3D Printing of Interactive Objects

Tentative Readings:

  • Computational design of telescoping structures (ACM SIGGRAPH 2017)]
  • A computational design tool for compliant mechanisms (ACM SIGGRAPH 2017) ]
  • Interactive Design and Stability Analysis of Decorative Joinery for Furniture (ACM SIGGRAPH 2017) ]

Observe a Maker

Find someone in (or out of) the class who has to repair or create something.

  • Ask them if you can watch them work on it. Ask them if you can video and/or take photos + audio record them.
  • Before you watch them, write down your thoughts about how they will do this (like a recipe for the goal they have told you).
  • Watch and record what they do. Ask lots of questions. Base your approach on our discussion and practice in class.
  • The same day, write a short summary of what they did, noting in particular any trouble they ran into, and things that differed from your predictions
  • By the assignment due date, turn in a document containing your before and after thoughts and some illustrative pictures.

Build a 3D Printer

Learning Objectives:
– Practice assembling a moderately complex electromechanical device
– Learn the details of how your printer operates

Build a 3D printer from a kit. For this assignment you are being asked to demonstrate the basic operation of your machine by doing the following:

  • Moving each axis (x, y and z) independently
  • Homing (all axis)
  • Printing a test object — specifically, the “0.5mm-thin-wall.stl” file from the “Essential Calibration Set” (posted to Thingiverse by coasterman as: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5573).

Turning Your Project In

This assignment will be peer graded on a pass/fail basis. To turn in your completed assignment find another student in class to certify that you have fulfilled the requirements above and have them send me an email by the end of the day the assignment is due.


[credit for this assignment goes to Scott Hudson, whose plan & text I borrowed]

Case Study: 3D Printing in the Developing World


There is so much more on this topic! Some of the readings I set aside (possibly for a second case study later this quarter) include:

3D Printed Prosthetics: Case Study


  • Megan Hofmann, Julie Burke, Jon Pearlman, Goeran Fiedler, Andrea Hess, Jon Schull, Scott E. Hudson, Jennifer Mankoff: Clinical and Maker Perspectives on the Design of Assistive Technology with Rapid Prototyping Technologies. ASSETS 2016: 251-256
  • Cynthia L. Bennett, Keting Cen, Katherine Muterspaugh Steele, Daniela K. Rosner: An Intimate Laboratory?: Prostheses as a Tool for Experimenting with Identity and Normalcy. CHI 2016: 1745-1756


  • Jeremiah Parry-Hill, Patrick C. Shih, Jennifer Mankoff, Daniel Ashbrook: Understanding Volunteer AT Fabricators: Opportunities and Challenges in DIY-AT for Others in e-NABLE. CHI 2017: 6184-6194