Course details

CNC Machining – Robots in Artistic Practice

1CNCO FaVU 1CNCO Acad. year 2023/2024 Summer semester 2 credits

The course is focused on introducing the possibilities of using industrial robots (not only) in spatial art creation. It introduces students to 3D machining and its possibilities, safety of work in a robotic workplace, programming the robot, preparing a 3D model for machining, importing the model into Autodesk PowerMill, generating NC paths, simulating and modifying robot movement, preparing the robot for work, selecting and preparing material for machining. The course includes hands-on exercises in 3D machining.



Language of instruction




Time span

  • 8 hrs lectures



Learning objectives

The course is designed to introduce students to the technology of 3D robotic machining and the possibilities of using it to create spatial objects. Based on lectures and practical exercises, students should acquire the necessary skills for independent work in the field of robotic machining and thus expand their knowledge of the use of other technologies in modern (not only sculptural) creation.


Students will gain orientation (basic theoretical, technological knowledge) in the given issue. After completing the course, they will be able to estimate the appropriate procedure for machine production of specific objects, prepare documents for implementation, appropriately select milling strategies in a 3D machining program, work independently with a robot and with 3D machining programs.


Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basic knowledge of working with a personal computer, ability to navigate in virtual space, patience and interest in 3D technology. Experience with some 3D modeling programs (e.g. Meshmixer, Blender, 3D Max, Rhinoceros 3D, SolidWorks, etc.) is welcomed. 

Fundamental literature

  • (EN)
  • (EN)
  • Willmann, J.; Block, P.; Hutter, M.; Byrne, K.; Schork, T. (eds.). Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design 2018. Springer, 2018. (EN)
  • Labaco, Ron. Out of Hand. Materializing the Postdigital. Black Dog Publishing, 2013. (EN)

Syllabus of lectures

1) Introduction to the robotic workplace of the FFA BUT in Brno. Components, parameters, safety, materials, examples of realized projects.

2) Possibilities of robotic arm.

3) Manual control and programming of the robot.

4) Drawing with the robot.

5) Artists CNC milling machine.

6) Introduction to milling, machine kinematics, milling methods.

7) Basic principles of robot milling, model preparation.

8) Introduction to the software, importing the model, modification.

9) Setting simulation parameters (in the program...).

10) Simulation of machining and adjustment of robot movement.

11) 3D robotic machining – execution of projects.


Progress assessment

Credit is awarded for attendance (at least 85%) and completion of ongoing assignments.


Classes are held at the Robotics Workplace of the FFA BUT in the hours determined by the schedule. Attendance is compulsory (2 unexcused absences allowed). Higher number of absences (maximum 1 additional absence) can be compensated after agreement with the teacher in an alternative term.



Thu exercise lectures U9/108 16:0017:5015 1BIA 1BIB 2BIA 2BIB 3BIT xx Váňa

Course inclusion in study plans

  • Programme BIT, 1st year of study, Elective
  • Programme BIT (in English), 1st year of study, Elective
  • Programme IT-BC-3, field BIT, 1st year of study, Elective
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