Capricate: A Fabrication Pipeline to Design and 3D Print Capacitive Touch Sensors for Interactive Objects

Author Martin Schmitz, Mohammadreza Khalilbeigi, Matthias Balwierz, Roman Lissermann, Jürgen Steimle, Max Mühlhäuser
Date November 2015
Kind Inproceedings
AddressNew York, NY, USA
Book titleProceedings of the 28th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology
SeriesUIST '15
LocationCharlotte, NC, USA
Keywords3D printing, digital fabrication, rapid prototyping, printed electronics, capacitive sensing, input sensing, touch
Research Areas Telecooperation, - TI: Interactive Surfaces, Computer Vision
Abstract 3D printing is widely used to physically prototype the look and feel of 3D objects. Interaction possibilities of these prototypes, however, are often limited to mechanical parts or post-assembled electronics. In this paper, we present Capricate, a fabrication pipeline that enables users to easily design and 3D print highly customized objects that feature embedded capacitive multi-touch sensing. The object is printed in a single pass using a commodity multi-material 3D printer. To enable touch input on a wide variety of 3D printable surfaces, we contribute two techniques for designing and printing embedded sensors of custom shape. The fabrication pipeline is technically validated by a series of experiments and practically validated by a set of example applications. They demonstrate the wide applicability of Capricate for interactive objects.
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