Learning to Eat Bugs is a 3-year artistic research project at the dForm Center for Digital Fabrication, Oslo National Academy of the Arts.

The project is led by the artists Trine Wester and Trond Mikkelsen.

The main project, Learning to Eat Bugs, is planned to start in august 2013, and funding has been applied for from the National Academy of Fine Arts Oslo and from the Norwegian Artistic Research program Prosjektprogrammet.

The project also involves several partners, including a media philosopher, a robotics researcher and some of the staff and students from the Department of Informatics at the University of Oslo.

The pilot-project “Bombardo” was started in august 2012 and will be concluded during spring 2013. The project is funded by the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHIO) in Norway. The aim of this pilot-project is to explore the possibilities of taking digital fabrication “out of the box” and employing a mobile, autonomous 3d-printer of some sort in artistic practice – both as a tool and as a work of art in its own right.

Status BOMBARDO february 2013:

At the moment what we are doing is working with surface/texture experiments in Tango+ material on the Objet machine to create a soft skin for our robot. We’ve been doing some dyeing tests on the Tango+ material to see if we can get more exciting colours, and we also work with hard materials inside the soft to get directional flexibility and integrated mechanics in the skin. Our research is centered around aesthetics and appearance within a framework of functionality. The Objet machine is allowing us to experiment with forms and surfaces that would be very hard to achieve with any other method. To give an idea about what type of appearance we are trying to create it can compare to a jellyfish, with a soft (semi-) transparent skin with dark veins and patterns around a solid core, and a surface somewhat like bark or an elephant’s skin. At the moment we are making test patches of 60×60 mm to get an idea about the surface quality that works best and to test various dyeing processes and colours. In the near future we plan to do a full scale model of the skin with mechanics in Tango+ and VeroBlack+. We also print mechanical parts to fit with LEGO for quick and easy prototyping.

If you find the projects interesting and have further questions, ideas or would like to contribute in any way, you are more than welcome to contact us by e-mail

Testing foam “printing” with Bombardo prototype

Testing some 3d printed feet for Bombardo

texture testing ObjetOne of many texture samples using our Objet 3d printer