Prototyping Novel Interfaces Using Laser Cut Clear Perspex
TEI 2022 – Work-in-Progress
Digital fabrication technologies such as laser cutters have been widely used for supporting prototyping of interactive devices as they are able to work with a wide range of materials. However, the majority of laser cut prototype components are often unable to support interaction or visualisation capabilities within themselves (e.g., functionality embedded within the material). Often materials that are laser cut do not have functional properties aside from serving as enclosures for interactive components. Our work explores how optical properties of clear Perspex material can be exploited to support interaction and visualisation capabilities for interface prototyping. Our proposed fabrication approach demonstrates the potential to support the development of novel displays devices that do not require expensive or complex circuitry and electronics. We produce a light-sensitive button and a seven-segment display which are combined into a wearable watch prototype demo. We also discuss design implications and future direction for this work.
3D Printing for Designing and Rapid Prototyping of Deformable and Interactive Wearables
MUM 2021 – Best Paper Award
Deformable surfaces with interactive capabilities provide opportunities for new mobile interfaces such as wearables. Yet current fabrication and prototyping techniques for deformable surfaces, that are both flexible and stretchable, are still limited by complex structural design and mechanical surface rigidity. We propose a simplified rapid fabrication technique that utilizes multi-material 3D printing for developing customizable and stretchable surfaces for mobile wearables with interactive capabilities embedded during the 3D printing process. Our prototype, FlexiWear, is a dynamic surface with embedded electronic components that can adapt to mobile body shape/movement and applied to contexts such as healthcare and sports wearables. We describe our design and fabrication approach using a commercial desktop 3D printer, the interaction techniques supported, and possible application scenarios for wearables and deformable mobile interfaces. Our approach aims to support rapid development and exploration of deformable surfaces that can adapt to body shape/movement.
MorpheesPlug: A Toolkit for Prototyping Shape-Changing Interfaces
Toolkits for shape-changing interfaces (SCIs) enable designers and researchers to easily explore the broad design space of SCIs. However, despite their utility, existing approaches are often limited in the number of shape-change features they can express. This paper introduces MorpheesPlug , a toolkit for creating SCIs that covers seven of the eleven shape-change features identified in the literature. MorpheesPlug is comprised of (1) a set of six standardized widgets that express the shape-change features with user-definable parameters; (2) software for 3D-modeling the widgets to create 3D-printable pneumatic SCIs; and (3) a hardware platform to control the widgets. To evaluate MorpheesPlug we carried out ten open-ended interviews with novice and expert designers who were asked to design a SCI using our software. Participants highlighted the ease of use and expressivity of the MorpheesPlug.