About the Workshop
Fabrication machines can produce solutions to many mechanical problems. Unfortunately, however, our fabrication machines reside in highly controlled lab and desktop contexts. We believe that digital fabrication can achieve more if we used it to solve mechanical problems in the moment we encounter them. This requires fabrication machines and techniques beyond the desktop machines we know. For this, we have to rethink many of the key questions digital fabrication initially was built on. During this workshop, we tackle these challenges and propose a roadmap for the future of fabrication beyond the desktop (aka mobile fabrication).

Fabrication machines typically stand in well-controlled desktop environments, mostly because the machines are big and sensitive to environmental factors. They are used for mechanical prototyping and in some cases for small-batch production. Their advanced nature makes that they are fantastic tools to solve mechanical problems like fixing something broken, or replacing missing objects. But these types of problems rarely occur in controlled contexts, typically they occur everywhere else (e.g. while on the go).

Roumen et al. have shown the potential for Mobile Fabrication [5]. They proposed a vision of what these fabrication machines could be used for when taken away from their desktop context. They use techniques like Encore [2] and 3D printed hair [4] to connect directly to the environment outside of the printing volume itself. The surveys conducted in Mobile Fabrication [5] showed that there is a large range of objects that can be made this way.

Various open challenges remain for mobile fabrication to become real. In this workshop, we take three such challenges as starting points, but are open to alternative perspectives from participants. (1) what is the hardware for fabrication beyond the desktop like? (2) (how) does one model on the go or tweak models, and (3) how do we bring the fabrication context into the process [6, 3]?

To move beyond that vision and actually start developing an agenda of mobile fabrication, work is required, beyond what can be achieved by a single person. This workshop sets the scene to create a shared agenda and form a community to tackle and outline some of these problems together. Rather than just scratching the surface, we plan to use this workshop to really get started on several projects in sub-groups and present concrete ideas how to move forwards.

We welcome submissions related (but not limited to similar topics to these):

  1. Patrick Baudisch, & Stefanie Mueller (2017). Personal fabrication. Foundations and Trends® in Human–Computer Interaction, 10(3–4), 165-293.

  2. Xiang 'Anthony' Chen, Stelian Coros, Jennifer Mankoff, and Scott E. Hudson. 2015. Encore: 3D printed augmentation of everyday objects with printed-over, affixed and interlocked attachments. In ACM SIGGRAPH 2015 Posters (SIGGRAPH '15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 3, 1 pages. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2787626.2787650

  3. Xiang 'Anthony' Chen, Jeeeun Kim, Jennifer Mankoff, Tovi Grossman, Stelian Coros, and Scott E. Hudson. 2016. Reprise: A Design Tool for Specifying, Generating, and Customizing 3D Printable Adaptations on Everyday Objects. In Proceedings of the 29th Annual Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 29-39. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2984511.2984512

  4. Gierad Laput, Xiang 'Anthony' Chen, and Chris Harrison. 2015. 3D Printed Hair: Fused Deposition Modeling of Soft Strands, Fibers, and Bristles. In Proceedings of the 28th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology (UIST '15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 593-597. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2807442.2807484

  5. Thijs Roumen, Bastian Kruck, Tobias Dürschmid, Tobias Nack, and Patrick Baudisch. 2016. Mobile Fabrication. In Proceedings of the 29th Annual Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 3-14. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2984511.2984586

  6. Hui-Shyong Yeo, Gierad Laput, Nicholas Gillian, and Aaron Quigley. 2017. Workshop on object recognition for input and mobile interaction. In Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 75, 5 pages. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3098279.3119839