Developing the original machine

Starting from our common interest in the wax resist technique of textile printing, we researched the different scales of production that exist between craft and industry – and noticed a gap in the existing market. We viewed this unoccupied space as an opportunity for an alternative scale of production to be made with digital fabrication, opening up the technique to different uses and contexts.

 

Adapting the machine to the process – taking a traditional technique focused on repetition and connecting it to the expected accuracy of digital data for fabrication – we, as designers, have re-appropriated the technique and are now able to confront both of these scales.

 

Following the contemporary stream of participative design and shared knowledge, we are focusing on offering accessibility in the form of this innovation tool.

How the original machine works

 

The machine is a simple XY plotter – a drawing machine that moves a pen between 2 axes reproducing a vector image supplied by the computer.

 

We hacked an existing plotter, substituting the drawing pen with a home-made electric Tjanting Tool. This allow us to draw any image we create in wax on cotton cloth.

 

Physical wax print molds are substituted with digital data, creating unlimited digital libraries of vector images. Each image can be modi ed up until the moment that it’s printed, and can be printed just once or in nitely.

 

After the textile has been printed with the wax the same steps of a traditional/industrial process are followed.

 

Digital tools are in constant development, therefore we can imagine their innovation potential if used in relation to a traditional technique like batik.

Digital Wax Print is an innovation tool for experimenting, enriching the wax resist technique and introducing it into contemporary design practice.

 

The Digital Wax Print plotter is a lightweight and disassemblable means of taking production out of the factory and into unexpected locations, thus creating new scenarios and stories.

TAC
Temporary Art Centre
Dutch Design Week 2013
Eindhoven, The Netherlands

 

Duration:
19 – 27 October 2013

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