EECS Special Seminar: Stefanie Mueller "Interacting with Personal Fabrication Machines"


Event Speaker: 

Stefanie Mueller

Event Location: 

32-G449 (kiva)

Event Date/Time: 

Monday, February 22, 2016 - 4:00pm

Abstract: Even though considered a rapid prototyping tool, 3D printers are very slow. Many objects require several hours of printing time or even have to print overnight. One could argue that the way 3D printers are currently operated is similar to the batch processing of punched cards in the early days of computing: all input parameters are pre-defined in the 3D modeling stage, the 3D printer then simply executes the instructions without human intervention. Since batch processing requires carefully thinking ahead, it is limited to expert users who can reason about the consequences of their design decisions.  


In the history of computing, moving away from batch processing enabled completely new interaction paradigms: while batch processing required carefully thinking ahead, command line input allowed for tighter feedback loops, and direct manipulation finally enabled even novice users to quickly iterate towards a solution. I believe repeating this evolution for the editing of physical matter will enable novice users to build objects only trained experts can create today. 


In this talk, I show how technological advances in two areas lay the foundation for achieving this goal: First, we need design tools and interaction techniques that allow novice users to directly manipulate physical matter under computer control. Second, since direct manipulation requires feedback in real-time after every editing step, we need faster fabrication techniques that can accomplish physical change at an instant.  


Bio: Stefanie Mueller is a PhD student working with Patrick Baudisch in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at Hasso Plattner Institute. In her research, she develops novel hardware and software systems that advance personal fabrication technologies. Stefanie has published 10 papers at the most selective HCI venues CHI and UIST, for which she received a best paper award and two best paper nominees. She is also serving on the CHI and UIST program committees as an associate chair. In addition, Stefanie has been an invited speaker at universities and research labs, such as CMU, Cornell, UW, ETH, Microsoft Research, Disney Research, and Adobe Research.