Sculpt, Deploy, Repeat: Fast Prototyping of Interactive Physical Objects
- Building a deployable PhysiComp that merges form and function typically involves a significant investment of time and skill in digital electronics, 3D modeling and mechanical design. We aim to help designers quickly create prototypes by removing technical barriers in that process. Other methods for constructing PhysiComp prototypes either lack fidelity in representing shape and function or are confined to use in the studio next to a workstation, camera or projector system. Software 3D CAD tools can be used to design the shape but do not provide immediate tactile feedback on fit and feel. In this work, sculpting around 3D printed replicas of electronics combines electronics and form in a fluid design environment. The sculptures are scanned, modified for assembly and then printed on a 3D printer. Using this process, functional prototypes can be created with about 4 hours of focused effort over a day and a half with most of that time spent waiting for the 3D printer. The process lends itself to concurrent exploration of several designs and to rapid iteration. This allows the design process to converge quickly to a PhysiComp that is comfortable and useful.
- Document Type:
- Working Paper