Design Tools for the Rest of Us: Maker Hardware Requires Maker Software

Ryan Schmidt, Autodesk Research
Matt Ratto, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

The evolution of computing is in large part driven by the development of novel hardware capabilities, which can only be fully exploited by new types of software interfaces. This is particularly evident in the early history of digital fabrication, where the development of CNC machines at MIT lead to an interest in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) tools, essentially to “create content” for this new hardware. Sutherland’s seminal SketchPad system [Sutherland63] – and hence the first Graphical User Interface – was one of the fruits of this endeavour.
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