FAB: 3-D–Print Yourself With Kinect

Fabricate Yourself Pieces

“Fabricate Yourself” is like a 3-D photo booth. Using a Microsoft Kinect, anyone can hit a button and have a 3-D model of themselves printed right then. The project, headed by Karl Willis, removes the arcane intricacies of CAD software and replaces them with something anybody can pick up and play with.

Presented at the Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction Conference, the setup turns a Kinect into 3-D scanner. The Kinect is hooked up to a Mac, and users can pose in front of it and see a real-time wire-frame representation onscreen. When they see what they like, they hit a button and they are captured in an STL (stereolithography) file. This file is sent to the 3-D printer, where a small, low-resolution model is finally spat out.

Close up of the 3D printed pieces

At the conference, the models were limited to 3 x 3 cm to keep the machine running fast. This used just a quarter of the Kinect’s resolution, but the results have a rather cute, jaggedy 8-bit look to them. The cuteness was also upped by printing the models onto snap-together jigsaw tiles so they could be combined into one big mural (or even joined together to spell out words).

Taking high tech and making it easy and fun to use is clearly awesome. I am slightly disappointed with the conference-goers’ lack of nerd imagination, though. I have studied the resulting models closely and nowhere do I see the most obvious pose, and the first thing I would do if I could play with this machine: hands held up like Han Solo as he was frozen in carbonite.

Fabricate Yourself [Interactive Fabrication via i.Materialise. Thanks, Joris!]

Photos: Interactive Fabrication

Source: Wired Magazine

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