Prof. Dr. Patrick Baudisch

Mobile Fabrication

Thijs Roumen, Bastian Kruck, Tobias Duerschmid, Tobias Nack, Patrick Baudisch

We explore the future of pervasive fabrication, e.g. what it would be like if you could fabricate all the time, everywhere and on the go. Our main focus is on tackling the "on the go" question, what if we can solve (mechanical) problems right when they arise? For digital problems we have seen how people first tackled them using large hardware, one would plan ahead and solve the problem in offices on a large computer, later mobile computing showed the power of having massive amounts of people quickly solving small problems as they encounter them. With fabrication hardware we see similar trends, currently most fabrication happens on large slow machines which require upfront planning and thus expertise to be used, however as hardware becomes smaller and easier to handle we foresee that we may be able to carry our fabrication hardware with us in the near future. As a result many people could solve mechanical problems as they arise. We studied this by making two renditions of small printers that users can carry with them and explore what people can and want to make on the go. 

The sequence below shows a walkthrough. The user wants to go for a nightly bike ride (a,b). He finds out the lamp sags and he needs a hex key (c,d,e). He opens our custom app to search for a solution (f). He prints the solution on his portable 3D printer (g,h). He fixes the lamp and rides off.

We modified two devices to evaluate mobile 3D printing, a small desktop printer and an extruder pen. Both were used in combination with a mobile phone to instruct the user what to do and to find solutions for common problems. 

Additionally we studied what kind of objects people would want to make on the go. More on this and the entire scenario list can be found in the paper.


Thijs Roumen, Bastian Kruck, Tobias Duerschmid, Tobias Nack, Patrick Baudisch
Mobile Fabrication
In Proc. UIST'2016. Full Paper.

 PDF (9,9Mb) |  Video (youtube) |   Talk (youtube)