Brett Mich, like many of us, has an unexplainable love of robots. The Wisconsin-based designer is a toy inventor by trade, but spends his free time crafting one-of-a-kind robot sculptures. “Initially, designing robots was a way to add to my personal collection,” he says. But after giving one away as a secret Santa gift at work, Mich was encouraged to open an online shop for his creations called R2Deco Design.
Each robot begins as a series of pencil sketches, and later reimagined on his computer using Rhino CAD software where he creates working joints and breaks up the design into distinct pieces to help with assembly. The parts are then brought into the real world with a 3D printer using PLA filament, and treated with an exhaustive process of painting and weathering to achieve a vintage robot realism.
“Like a sculptor, I make one version of a robot design and then I move on. It’s more fulfilling to create a variety of robots than to make the same one over and over.”
Mich takes his inspiration from sci-fi art books and everyday objects, often creating a series of designs around a theme, such as vintage cars or cartoons. For the final step, each sculpture is photographed and posed in multiple positions to showcase its personality before being placed on his website for sale.
“I feel this brings the robots to life and gives people a better sense of what they really are – posable art,” Mich says.