Title: Studies in Interactive 3D Design: Bridging Traditional and Digital Prototyping
Advisor: Julie Dorsey
Other committee members:
Min H. Kim (KAIST)
Traditional media encompasses time-honored techniques, such as sketching, photography, paper crafting, and origami. The simple and intuitive nature of these tools has made them universally popular for casual and conceptual designers, providing them with direct control over their sketches and tactile control over the forms they create.
Recently, traditional tools have taken a back seat to CAD systems and 3D printing. Many believe these all-inclusive systems are the best solution to design, and think traditional media is outdated and limiting. In reality, while modern tools are perfectly suited to later stages of professional design, they are fundamentally complex and have a steep learning curve for creatives. Moreover, they impose a system-centric approach to design that is ill-suited to rapid ideation. Modeling operations are performed through indirect desktop interfaces, users have little control over the underlying representations of 3D models or printouts, and they do not provide effective solutions to essential tasks such as designing in the context of the real world.
In this thesis, we focus on elevating traditional prototyping tools, and we use them as inspiration for alternative modeling and fabrication systems, by combining the essence of traditional media with synergistic advances in computer graphics, multi-touch interfaces and data propagation. By bridging the analog and digital world, we aim to make traditional media relevant again with three intuitive systems. The first is Insitu, a unique 3D sketching system that allows conceptual design in the context of an existing complex site, by fusing readily accessible data from different sources into a lightweight, interactive representation of an existing environment. Second, we present Paper3D, an alternative 3D modeling paradigm for creating developable surfaces, inspired by origami and designed for a multi-touch tablet. Third, we created SceneCraft3D, a 3D modeling and fabrication system inspired by paper crafting with an intuitive interface for physical scene output.
Inspired by traditional approaches like sketching and origami, these systems have successfully evolved the 3D modeling and fabrication interface, leading to more intuitive, user-centric design.