TechShop Chandler – Art Making for the Maker Artist

Roughly a mile from my house in Chandler, Arizona, is the ASU Techshop.  It’s about a year old and chock full of machines that I had no idea how to work or what art I could make if I got my hands on them.  As a Christmas present to myself I bought a membership and signed up for a few classes, and those few weeks since have yielded some creative results.


One of the new tools I’ve made use of is the Universal Laser Systems’ laser cutter.  It’s about as easy to use as any regular xerox machine except sometimes a fire starts in it.  Basically I can etch, engrave or cut a huge variety of materials using whatever designs I create.  There’s not much more than convert photos to a pure black-and-white design using “threshold” and “layers” in Photoshop, save as a PDF, import that into Corel Draw and that’s about it for prep.

My current favorite material is an acrylic plexiglass with a mirrored back.  It makes my images look like large Daguerreotypes.


I’m also quite fond of this black acrylic.  This is my first etching on the laser cutter, converted to a vector drawing in Adobe Illustrator CC.  Check the video for the “making of” process…

The other tool I’ve been using non-stop is the 3D printer, the MakerBot Replicator 2.  I feel about this machine the way I felt the first time I could burn CDs, or the first time I saw Amazon’s commercial for a Kindle.  Last year I photographed a bunch of models “in the round” to make 3D models of them, and though the process of getting an interesting object out of those photos wasn’t as simple or satisfying as I thought it’d be- currently I have a bunch of half-heads in my Meshmixer folders- I have been making objects that are actually useful to me.  From Thingiverse I’ve created some GoPro mounts and a plastic pinhole camera…


…still yet to be shot with yet!  If you enjoy any of this work I encourage you to like it and share it!  For more photoworks goodness peruse my Etsy shop, follow on tumblr and twitter and instagram, and rummage around on my full site.

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I'm a multimedia artist in Phoenix, AZ. Main Site - Instagram @primordialcreative + twitter @dbmillerphoto

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