In our everyday life, we interact with and benefit from objects with a wide range of material properties. In contrast, personal fabrication machines (e.g., desktop 3D printers) currently only support a much smaller set of materials. Our goal is to close the gap between current limitations and the future of multi-material printing by enabling people to explore the reuse of material from everyday objects into their custom designs.
To achieve this, we develop a library of embeddables--everyday objects that can be cut, worked and embedded into 3D printable designs. We describe a design space that characterizes the geometric and material properties of embeddables. We then develop Medley---a design tool whereby users can import a 3D model, search for embeddables with desired material properties, and interactively edit and integrate their geometry to fit into the original design. Medley also supports the final fabrication and embedding process, including instructions for carving or cutting the objects, and generating optimal paths for inserting embeddables. To validate the expressiveness of our library, we showcase numerous examples augmented by embeddables that go beyond the objects' original printed materials.
Xiang 'Anthony' Chen, Stelian Coros, and Scott E. Hudson. 2018. Medley: A Library of Embeddables to Explore Rich Material Properties for 3D Printed Objects. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '18). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Paper 162, 12 pages. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3173574.3173736