PrintflatablesUdayan Umapathi*, Harpreet Sareen*, Patrick Shin, Chin-Yi Cheng, Jifei Ou, Yasuaki Kakehi, Hiroshi Ishii, Pattie Maes / 2017

Printflatables

Printflatables is a design and fabrication system for human- scale, functional and dynamic inflatable objects. We use in- extensible thermoplastic fabric as the raw material with the key principle of introducing folds and thermal sealing. Upon inflation, the sealed object takes the expected three dimen- sional shape. The workflow begins with the user specifying an intended 3D model which is decomposed to two dimensional fabrication geometry. This forms the input for a numerically controlled thermal contact iron that seals layers of thermoplas- tic fabric. In this paper, we discuss the system design in detail, the pneumatic primitives that this technique enables and merits of being able to make large, functional and dynamic pneumatic artifacts. We demonstrate the design output through multiple objects which could motivate fabrication of inflatable media and pressure-based interfaces.

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