Computationally Accessible Fabrication

Our group is embarking on an effort to enhance fabrication technology, both through the use of new and better materials and in its ease of program. Much of our effort here is on embedding standard programming capabilities such as testability, modularity, iterability, and version control into the design and fabrication process.

Ribbed and checkered knit colors generated programmatically using knitscript.

KnitScript: A Domain-Specific Scripting Language for Advanced Machine Knitting

Knitting machines can fabricate complex fabric structures using robust industrial fabrication machines. However, machine knitting’s full capabilities are only available through low-level programming languages that operate on individual machine operations. We present KnitScript, a domain-specific machine knitting scripting language that supports computationally driven knitting designs. KnitScript provides a comprehensive virtual model of knitting machines, giving … Continue reading KnitScript: A Domain-Specific Scripting Language for Advanced Machine Knitting

Model of an automatically-generated flat splint with breathing holes, and the same splint after it has been printed, heated, and shaped around a thumb

Domain Specific Metaheuristic Optimization

For non-technical domain experts and designers it can be a substantial challenge to create designs that meet domain specific goals. This presents an opportunity to create specialized tools that produce optimized designs in the domain. However, implementing domain specific optimization methods requires a rare combination of programming and domain expertise. Creating flexible design tools with … Continue reading Domain Specific Metaheuristic Optimization

A picture of two people wearing 3D printed PPE. On the left is a face shield (42.2% of submissions) and on the right a facemask (28.4% of submissions).

Rapid Convergence: The Outcomes of Making PPE during a Healthcare Crisis

Kelly Avery Mack, Megan Hofmann, Udaya Lakshmi, Jerry Cao, Nayha Auradkar, Rosa I. Arriaga, Scott E. Hudson, Jennifer Mankoff. Rapid Convergence: The Outcomes of Making PPE During a Healthcare Crisis. [Link to the paper] The U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) 3D Print Exchange is a public, open-source repository for 3D printable medical device designs with contributions from clinicians, expert-amateur makers, and … Continue reading Rapid Convergence: The Outcomes of Making PPE during a Healthcare Crisis

Optimized tactile map


Megan Hofmann, Kelly Mack, Jessica Birchfield, Jerry Cao, Autumn G. Hughes, Shriya Kurpad, Kathryn J. Lum, Emily Warnock, Anat Caspi, Scott E. Hudson, Jennifer Mankoff:Maptimizer: Using Optimization to Tailor Tactile Maps to Users Needs. CHI 2022: 592:1-592:15 [pdf] Tactile maps can help people who are blind or have low vision navigate and familiarize themselves with unfamiliar locations. Ideally, tactile maps are created by considering an individual’s unique needs … Continue reading Maptimizer

Knitted sweaters and associated patterns

Computational Design of Knit Templates

We present an interactive design system for knitting that allows users to create template patterns that can be fabricated using an industrial knitting machine. Our interactive design tool is novel in that it allows direct control of key knitting design axes we have identified in our formative study and does so consistently across the variations … Continue reading Computational Design of Knit Templates

A picture of a knit lampshade in blue and green surrounding a lit lamp on an orange table.

KnitGIST: Generative Texture Design

Hofmann, M., Mankoff, J., & Hudson, S. E. (2020, October). KnitGIST: A Programming Synthesis Toolkit for Generating Functional Machine-Knitting Textures. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (pp. 1234-1247). Automatic knitting machines are robust, digital fabrication devices that enable rapid and reliable production of attractive, functional objects by combining stitches … Continue reading KnitGIST: Generative Texture Design

KnitPick: Manipulating Texture

Knitting creates complex, soft objects with unique and controllable texture properties that can be used to create interactive objects. However, little work addresses the challenges of using knitted textures. We present KnitPick: a pipeline for interpreting pre-existing hand-knitting texture patterns into a directed-graph representation of knittable structures (KnitGraphs) which can be output to machine and … Continue reading KnitPick: Manipulating Texture

Splint that has been 3D printed in a material of an appropriate skin color and fit to a client's hand.

“Occupational Therapy is Making”

 “Occupational Therapy is Making’”: Design Iteration and Digital Fabrication in Occupational Therapy   Consumer-fabrication technologies potentially improve the effectiveness and adoption of assistive technology (AT) by engaging AT users in AT creation. However, little is known about the role of clinicians in this revolution. We investigate clinical AT fabrication by working as expert fabricators for … Continue reading “Occupational Therapy is Making”

Picture of a 3D printed arm with backscatter sensing technology attached to it.

3D Printed Wireless Analytics

Wireless Analytics for 3D Printed Objects: Vikram Iyer, Justin Chan, Ian Culhane, Jennifer Mankoff, Shyam Gollakota UIST, Oct. 2018 [PDF] We created a wireless physical analytics system works with commonly available conductive plastic filaments. Our design can enable various data capture and wireless physical analytics capabilities for 3D printed objects, without the need for electronics. We … Continue reading 3D Printed Wireless Analytics

Picture of 3D models and a printout

Expressing and Reusing Design Intent in 3D Models

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 … Continue reading Expressing and Reusing Design Intent in 3D Models

Examples of 3d printed objects that are robust to measurement uncertainty.

Uncertainty in Measurement

Kim, J., Guo, A., Yeh, T., Hudson, S. E., & Mankoff, J. (2017, June). Understanding Uncertainty in Measurement and Accommodating its Impact in 3D Modeling and Printing. In Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (pp. 1067-1078). ACM. 3D printing enables everyday users to augment objects around them with personalized adaptations. There has … Continue reading Uncertainty in Measurement

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 … Continue reading Volunteer AT Fabricators

Tactile Interfaces to Appliances

Facade is a crowdsourced fabrication pipeline to automatically generate tactile interfaces to appliances for blind people.

The top of a young person's head with long hear, wearing a red felt crown with 3D printed decorations on it.

3D Printing with Embedded Textiles

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 … Continue reading 3D Printing with Embedded Textiles

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

Printable 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 … Continue reading Printable Adaptations

A teddy bear wearing a knit hat, scarf (with pocket) and sweater

A Knitting Machine Compiler

  Although industrial knitting machines can automatically produce a wide range of garments, they are programmed through onerous means such as pixel level image manipulation. This limits the potential for automation of knitted object design, re-use of object components, and narrows the audience able to design for these machines. Our contribution is a visual design … Continue reading A Knitting Machine Compiler

Sketchup Interface with plugin for RapID being used to create a Tic Tac Toe board.

RapID — interactive RFID

RapID – A framework for fabricating low-latency interactive objects with RFID tags RFID tags can be used to add inexpensive, wireless, batteryless sensing to objects. However, quickly and accurately estimating the state of an RFID tag is difficult. In this work, we show how to achieve low-latency manipulation and movement sensing with off-the-shelf RFID tags … Continue reading RapID — interactive RFID


  In work done collaboratively with Disney Research Pittsburgh and led by Gillian Smith of Northeastern we explored a multi-player game that can be embedded into a quilting and/or embroidery machine interface. Gameplay is constrained by the fact that only a single thread of fabric can be drawn over time. Players compete to ‘scout’ over a … Continue reading Threadsteading

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 … Continue reading 3D printed attachments

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 … Continue reading Helping Hands

I red bunny made of layers of felt fabric.

Layered Fabric Printing

A Layered Fabric 3D Printer for Soft Interactive Objects. Huaishu 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 … Continue reading Layered Fabric Printing

3D Printed Prosthetics: Case Study

Readings 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 … Continue reading 3D Printed Prosthetics: Case Study