the man-machine

Luzie Deubel

Juli / July - 2019

Bauhaus Universität Weimar

Bachelor of Arts


„The man-machine“ is a manually operated 3D-printer, based on the mechanism of a pantograph. By movement of a pen, respectively the hand, two-dimensional drawing and three-dimensional object are created simultaneously. The entity of the project consist of three different parts. 1: theoretical Research, that is recorded in form of the written thesis. It dissects the current state-of-art of digital manufacturing technologies, but also investigates different positions of media sciences and philosophy of technology. 2: applied Research. Within the process, I spent a lot of time on FLM-printing, and experimental ways of using it. To understand how regular FLM 3D-printing techniques work, I collected all my findings and made them accessible through a web-based archive. ( ) 3: The implementation of my findings in an immersive installation and the underlying production technique of a manually operated 3D-printer.

What is the Topic?

The structures of todays society are no longer to be decoded without the use of computers, not based on handed-down knowledge anymore, but the collection and evaluation of data. What if this escalation of complexity, in which fast transcription of data has run out human comprehension of the world, could be encountered by means of design? By offering possibilities for active engagement with the machine, the role of the machine as a „Black Box“ is resolved. The accessibility of those experiences is ought to enable critical debate about our technology and the ways we are using it. The goal is to come closer to an autonomous and responsible use of technology as well as the processes and objects connected to it.

Why does it look like this?

Within my project I wanted to depict the reality, that would otherwise remain hidden within the „Black Box“. During my applied research with a regular 3D-printer, which is collected within the Black-Box-Archive, I tried to show the hidden translations and transformations between digital and analog. The Objects that are created in the final installation, the „man-machine“, are heavily based on the aspect of translation, in this case in a very comprehensible manner from movement to drawing to object. The relationship between user and machine is similar to the one between the drawings and objects themselves: they effect each other mutually and simultaneously. The translation between one and the other makes both relation and difference important and visible. The category of the produced objects themselves is only of secondary importance: as a surrogate the container is ought to be a „meta-container“ for the theoretical content of the project.

What is special?

Following Otl Aichers definition of analog (Doing) and digital (Thinking), the direct and simultaneous connection of man and machine is ought to enable a parallelism of thinking and doing. In an entanglement of both counterparties, the analog 3D-printer produces relics of the relation of man and machine. Neither user nor machine are in total control of process or the created artifacts.

What is new?

By enabling active engagement with the machine, it is made very clear that transformative processes are the foundation of all data-processing technologies (digital as well as analog). Those formerly hidden Transformations are revealed within the „Black-Box-Archive“, and become very visible and tangible in the dialectics of drawings and objects by „the man-machine“.