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

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.


Martin Schmitz, Mohammadreza Khalilbeigi, Matthias Balwierz, Roman Lissermann, Max Mühlhäuser, and Jürgen Steimle. 2015. Capricate: A Fabrication Pipeline to Design and 3D Print Capacitive Touch Sensors for Interactive Objects. In Proceedings of the 28th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology (UIST '15), pp. 253-258.
ACM, New York, NY, USA. DOI: 10.1145/2807442.2807503

Sebastian Günther, Martin Schmitz, Florian Müller, Jan Riemann, and Max Mühlhäuser. 2017. BYO*: Utilizing 3D Printed Tangible Tools for Interaction on Interactive Surfaces. In Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Interacting with Smart Objects (SmartObjects '17) in conjunction with IUI'17.
ACM, New York, NY, USA. DOI: 10.1145/3038450.3038456


Martin Schmitz

Mohammadreza Khalilbeigi

Matthias Balwierz

Roman Lissermann

Max Mühlhäuser

Jürgen Steimle

Sebastian Günther



Andreas Leister

Jalal Khademi

Stefan Just




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CHI 2013 Accepted Work

Accepted work at CHI2013: EarPut: Augmenting Behind-the-Ear Devices for Ear-based Interaction (WiP)Permulin: Collaboration on Interactive Surfaces with Personal In- and Output (WiP)Permulin: Personal In- and Output on... [more]

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