Sculpture Robot (Part 5 of 9): Making a Robotic Arm With Chainsaw & Sawzall Axe




I have been building sculpture for over ten years and I have watched the evolution of machining technology go from CNC milling to 3D desktop object printing. These ‘making machines’ have formed a physical gap between my hands and the materials I sculpt, and I see this as a problem. As a contemporary sculptor, my challenge involves utilizing the advantages of modern making-machines, yet, I want to maintain physically natural material interactions with the objects I form. Making machines tend to produce mediated experiences of sculptural production that dilute my material awareness and may even distort my ‘tacit knowledge’ [M. Polanyi]. I believe I must form a new hybrid art-making partnership between my hands and machines, in an attempt to narrow the physical gap that has formed. With this in mind, I ask the question: is it possible for artists to experience a tactile interaction with materials while fabricating objects using robotic machines?

I put together nine videos that show how it was put together - from gathering recycled materials, to fabrication and even electronics and programing demonstrations.

Find out more at:

I hope you enjoy!



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    4 Discussions


    4 years ago

    could use a cnc coolant delivery system as well to get the blade lubed

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    That is a fun idea. Once I get a chance to make an industrial version of this robot - (should I ever) - I will certainly try to work with more lubrication).


    5 years ago on Introduction

    umm how did u fix the chain oil supply problem? after a set time u lose the oil in the reserve tank. an begin destroy the chain.

    1 reply

    The chain oil is supplied by a reservour attached directly to the saw end. After time we have to replace the chain yes - beacaseu this not exatly the intended use - but it works for a few weeks before that happens. Most CNC type or machines that make things require more than usual tool replacement or fixing. Anyways - it was certinaly a point I should have covered because we did face it and good point. I think for every thing we covered, there were like 50 things we could not due to time and film making restrictions.