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Fabricating Malleable Interaction-Aware Materials

Abstract : Personal fabrication machines, such as 3D printers, allow casual makers to create custom objects, which may also contain soft, flexible, or shape-changeable parts. Making use of these mechanical properties and developing novel forms of interaction opens up new possibilities for research in Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI). However, embedding sensing and output capabilities into material is still challenging. Although research in materials science has introduced a range of methods for producing interaction-aware materials, these methods require significant domain expertise and often rely on specialized and expensive equipment. My dissertation focuses on casual makers, designers, and HCI researchers, and investigates how to support their design and physical modeling tasks with interactive, non-rigid materials that are stretchable, shape configurable, or cuttable. I explore three directions on how such materials can enhance user interaction, with applications to wearables and ubiquitous computing, DIY product design, and interactive fabrication. First, I introduce a new fabrication method for embedding touch sensing, proximity sensing, and electroluminescent displays into stretchable silicone materials. Based on screen printing, the method allows for rapidly fabricating inexpensive and highly stretchable user interfaces than can be embedded in wearables and other everyday objects. Second, I present an approach for creating interactive paper-folded building blocks that we call Interactive Tangrami. Interactive Tangrami are made of flexible materials such as paper, folded and combined together to form modular 3D structures. They support touch sensing and actuation and can also integrate rigid electrical components, such as LEDs. We use a rapid ink-jet printing technique to apply sensors and circuits on paper. We also offer a software tool that helps makers to design the geometry and interactive behavior of their physical user interfaces and then print them on paper. Third, I introduce a method for fabricating shape-aware material, which is modeling material that captures and streams its own shape while being cut by an artist. The method is based on a novel inkjet-printable sensing technology that can be embedded into a variety of cuttable material such as foam-core. Our software toolkit helps makers produce 2D or 3D shape-aware material and customize its sensing topology for higher sensing accuracy. It also allows them to link the physical model with its digital copy in a 3D CAD environment, such as Blender and Unity. Overall, our approach supports a bi-directional fabrication workflow that combines both physical and digital modeling tools.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 10:16:23 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01988897, version 1


Michael Wessely. Fabricating Malleable Interaction-Aware Materials. Human-Computer Interaction [cs.HC]. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLS542⟩. ⟨tel-01988897⟩



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