Constructable: Interactive Lasercutting

October 20 2012

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A research project from Stefanie Mueller, Pedro Lopes and Patrick Baudisch recently presented at UIST’12

Personal fabrication tools, such as laser cutters and 3D printers allow users to create precise objects quickly. However, working through a CAD system removes users from the workpiece. Recent interactive fabrication tools reintroduce this directness, but at the expense of precision. Constructable is an interactive drafting table that produces precise physical output in every step. Users interact by drafting directly on the workpiece using a hand-held laser pointer. The system tracks the pointer, beautifies its path, and implements its effect by cutting the workpiece using a fast high-powered laser cutter. (from project page)

October 22 2012
Louise permalink

This is a pretty amazing machine. A common theme in our digital age is that users are becoming more and more self sufficient. With all that is available to us through design programs and machines, people are starting rely less and less on people trained in certain crafts. Is this new self sufficiency a good thing? Our our products and output going to suffer due to lack of expertise? You could say this is true with photoshop. Many people think they are designers if they can use photoshop, but does that make them designers. Does this machine fall into the same category?
I am a huge fan of all the tools that are available to us, so this is not a critique of the product, but more a thought about where things are headed. Do you think the more individuals have access to, and can do themselves the quality will suffer?

November 19 2012

@Louise, proposes good questions. Those apart of sheet fabrication have stability in their jobs; but new technology is jeopardizing their jobs as well. It’s like this is a good thing, but is it?

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