3D-Printed (Ultimaker) Variable Glasses Images The Variable Glass project aims to provide a simple example of how Interactive Prototyping Environment (IPE) modelling can allow novice users to easily design and digitally fabricate a glass with infinite variability. To do this we developed a simple set of variables that would control the appearance of the cup:
• height • diameters • profile facets
Software, these variables were graphically programmed, coded, into Grasshopper Modelling environment to generate a number of profiles containing: minimum and maximum facets from N=3 to N=50, diameter from 20 – 60mm and a height from 50 – 80mm. these formed the basis of the simple cup. Hardware, rotation sensors and a switch – for choosing particular variables – were connected to an Arduino Uno OSHW microcontroller. We also developed a digital proof of concept with the customised TouchOSC environment to test the concept. The physical sensors and switch were mounted into a planar panel with simple instructional graphics. This, in turn, was connected to a personal computer and hardware graphically programmed into Grasshopper environment. This model sought to understand the relationships between the creation of a physical toolkit by lead users and the ability of novice users to iteratively generate and digitally fabricate data without specialised skills or knowledge. The resulting digital cup file would be digitally fabricated via 3D printing, either in plastic (Ultimaker) or ceramic materials. Through this simple IPE model, we were able to suggest that there are numerous possibilities for the creation and modification of digital design data enabling novice users to translate their needs into physical designs through innovative community collaborations.
Submitted as a case study for an accepted, peer reviewed, academic paper at IncludeAisa2013 conference 2-3 July 2013.