Design-to-Fabricate: Maker Hardware Requires Maker Software.

Authors: Schmidt, R. and Ratto, M.

As a result of consumer-level 3D printers' increasing availability and affordability, the audience for 3D-design tools has grown considerably. However, current tools are ill-suited for these users. They have steep learning curves and don't take into account that the end goal is a physical object, not a digital model. A new class of "maker"-level design tools is needed to accompany this new commodity hardware. However, recent examples of such tools achieve accessibility primarily by constraining functionality. In contrast, the meshmixer project is building tools that provide accessibility and expressive power by leveraging recent computer graphics research in geometry processing. The project members have had positive experiences with several 3D-design-to-print workshops and are exploring several design-to-fabricate problems. This article is part of a special issue on 3D printing.

Schmidt, R. and Ratto, M. (2013) Design-to-Fabricate: Maker Hardware Requires Maker Software. IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications 33 (6), p. 26-34. [article]

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