Back to Man or Machine, Project Overview


Man or Machine, Project Plan

This project was attempted last semester but illness caused it to be abandoned. I will be learning to scan and print images with the 3-d printer. I will create a display comparing 3-d printed origami to hand-folded origami.



How does work created by machine compare to the same work made using traditional techniques?

How does the work impact the viewer?

How does the artist understand the value of the work?



3-d print technology is quite new. People are interested in the process. It could even be considered a bit “gimmicky.” It is likely that the use of 3-d printing will influence the results significantly.

The questions posed might be better answered by using something like factory produced beadwork compared to identical handmade work. However, I do not have control over the factory production of beadwork. This makes me more inclined to work with the 3-d printer.



Phase 1 – Fold Origami. Learn to use the Faro Arm. Scan Origami

Phase 2 – Make multiple test prints of the origami to determine the most effective print settings

Phase 3 – Build Display Cases

Phase 4 – Present to Audience



Present the pieces with two to a case. One piece made with paper by hand and another printed with the 3-d printer.



Technology has given artists a greater ability to implement concepts without filtering them through the methods and skills of traditional handicraft.  Ask any artist if their work accurately reflects the concept in their minds. A large number will tell you that it does not and cannot. Human skills are imperfect and rarely able to produce idealized results. Technological assistance can increase the precision available to artists. Mastery of technology shortens the path from concept to production resulting in more perfect outcomes.

Using technology to create art makes me think of the difference between typing and writing. Typing creates a perfect, organized text but many people feel that it is an inferior expression of cognitive processes. They claim that the act of writing forces the writer to think more carefully about their work. This is undoubtedly true but it is not necessarily “better.” Now that typing is a common skill and many people have grown up using it every day, we are seeing a shift in the effect of it. Typing allows many people to produce a record of their thoughts that is immediate and direct without the cognitive delay required by handwriting. The results may be less ‘thoughtful” and less organized, but they can be much more accurate. Like art, sometimes the impact of working by hand contributes positively to the finished project. Also like art, sometimes the impact of working by hand detracts from the work by adding unintended effects.