Crowdsourced Fabrication

Ben Lafreniere, Tovi GrossmanFraser AndersonJustin Matejka, Heather Kerrick, Danil Nagy, Lauren Vasey, Evan Atherton, Nick Beirne, Marcelo Coelho, Nicholas Cote, Steven Li, Andy Nogueira, Long Nguyen, Tobias Schwinn, James Stoddart, David Thomasson, Ray Wang, Thomas White, David Benjamin, Maurice Conti, Achim Menges, George Fitzmaurice

ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology

Crowdsourced fabrication (4:41 min.)


In recent years, extensive research in the HCI literature has explored interactive techniques for digital fabrication. However, little attention in this body of work has examined how to involve and guide human workers in fabricating larger-scale structures. We propose a novel model of crowdsourced fabrication, in which a large number of workers and volunteers are guided through the process of building a pre-designed structure. The process is facilitated by an intelligent construction space capable of guiding individual workers and coordinating the overall build process. More specifically, we explore the use of smartwatches, indoor location sensing, and instrumented construction materials to provide real-time guidance to workers, coordinated by a foreman engine that manages the overall build process. We report on a three day deployment of our system to construct a 12’-tall bamboo pavilion with assistance from more than one hundred volunteer workers, and reflect on observations and feedback collected during the exhibit.

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  • HIVE

    Hive is an innovative and interactive exhibit that was showcased at Autodesk University 2015, Autodesk annual’s conference that attracts more than 10,000 design, engineering, and manufacturing professionals. The project involved a 12’ tall bamboo pavilion that was built by attendees of the 3 day event, through a unique human, machine, and robot collaboration. With this multi-disciplinary project, we were exploring a number of future-of-design themes, such as emergent design, wearables, internet of things, and human-robotic interaction.

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