Carl builds "from scratch". The process starts with raw materials including slabs of plastic and aluminum and components like motors and ball bearings. Most objects include custom electronic subsections and embedded software, which exist in service to physical structure and mechanism.
The techniques are mainly those of traditional machine building: sketching; creation of explicit drawings; machining of each of the many parts on lathe and milling machine; assembly; electrical integration; revision. There are also unusual molding and casting techniques used. It's a long, expensive process to build a reliable "one-off" machine: several months and several thousand dollars typically.
There is an emphasis on smooth motions and visible physicality in general. The structural forms are minimalistic, exposed and logical - more geometric/organic than fanciful. Quality non-corroding materials are used throughout, and allowed to show off thier beauty devoid of coatings. Machined 6061 aluminum, random-sanded and steel wooled is used extensively, with stainless steel for high stress jobs and sanded polycarbonate for translucent lower stress structures. Tinted epoxy and brass are used sparingly. Lighting, LED and incandescent, is incorporated as a key interplay with the physical forms and motions. Much effort goes into reliability, details and finish.
The objects are intended to pipe directly to the senses, allowing the viewer to "see" a physical truth intuitively and enjoyably. The truth may be as simple as a rotation or proportion, or as complex as chaos in a fluid. As such, the work follows and fuses the traditions of scientific demonstration, structural design, sensualist kinetic sculpture, as well as technical amusement.
The machine age and the electronics revolution have not only given a new toolkit to these traditions, but new cultural/visual/emotional sourcebook as well.