A Personal Fabrication Nightmare

21 November, 2011

Just received the following story from my friend Devin Chalmers. I asked for his permission to publish it because I think it is telling and disturbingly likely to come true.

I had a personal fabrication nightmare last night. I'd just gotten off a roller coaster, and at the photo booth where you can get commemorative prints of your shit-your-pants face they had just gotten a whole 3D printing/lasercutter workflow set up. I was overwhelmed by the choices of materials and patterns: the sample book was like 40 pages long. They could do steins, shot glasses, brass plaques, 3D and 2.5D scene reconstructions, six different sorts of wood, marquetry, choices of how to define figure and ground—it was all very confusing. I came back after an hour to let the crowd die down and I still couldn't decide what the best way to physicalize my roller coaster adventure would be. I awoke still anxious.