Supported by

University College Falmouth logo and EU Social Fund logo

Autonomatic is a research cluster based at
University College Falmouth

This an archive site for Autonomatic activities up to 2010. Visit for project updates and news. 2013



We are Autonomatic. We do research that explores the use of digital manufacturing technologies in the creative process of designing and making three dimensional objects.

We are design practitioners with skills and experience in designing in ceramics, metals, glass, plaster, plastics, amongst other media. As creative researchers we have a basic urge to invent new ways of making things, to ask “what if?” , “so what?” and “what next?”. Through our individualistic and autonomous approach to using digital technologies we hope to inspire other designers and makers to approach digital technologies with a creative mindset.

The digital manufacturing technologies we use, developed through science and engineering research, have until recently been relatively inaccessible to individual creative practitioners. Their use as an integral element in small scale production opens up opportunities for micro design businesses to operate in wider design fields.

This activity forms part of a digital manufacturing revolution – a revolution that has the potential to enable mass customisation and highly responsive localised production, perhaps even in the home. Through our research we want to challenge perceptions of the boundaries between craft and industrial production and raise the profile of making in 21st century design culture.

Cornwall provides the backdrop for our research and as a region of beauty, relative isolation and a history of artistic endeavour, presents great challenges and opportunities for developing new ways of designing and making that exploit the creative potential and connectivity of digital technologies.

Autonomatic work locally, nationally and internationally with makers and researchers on live projects and disseminate their research through exhibitions, practical demonstrations and fora. Check out the rest of the site for details about individual projects, presentations and papers and contact us if you want to know more.

The word autonomatic, is a hybrid fabricated from two other words: Automatic, defined as ‘mechanical’ and ‘working of itself without direct human actuation’; and the less familiar Autonomic, derived from autonomy, alluding to personal freedom and self-government. As such, it carries within it an intrinsic contradiction: Automatic suggests involuntary, repetitive, machine-like or machine-led actions; while Autonomic implies human self-sufficiency, independence and individuality.