This is a prototypical process growing out of our previous experiment CNC Pen, combining precision digital tools with loose analog tools. This method has been further developed as a study of the relationship between these tools. The process includes translating a raster image file into vector format, separated into various color levels. These vectors are then turned into surfaces and translated into g-code for the router. In this instance we have used a 3-axis CNC router to drive 12 Copic Ciao markers on museum board. The precision of the machine is offset by the bleed of the marker and the porous nature of the board. Feed rate and Z values relate directly to speed and pressure of the hand. The image chosen is of the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence Italy from our time there this summer, specifically for its character and color. The nature of this technique and of the place seemed to align. While a certain level of precision is maintained through this process, the inevitable inconsistencies of markering transform the product into something looser. This close relationship between the digital and analog and the innovative use of these tools grows directly from our design platforms.
The product took over 12 hours of file prep and 16 hours of machine time (with testing), embodying our feelings on efficiency. The result was not created faster than a hand rendering, nor does it appear to be machined. The method allows for a new way of making. Repetition and customization are provided for in the process, as well as a dialogue between digital and hand craft. We are happy with this result and look forward to pursuing the next step. For us this piece represents the very important first step in the process.