Exploring the Composite Intentionality of 3D Printers and Makers in Digital Fabrication
Sowmya Somanath, Ron Wakkary, Omid Ettehadi, Henry Lin, Armi Behzad, Jordan Eshpeter, Doenja Oogjes


In this paper, we identify new relationships between technologies and people in the context of digital fabrication. Our research applies a postphenomenological lens to understand and identify such relationships by using the concept of intentionality, an idea that relates to how humans and technologies, in their corporeal sense, direct themselves at the world rather than their purpose of action. We conducted a study wherein we first modified four 3D printers that highlight technological intentionality by either reducing, redirecting, reshaping, or redistributing the CAD model and filament of a given print. Next, experienced makers were invited to print models with one of four printers and reflect upon the effects of the coupling between their intentionality and that of the 3D printer. We contribute descriptions for new ways to frame human-technology relationships within the context of digital fabrication and highlight three relationships with machines: anticipatory, itineration and resistance, and their implications.

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