Interactiles

The absence of tactile cues such as keys and buttons makes touchscreens difficult to navigate for people with visual impairments. Increasing tactile feedback and tangible interaction on touchscreens can improve their accessibility. However, prior solutions have either required hardware customization or provided limited functionality with static overlays. In addition, the investigation of tactile solutions for large touchscreens may not address the challenges on mobile devices. We therefore present Interactiles, a low-cost, portable, and unpowered system that enhances tactile interaction on Android touchscreen phones. Interactiles consists of 3D-printed hardware interfaces and software that maps interaction with that hardware to manipulation of a mobile app. The system is compatible with the built-in screen reader without requiring modification of existing mobile apps. We describe the design and implementation of Interactiles, and we evaluate its improvement in task performance and the user experience it enables with people who are blind or have low vision.

XiaoyiZhang, TracyTran, YuqianSun, IanCulhane, ShobhitJain, JamesFogarty, JenniferMankoff: Interactiles: 3D Printed Tactile Interfaces to Enhance Mobile Touchscreen Accessibility. ASSETS 2018: To Appear [PDF]

Figure 2. Floating windows created for number pad (left), scrollbar (right) and control button (right bottom). The windows can be transparent; we use colors for demonstration.
Figure 4. Average task completion times of all tasks in the study.

Expressing and Reusing Design Intent in 3D Models

Picture of 3D models and a printout

Megan K Hofmann, Gabriella Han, Scott E Hudson, Jennifer Mankoff. Greater Than the Sum of Its PARTs: Expressing and Reusing Design Intent in 3D Models CHI 2018, To Appear.

With the increasing popularity of consumer-grade 3D printing, many people are creating, and even more using, objects shared on sites such as Thingiverse. However, our formative study of 962 Thingiverse models shows a lack of re-use of models, perhaps due to the advanced skills needed for 3D modeling. An end user program perspective on 3D modeling is needed. Our framework (PARTs) empowers amateur modelers to graphically specify design intent through geometry. PARTs includes a GUI, scripting API and exemplar library of assertions which test design expectations and integrators which act on intent to create geometry. PARTs lets modelers integrate advanced, model specific functionality into designs, so that they can be re-used and extended, without programming. In two workshops, we show that PARTs helps to create 3D printable models, and modify existing models more easily than with a standard tool.

Picture of 3D models and a printout

Volunteer AT Fabricators

Perry-Hill, J., Shi, P., Mankoff, J. & Ashbrook, D. Understanding Volunteer AT Fabricators: Opportunities and Challenges in DIY-AT for Others in e-NABLE. Accepted to CHI 2017

We present the results of a study of e-NABLE, a distributed, collaborative volunteer effort to design and fabricate upper-limb assistive technology devices for limb-different users. Informed by interviews with 14 stakeholders in e-NABLE, including volunteers and clinicians, we discuss differences and synergies among each group with respect to motivations, skills, and perceptions of risks inherent in the project. We found that both groups are motivated to be involved in e-NABLE by the ability to use their skills to help others, and that their skill sets are complementary, but that their different perceptions of risk may result in uneven outcomes or missed expectations for end users. We offer four opportunities for design and technology to enhance the stakeholders’ abilities to work together.

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 1.09.13 PMA variety of 3D-printed upper-limb assistive technology devices designed and produced by volunteers in the e-NABLE community. Photos were taken by the fourth author in the e-NABLE lab on RIT’s campus.

3D Printing with Embedded Textiles

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-9-03-14-pm


Stretching the Bounds of 3D Printing with Embedded Textiles

Textiles are an old and well developed technology that have many desirable characteristics. They can be easily folded, twisted, deformed, or cut; some can be stretched; many are soft. Textiles can maintain their shape when placed under tension and can even be engineered with variable stretching ability.

When combined, textiles and 3D printing open up new opportunities for rapidly creating rigid objects with embedded flexibility as well as soft materials imbued with additional functionality. We introduce a suite of techniques for integrating the two and demonstrate how the malleability, stretchability and aesthetic qualities of textiles can enhance rigid printed objects, and how textiles can be augmented with functional properties enabled by 3D printing.

Click images below to see more detail:


Citation

Rivera, M.L., Moukperian, M., Ashbrook, D., Mankoff, J., Hudson, S.E. 2017. Stretching the Bounds of 3D Printing with Embedded Textiles. To appear in to the annual ACM conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. CHI ‘17. [Paper]

Printable Adaptations

Shows someone placing a pen in a cap with two different types of adaptations.

Reprise: A Design Tool for Specifying, Generating, and Customizing 3D Printable Adaptations on Everyday Objects

Reprise is a tool for creating custom adaptive 3D printable designs for making it easier to manipulate everything from tools to zipper pulls. Reprise’s library is based on a survey of about 3,000 assistive technology and life hacks drawn from textbooks on the topic as well as Thingiverse. Using Reprise, it is possible to specify a type of action (such as grasp or pull), indicate the direction of action on a 3D model of the object being adapted, parameterize the action in a simple GUI, specify an attachment method, and produce a 3D model that is ready to print.

Xiang ‘Anthony’ Chen, Jeeeun Kim, Jennifer Mankoff, Tovi Grossman, Stelian Coros, Scott Hudson (2016). Reprise: A Design Tool for Specifying, Generating, and Customizing 3D Printable Adaptations on Everyday Objects. Proceedings of the 29th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2016) (pdf)

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3D printed attachments

Encore: 3D printed attachments

What happens when you want to 3D print something that must interact with the real world? The Encore project makes it possible to 3D print objects that must attach to things in the real world. Encore provides an interface that, given an imported object and a chosen attachment method, visualizes metrics relating the goodness of the attachment. In addition, once an attachment type and location is chosen, Encore helps to produce the necessary support structure for attachment. Encore supports three main types of attachment: print-over, print-to-affix, and print-through.

Print-Over

Print-over attachments are printed directly on the existing object. This works well if the object is flat enough that the print head won’t encounter obstacles as it moves, and the object is made of a material that the printed material will easily adhere to. Encore helps by finding a rotation of the existing object that minimizes obstacles, and generating support material to hold the existing object in place.

Printing a magnet holder over a Teddy bear toy.
 
Left: printing an LED casing on a battery to make a simple torch; right: printing a handle to an espresso cup.
 

Print-to-Affix

An alternative that is useful when the existing object does not fit on the print bed is print-to-affix. In this approach, the attachment is designed to fit snugly against the existing object. It may be glued in place, or can include holes for a strap, such as a zip tie.

Left: printing a structure to make a glue gun stand; right: printing a reusable four-pack holder.
 

Print-Through

Finally, sometimes the attachment should be interlocked more loosely with the existing object. In this case, the process is to begin printing and stop the print partway through so that the existing object can be inserted. Encore can compute when this stopping point should be (and
whether it is possible)

A name tag printed through a pair of scissors
 
A bracelet printed through a charm
 

Encore the Design Tool

Encore is implemented in WebGL. It supports importation of an existing object, selection of an attachment, and then lets the user click to indicate where the attachment will go. Given this information, it uses geometric analysis to compute metrics for goodness of attachment, such as attachability and strength. Encore visualizes them using a heat map so that the user can adjust the attachment point.


Encore visualizes which parts of a wrench are more attachable when printing over a handle.

More Examples


Using print-to-affix to make a trophy from an egg holder
 

Using print-over to make a minion keychain
 

Using print-over to add a hanger to a screwdriver handle
 

Using print-through to make a key ring.
 

Using print-to-affix to make a battery case
 
Xiang ‘Anthony’ Chen, Stelian Coros, Jennifer Mankoff, Scott Hudson (2015). Encore: 3D Printed Augmentation of Everyday Objects with Printed-Over, Affixed and Interlocked Attachments. Proceedings of the 28th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2015)

Helping Hands

Prosthetic limbs and assistive technology (AT) require customization and modification over time to effectively meet the needs of end users. Yet, this process is typically costly and, as a result, abandonment rates are very high. Rapid prototyping technologies such as 3D printing have begun to alleviate this issue by making it possible to inexpensively, and iteratively create general AT designs and prosthetics. However for effective use, technology must be applied using design methods that support physical rapid prototyping and can accommodate the unique needs of a specific user. While most research has focused on the tools for creating fitted assistive devices, we focus on the requirements of a design process that engages the user and designer in the rapid iterative prototyping of prosthetic devices.

We present a case study of three participants with upper-limb amputations working with researchers to design prosthetic devices for specific tasks. Kevin wanted to play the cello, Ellen wanted to ride a hand-cycle (a bicycle for people with lower limb mobility impairments), and Bret wanted to use a table knife. Our goal was to identify requirements for a design process that can engage the assistive technology user in rapidly prototyping assistive devices that fill needs not easily met by traditional assistive technology. Our study made use of 3D printing and other playful and practical prototyping materials. We discuss materials that support on-the-spot design and iteration, dimensions along which in-person iteration is most important (such as length and angle) and the value of a supportive social network for users who prototype their own assistive technology. From these findings we argue for the importance of extensions in supporting modularity, community engagement, and relatable prototyping materials in the iterative design of prosthetics

Prosthetic limbs and assistive technology (AT) require customization and modification over time to effectively meet the needs of end users. Yet, this process is typically costly and, as a result, abandonment rates are very high. Rapid prototyping technologies such as 3D printing have begun to alleviate this issue by making it possible to inexpensively, and iteratively create general AT designs and prosthetics. However for effective use, technology must be applied using design methods that support physical rapid prototyping and can accommodate the unique needs of a specific user. While most research has focused on the tools for creating fitted assistive devices, we focus on the requirements of a design process that engages the user and designer in the rapid iterative prototyping of prosthetic devices.

We present a case study of three participants with upper-limb amputations working with researchers to design prosthetic devices for specific tasks. Kevin wanted to play the cello, Ellen wanted to ride a hand-cycle (a bicycle for people with lower limb mobility impairments), and Bret wanted to use a table knife. Our goal was to identify requirements for a design process that can engage the assistive technology user in rapidly prototyping assistive devices that fill needs not easily met by traditional assistive technology. Our study made use of 3D printing and other playful and practical prototyping materials. We discuss materials that support on-the-spot design and iteration, dimensions along which in-person iteration is most important (such as length and angle) and the value of a supportive social network for users who prototype their own assistive technology. From these findings we argue for the importance of extensions in supporting modularity, community engagement, and relatable prototyping materials in the iterative design of prosthetics

Photos

Project Files

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2365703

Project Publications

Helping Hands: Requirements for a Prototyping Methodology for Upper-limb Prosthetics Users

Reference:

Megan Kelly Hofmann, Jeffery Harris, Scott E Hudson, Jennifer Mankoff. 2016.Helping Hands: Requirements for a Prototyping Methodology for Upper-limb Prosthetics Users. InProceedings of the 34th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 525-534.

Making Connections: Modular 3D Printing for Designing Assistive Attachments to Prosthetic Devices

Reference:

Megan Kelly Hofmann. 2015. Making Connections: Modular 3D Printing for Designing Assistive Attachments to Prosthetic Devices. In Proceedings of the 17th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers & Accessibility (ASSETS ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 353-354. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2700648.2811323

Layered Fabric Printing

A Layered Fabric 3D Printer for Soft Interactive ObjectsHuaishu Peng, Jennifer Mankoff, Scott E. Hudson, James McCann. CHI ’15 Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2015.


In work done collaboratively with Disney Research and led by Disney Intern Huaishu Peng (of Cornell), we have begun to explore alternative material options for fabrication. Unlike traditional 3D printing, which uses hard plastic, this project made use of cloth (in the video shown above, felt). In addition to its aesthetic properties, fabric is deformable, and the degree of deformability can be controlled. Our printer, which works by gluing layers of laser-cut fabric to each other also allows for dual material printing, meaning that layers of conductive fabric can be inserted. This allows fabric objects to also easily support embedded electronics. This work has been in the news recently, and was featured at AdafruitFuturityGizmodo; Geek.com and TechCrunch, among others.

 

 

Rapid Fabrication / Prototyping

Required Readings (videos for these and others found below)

Mueller, S., Im, S., Gurevich, S., Teibrich, A., Pfisterer, L., Guimbretière, F., & Baudisch, P. (2014, October). WirePrint: 3D printed previews for fast prototyping. In Proceedings of the 27th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (pp. 273-280). ACM.

Interactive design space exploration and optimization for CAD models (ACM SIGGRAPH 2017) Adriana Schulz, Jie Xu, Bo Zhu, Changxi Zheng, Eitan Grinspun, and Wojciech Matusik.

Videos to flip through

Much of the work here is by Stefanie Mueller, Patrick Baudisch and others. I didn’t want to assign too many papers by the same group, but these videos are worth browsing! There are some other authors represented here too.

WirePrint:

Instacad:

Coarse to fine fabrication of large objects:

TrussFab: making even larger objects

Patching physical objects:

Protopiper:

Platener:

On-the-fly printing while modeling:

What you sculpt is what you get:

Accommodating measurement error (no video)

Jeeeun Kim, Anhong Guo, Tom Yeh, Scott E Hudson, & Jennifer Mankoff. Understanding Uncertainty in Measurement and Accommodating its Impact in 3D Modeling and Printing, In Proceedings of ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS’17), Edinburgh, UK PDF

 

3D Printing for Social Good Final Project

The goal of the final project assignment is to give you an opportunity both to become comfortable using a 3D printer and to think about novel research that can be done with the printer and begin defining and executing on such a problem. It is very open ended, and there is no single ‘right’ answer to what makes a successful projects.

This project is divided into three pieces.

1) The first is a proposal. This is an individual proposal. We will spend 3 minutes per proposal in class hearing your ideas, and you will turn in a brief description of them on Canvas.

  • Your proposal should involve some sort of fabrication, and be in one of the areas we have explored during class (including both application domains and advances such as printing with new materials). The rest is up to you, though I am happy to provide guidance.
  • It should be no more than one page long, including references (which are optional)
  • It should be organized as follows: Promise (what opportunity it creates); Obstacle (why is it currently not possible); Solution (what you will do).

2) The second is team formation. Each of you will be asked to assign a points to every proposal indicating your interest in it.  You have 20 votes, and may apply up to four for any one project. You may not vote for your own project. Approximately 5 of the projects will be selected as starting points, allowing teams of 3-4 students to be assigned based on approximate best match. Swaps will be allowed with permission of the instructor, once both teams agree.

3) The final project should include a two page report and a final presentation. The presentation should include a prototype (fabricated), discuss the promise, obstacle, and explain your solution process.