Digital Fabrication Residency Part 1


This week marks the beginning of a six week virtual residency that I’m super excited to be a part of. It’s called the Digital Fabrication Residency and encapsulates exactly what I want to learn. Taking classes at TechShop Pittsburgh has been great, but I want to get into the nitty gritty of creating files and putting my personal touch on the things I digitally fabricate. The two people behind the Digital Fabrication Residency are super cool extremely knowledgeable folks who have put a lot of thought and preparation into this residency. Since this is the first run I’m part of the guinea pig BETA group.

My initial list of goals for the residency keeps growing! It’s going to be a very busy six weeks. One interesting tidbit is how much overlap there is between textiles, printmaking, and digital fabrication. All of those things interest me a great deal, but I didn’t realize how much they shared conceptually before beginning this residency.


  • make cool stuff!
  • push SCALE (i.e. go big or go home)
  • textile patterning in Illustrator
  • Spoonflower (custom fabric printing website)
  • digital embroidery (embroider on wood veneer, felt, cardboard (then turn flat planes into 3D sculpture))
  • felting?
  • Photoshop texture displacement with color blindness tests
  • amplify 3D printing file creation skills in SketchUp and Modo
  • master the pen tool in Illustrator
  • make files for ShopBot
  • combine 3D printing prototype with silicone mold to mass product an interlocking building block
  • colorblindness test animation in SketchUp

The spirit of play is my main motivator. I’ve already learned a LOT in the first three days and I’m sure the explosions in my brain will continue! The first workshop covered some basics in SketchUp, which I had never used before. Learning how to navigate in three dimensions using a mouse was the trickiest part!

sketchupThis image is a sketch I made translating my obsession with mazes into three dimensions. I know it doesn’t make sense to actually print because of all the support material that it would require; however, we did learn about the artist Rachel Berwick who uses support material in an interesting way.

Rachel Berwick

My plan for boosting my SketchUp skill is to try to recreate this ceramic piece:


…we will see how far I get…

I’m also noodling on different kinds of connectors to come up with an interlocking 3D printed prototype that I can cast and create a mutable sculpture. Something related to vertebrae and stackable chairs…

Screen shot 2014-09-17 at 7.16.57 PM


About mitchcollective

MITCH Collective is a community-driven catalyst promoting creativity in the Ohio Valley. MITCH Collective enriches Martins Ferry, Ohio and nearby towns by: -inviting artists, writers, and musicians to experience the beauty and creative potential of the area while creating new work and interacting with local residents through the residency program. -inspiring a historically economically depressed area by teaching new skills and ideas that will help foster new problem solving approaches for challenges that face the community. -collaborating with nonprofit and municipal organizations in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania to bring innovative, interdisciplinary projects to life. Facilities include printmaking, screen printing, sewing, quilting, and bookbinding. Visit for more information.
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