Novel Representations and Workflows for Personal Fabrication

Matt Keeter, MIT Center For Bits and Atoms

Introduction

It was a sunny Monday afternoon, and I was trying to summon Cthulhu.

Not the full-size eldrich abomination — that would be irresponsible. I was trying to print out a small model downloaded from Thingiverse, and it was not going well.

The model looked good on my laptop screen but wasn’t suitable for printing, a problem that will sound familiar to anyone working in the field. It had zero-area faces, incomplete topology, and normals pointing in the wrong direction. The model was a nonsensical description of a real, physical object.

This document discusses ongoing research into improved workflows and interfaces for computer-aided design and manufacturing. These workflows are based on volumetric representation of solid objects, which eliminate many of the usual pain points of digital fabrication. Continue reading