Put Your Hands Up…and Use Them to Mold Some 3D Art

hand molded 3d printed objects

Creating 3D art has traditionally been done with cold apparatuses like a stylus, keyboard and mouse. Researchers at Purdue University are getting more personal by creating a device that will allow designers to mold their 3D images with their hands.

The tool is called Shape-It-Up. Using a Microsoft Kinect camera, it records the designer’s hand gestures, sends them through some custom computer algorithms and presto!  They’re working with their design in the tool’s virtual workspace using their hands.

shape it up 3d printing

The Shape-It-Up design tool is compatible with 3D printers, so the finished product can be materialized. “The conventional tools have non-intuitive and cognitively onerous processes requiring extensive training. We conclusively demonstrate the modeling of a wide variety of asymmetric 3-D shapes within a few seconds,” said Purdue’s Donald W. Feddersen Professor of Mechanical Engineering Karthik Ramani. We wonder how Michelangelo would have done in this medium.

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See more in Unbuilt Concepts or under Technology. July, 2013.