Friday, August 13, 2010

Taylor Hokanson and Chris Reilly @ dorkbot Chicago on Thursday August 26th 2010 @ 7 PM

Taylor Hokanson and Chris Reilly @ dorkbot Chicago on Thursday August 26th 2010 @ 7 PM

This session will detail the explosive growth of CAM (Computer-aided Manufacturing) technology in the DIY community. Specifically, Taylor Hokanson and Chris Reilly will present the process of developing the DIYLILCNC: a set of plans for an inexpensive, open source 3-axis CNC (Computer Numerical Control) mill that can be built by an individual with basic shop skills and tool access for about 700 USD. CNC devices are used to make highly accurate physical versions of digital 3D models, a process that was previously limited to the industry setting. The plans can be downloaded for free at

Falling prices, increased computer literacy, and the availability of Do-It-Yourself CAM projects like DIYLILCNC and Makerbot put rarified, commercial-grade design tools and vocabulary in the hands of the average consumer. In fact, the accessibility of CNC expands the label "consumer" itself by providing an individual with a way to both produce and consume the objects that precisely meet their needs. This situation threatens the traditional model of industrial production that provides inexpensive, high-volume, lowest common denominator objects to a historically disenfranchised consumer class. Audio tape, the VCR, and Napster all caused a similar panic when they first arrived, in that they interrupted economic structures that enriched big business. In addition to describing the process of creating the DIYLILCNC itself, we'll discus these new challenges that accessible CAD/CAM tools pose to amateur and professional makers alike.

Taylor Hokanson is an Assistant Professor of Art at Oakland University in Detroit.  His art practice uses technology as material to address technology as concept.  The presence of altered or hacked electronics, such that their operation is impeded, is a common theme in his work (see the Sledgehammer-operated Keyboard, for example).  Hokanson also works in conjunction with The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he performs research into computer-aided fabrication and education.

Chris Reilly is a Chicago-based artist, writer and teacher. He received his BFA with a focus on New Media from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. Chris is currently employed as manager of SAIC’s Advanced Outptut Center, and a part-time faculty member teaching between SAIC’s Design and Film/Video/New Media departments. Since 2003, Chris has shown work in several solo and group art exhibitions in the US and Europe; he works with modded video games, virtual/augmented reality, scripting/programming and kinetic sculpture.




7 PM


Enemy Sound
1550 N. Milwaukee Ave 3rd Fl.
Chicago, IL 60622




What is a "dorkbot"?! The idea of the international dorkbot network is "people doing strange things with electricity" and meeting in informal, friendly environments to discuss their projects. These projects could include hardware hacks, New Media Art projects, creative code, circuit bent musical instruments or wild DIY garage science!