DIY is a funny term – from architectural renovations to child’s arts-and-crafts, a wide range of projects are simple enough to ‘Do It Yourself.’ DIY sometimes means following standard instructions – recipes, manuals, etc – but it also implies that you have control of the design. You’re the sole author, as compared to the identical products mass-produced in factories. Perhaps, however, new technologies are creating a middle ground between those extremes. The architects of Kram/Weisshaar are fascinated with developing software and hardware that turns the consumer into the designer. It’s called “end-to-end manufacturing” and they recently got a chance to test their theories with an installation called ROBOCHOP.
ROBOCHOP allowed internet users anywhere in the world to open a design program in their internet browser and craft a custom foam cube. These robotic armatures, used in automobile manufacturing and pictured above, would translate that design into reality using hot-wire cutters. For now, ROBOCHOP seems like a novelty, but the implications for certain products are huge: there might be no middle man between you and whoever (or whatever) makes your products. Read on to learn about Kram/Weisshaar and how they pulled it off.
Top Image: Courtesy Kram/Weisshaar, Photographer David Levene