Matthias Ziegler


ROBOCHOP is an interactive factory that envisions a not-so-distant future where intelligent systems empower anyone to directly engage with heavy industrial manufacturing technologies. It’s a future in which the obstacles and intermediaries in the supply chain have been removed, and anyone can design and produce the exact object they want.

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As the central exhibition of 2015’s CeBIT fair—the largest technology convention in Europe—a vision of this future was made manifest in the ROBOCHOP installation which invited people to use a custom online app to design and fabricate a piece of furniture in real time.

The ROBOCHOP interface let participants instruct a robotic arm to grab and sculpt a prefabricated 40x40x40cm durable foam cube using a floor mounted hot wire tool to create the object of their choice. Once manufacturing was complete, each custom object was packaged and posted to the user anywhere in the world, entirely free of charge.

The system only allows viable designs to go into production, but lets the user dictate the appearance and use. Stools, side tables, plinths and abstract sculptural pieces are just a few of the infinite items ROBOCHOP can produce.


ROBOCHOP features a needle gripper as the robot’s hand, coaxial cooling of the cutting wire and sensors to measure the wire’s tension and provide direct feedback to the system. This harnesses the robot’s brute force and allows it to sculpt hundreds of unique objects consecutively with elegance and precision.

Jürgen Schwope
Jürgen Schwope

As pioneered with the BREEDING TABLES project, KRAM/WEISSHAAR developed an app that accounts for all variations of a production process, and the physical limitations of the specified material, in order to create a set of parameters for the user to create whatever they want.