Doctoral Thesis Defense: Augmented Manual Fabrication Methods for 2D Tool Positioning and 3D Sculpting


Event Speaker: 

Alec Rivers

Event Location: 

32-G449 (Kiva)

Event Date/Time: 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - 10:00am

Digital fabrication devices and people have almost exactly complementary sets
of strengths and weaknesses. Most people can easily manipulate tools in
complex ways and over an effectively unlimited working volume, but only with
limited precision. Digital fabrication devices such as CNC machines are
extremely precise, but remain large and expensive, and have limited range.
This thesis presents two methods for fabrication in which the abilities of the
user are augmented, rather than replaced, by digital devices, to combine the
strengths of both.

The first is a hybrid approach to tool positioning. Given a 2D path that a
tool must follow, the user manually moves a frame containing the tool in a
rough approximation of the path. The frame tracks its location and adjusts the
position of the tool within the frame over a small range to correct the
human's coarse positioning, keeping the tool exactly on the path. With this
approach a tool can be positioned accurately over an unlimited range.

The second approach allows an unskilled user to sculpt an accurate physical
replica of a digital 3D model. A projector-camera pair is used to scan a
sculpture in progress using structured light, and then annotate the sculpture
with colors that indicate how it ought to be changed to match the target 3D
shape. The user follows this guidance to adjust the object, bringing the
sculpture closer to the target shape over time.

Committee: Frédo Durand, Wojciech Matusik, William Freeman

Relevant URL(S):
For more information please contact: Britton 'Bryt' Bradley, 617-253-6583,