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Tools, Tricks, and Hacks Exploring Novel Digital Fabrication Workflows on #PlotterTwitter Hannah Twigg-Smith, Jasper Tran O'Leary, and Nadya Peek


As digital fabrication machines become widespread, online communities have provided space for diverse practitioners to share their work, troubleshoot, and socialize. These communities pioneer increasingly novel fabrication workflows, and it is critical that we understand and conceptualize these workflows beyond traditional manufacturing models. To this end, we conduct a qualitative study of #PlotterTwitter, an online community developing custom hardware and software tools to create artwork with computer-controlled drawing machines known as plotters. We documented and analyzed emergent themes where the traditional interpretation of digital fabrication workflows fails to capture important nuances and nascent directions. We find that #PlotterTwitter makers champion creative exploration of interwoven digital and physical materials over a predictable series of steps. We discuss how this challenges long-running views of digital fabrication and propose design implications for future frameworks and toolkits to account for this breadth of practice.


  title={Tools, Tricks, and Hacks: Exploring Novel Digital Fabrication Workflows on\# PlotterTwitter},
  author={Twigg-Smith, Hannah and Tran O'Leary, Jasper and Peek, Nadya},
  booktitle={Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems},