Prof. Dr. Patrick Baudisch

Protopiper: Physically Sketching Room-Sized Objects at Actual Scale

Harshit Agrawal, Udayan Umapathi, Robert KovacsJohannes Frohnhofen,  Hsiang-Ting Chen, Stefanie Mueller, Patrick Baudisch

Physical sketching of 3D wireframe models, using a hand-held plastic extruder, allows users to explore the design space of 3D models efficiently. Unfortunately, the scale of these devices limits users' design explorations to small-scale objects. We present protopiper, a computer aided, hand-held fabrication device, that allows users to sketch room-sized objects at actual scale. The key idea behind protopiper is that it forms adhesive tape into tubes as its main building material, rather than extruded plastic or photopolymer lines. Since the resulting tubes are hollow they offer excellent strength-to-weight ratio, thus scale well to large structures. Since the tape is pre-coated with adhesive it allows connecting tubes quickly, unlike extruded plastic that would require heating and cooling in the kilowatt range. We demonstrate protopiper's use through several demo objects, ranging from more constructive objects, such as furniture, to more decorative objects, such as statues. In our exploratory user study, 16 participants created objects based on their own ideas. They rated the device as being "useful for creative exploration", "its ability to sketch at actual scale helped judge fit", and "fun to use.


Make the device on Instructables!

The device itself is an assembly line: the tape is drawn from the roll, shaped into a tube, sealed together, and cut off with a wing connector.

Protopiper’s tubes also afford creating simple mechanisms. By creasing them, for example, users form hinges. Hinges allow for moving mechanisms, like the opening-closing umbrella.

Protopiper works equally well for freeform expression, such as the T-Rex sculpture.

UIST2015 talk

Publication PDF
Protopiper: Physically Sketching Room-Sized Objects at Actual Scale
In Proc. UIST'15. Full Paper.


ACM DL: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2807505

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2807442.2807505


Make the device yourselfhttp://www.instructables.com/id/Protopiper-Physically-Sketching-Room-sized-Objects/