai. 2014. Being the machine: exploring new modes of making. In Proceedings of the 2014 companion publication on Designing interactive systems (DIS Companion ’14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 33-36.

Presentations & Talks

Unpredictable and Slow Prototyping. Data Clay Symposium at California College of the Arts. Feb. 2015.

Being the Machine: My Journey to Become a Human 3D Printer. Autodesk Artist in Residence final presentation. Aug. 2014.