Tool Refinery: An XR machine-shop for micro-manufacturing and fabrication

March 14, 2019

Would you consider making art in VR if you had an intense amount of tools and materials at your disposal, similar to what you may have in a professional studio? Let’s call this potential app “ToolRefinery.”

This app could undo and redo, cut and paste; you could paint with the precision of a really fine brush and when you were done you pressed “print” and it would send your art “action” data to an advanced robotics fabrication facility to be made alone or in editions. 

Say you made a painting in VR much like you would now in Real Reality. You mix the colors on a virtual palette and paint a virtual canvas that you stretched virtually in VR. In the ToolRefinery method a printing robot mimics the strokes on a real canvas but also stretches the canvas as you did as well. Every action is recorded except the ones you discard with undo and except the ones that the AI deems irrelevant for the robot to do, short cuts you could call them.

One advantage is this fabrication is preserved for the future and is infinitely reproducible. So a painting is not just a painting its a print. Say you could sew or knit, or build a car, the possibilities are endless. 

Also ToolRefinery could do advanced things that would cost a fortune to do with pre-bought supplies. Imagine the saving on artist materials alone. Think of all the wasted toxic paints that go into some pieces and the cost to rent a studio could go into storage for the few works that you feel are a success.

I hope to see great ideas come of this.



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