With the increasing popularity of consumer-grade 3D printing, many people are creating, and even more using, objects shared on sites such as Thingiverse. However, our formative study of 962 Thingiverse models shows a lack of re-use of models, perhaps due to the advanced skills needed for 3D modeling. An end user program perspective on 3D modeling is needed. Our framework (PARTs) empowers amateur modelers to graphically specify design intent through geometry. PARTs includes a GUI, scripting API and exemplar library of assertions which test design expectations and integrators which act on intent to create geometry. PARTs lets modelers integrate advanced, model specific functionality into designs, so that they can be re-used and extended, without programming. In two workshops, we show that PARTs helps to create 3D printable models, and modify existing models more easily than with a standard tool.
In this experience report, we describe the experiences of volunteer assistive device designers, clinicians, and human computer interaction and fabrication researchers who met at a summit on Do-It-Yourself Assistive Technology. From the perspectives of these stakeholders, we elucidate significant challenges of introducing rapid prototyping to the design of professional assistive technology, and opportunities for advancing assistive technology. We describe these challenges and opportunities in the context of an emerging gap between clinical and volunteer assistive device design. Whereas clinical process is fully led by the question, “will this do harm”, while volunteers chaotically pursue the lofty goal of providing assistive technology to all. While all stakeholders hold the same core goals, there are many practical limitations to collaboration and development.
In this paper, we present three case studies where participants with upper-limb amputations collaborate with researchers to design assistive prosthetic devices for specific tasks: playing the cello, operating a hand-cycle, and using a table knife. These studies reveal prevailing themes and behaviors including: common impairments to tasks (grip, fine-motor skills, and two-handedness), significant parameters of prosthetic systems, the effectiveness of playful and practical prototyping materials when applied to iterative and engaging design, and the value of a supportive social network for do-it-yourself assistive technology (DIY-AT). From these findings we argue for the importance of modularity, community engagement, and reliable rapid prototyping materials in the iterative design of prosthetics. We define a modular prosthetic assistance system as bodily extensions that afford a user action on the world by connecting three modular components that simplify the design of such devices.
onsumer-grade digital fabrication such as 3D printing is on the rise, and we believe it can be leveraged to great benefit in special education. Although 3D printing is infiltrating mainstream education, little research has explored 3D printing in the context of students with special support needs. We describe our studies on this topic and the resulting contributions. We initially conducted a formative study exploring the use of 3D printing at three locations serving populations with varying ability, including individuals with cognitive, motor, and visual impairments. We found that 3D design and printing perform three functions in special education: (1) STEM engagement, (2) creation of educational aids for accessible curriculum content, and (3) making custom adaptive devices. As part of our formative work, we also discussed a case study in the codesign of an assistive hand grip created with occupational therapists at one of our investigation sites. This work inspired further studies on the creation of adaptive devices using 3D printers. We identified the needs and constraints of these therapists and found implications for a specialized 3D modeling tool to support their use of 3D printers. We developed GripFab, 3D modeling software based on feedback from therapists, and used it to explore the feasibility of in-house 3D object designs in support of accessibility. Our contributions include case studies at three special education sites and discussion of obstacles to efficient 3D printing in this context. We have extended these contributions with a more in-depth look at the stakeholders and findings from GripFab studies. We have expanded our discussion to include suggestions for researchers in this space, in addition to refined suggestions from our earlier work for technologists creating 3D modeling and printing tools, therapists seeking to leverage 3D printers, and educators and administrators looking to implement these design tools in special education environments.
otion gestures are an underutilized input modality for mobile interaction despite numerous potential advantages. Negulescu et al. found that the lack of feedback on attempted motion gestures made it difficult for participants to diagnose and correct errors, resulting in poor recognition performance and user frustration. In this article, we describe and evaluate a training and feedback technique, Glissando, which uses audio characteristics to provide feedback on the system’s interpretation of user input. This technique enables feedback by verbally confirming correct gestures and notifying users of errors in addition to providing continuous feedback by manipulating the pitch of distinct musical notes mapped to each of three dimensional axes in order to provide both spatial and temporal information.
In this abstract, we present a modular design methodology for prototyping and 3D printing affordable, highly customized, assistive technology. This methodology creates 3D printed attachments for prosthetic limbs that perform a diverse group of tasks. We demonstrate the methodology with two case studies where two participants with upper limb amputations help design devices to play the cello and use a hand-cycle.
An increasing number of online communities support the open-source sharing of designs that can be built using rapid prototyping to construct physical objects. In this paper, we examine the designs and motivations for assistive technology found on Thingiverse.com, the largest of these communities at the time of this writing. We present results from a survey of all assistive technology that has been posted to Thingiverse since 2008 and a questionnaire distributed to the designers exploring their relationship with assistive technology and the motivation for creating these designs. The majority of these designs are intended to be manufactured on a 3D printer and include assistive devices and modifications for individuals with disabilities, older adults, and medication management. Many of these designs are created by the end-users themselves or on behalf of friends and loved ones. These designers frequently have no formal training or expertise in the creation of assistive technology. This paper discusses trends within this community as well as future opportunities and challenges.
In this demonstration, we discuss a case study involving a student with limited hand motor ability and the process of exploring consumer grade, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) technology in order to create a viable assistive solution. This paper extends our previous research into DIY tools in special education settings and presents the development of a unique tool, GripFab, for creating 3D-printed custom handgrips. We offer a description of the design process for a handgrip, explain the motivation behind the creation of GripFab, and explain current and planned features of this tool.