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modulus

3D printers for domestic use are becoming more accessible to the large public. Fablabs, the RepRap project and numerous small companies working in this field have brought 3D printing to the reach of millions worldwide, slowly building this technology’s potential as an alternative to the industrial manufacture of object and products.
Alongside this trend, Microsoft’s release of the Kinect in 2010 brought a new toolset to human-computer interface, using 3D scanning technology to recognize human gestures and movement. Those capabilities are expanded even more by the fact that the Kinect can be easily connected to control and interact with endless applications, from art installations to physiotherapy.
Wanting to combine 3D printing with the sensor’s capabilities I started by approaching the difference in scale of those two technologies. The Kinect allows to capture environments, people, gestures while a 3D printer can create an object no bigger then you can hold in one hand. To bridge this gap I decided to work on a system that is driven by the custom and personal nature of printed parts but used to create objects at a bigger scale. I chose to explore this territory with a shelves, as they are constructual in nature and tend to need specific tailoring to a certain space.
Modulus is a system that allows the user to create shelves in a virtual setting, the users “shows” the Kinect the placement and size of the shelves he wants while watching a preview of the object on a TV/computer screen. The system then generates the construction needed to support these shelves, while giving the user some options to edit the overall appearance of the structure. The final product is a personalized and unique shelf system fit to the user’s needs and space.
The construction system is based on three components: 22mm aluminum tubes, 15mm plywood and custom 3D printed ABS joints. The plastic joints connect the tubes, cut to specific lengths, and hold the plywood shelves with screws. If the user has access to a 3D printer and basic workshop tools he can self-fabricate the shelves. if not, he can order it to be made by a company or a local Fablab, and receive all the components flat packed for easy assembly requiring only a screwdriver.

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