UIST'22, AirLogic

AirLogic: Embedding Pneumatic Computation and I/O in 3D Models to Fabricate Electronics-Free Interactive Objects

Valkyrie Savage, Carlos E. Tejada, Mengyu Zhong, Raf RamakersDaniel Ashbrook, Hyunyoung Kim

Proceedings of the 35th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, UIST'22. [pdf]

AirLogic teaser.png

Figure 1. AirLogic enables 3D printing interactive objects that are powered by airflow. We integrate printed logical structures
like OR gates (a) alongside tube-based inputs and outputs in 3D models (b). These route airflow through the device’s interior based
on the results of logical operations performed on the user’s input (c). Our widgets enable creating fully-printed, stand-alone
interactive objects with integrated sensing, computation, and actuation powered solely by air (d).

Researchers have developed various tools and techniques towards the vision of on-demand fabrication of custom, interactive devices. Recent work has 3D-printed artefacts like speakers, electromagnetic actuators, and hydraulic robots. However, these are non-trivial to instantiate as they require post-fabrication mechanical-- or electronic assembly. We introduce AirLogic: a technique to create electronics-free, interactive objects by embedding pneumatic input, logic processing, and output widgets in 3D-printable models. AirLogic devices can perform basic computation on user inputs and create visible, audible, or haptic feedback; yet they do not require electronic circuits, physical assembly, or resetting between uses. Our library of 13 exemplar widgets can embed AirLogic-style computational capabilities in existing 3D models. We evaluate our widgets' performance---quantifying the loss of airflow (1) in each widget type, (2) based on printing orientation, and (3) from internal object geometry. Finally, we present five applications that illustrate AirLogic's potential.

AirLogic is an open-source project. The 3D models of the AirLogic widgets and the Fusion360 plug-in for editing the widgets are available on GitHub.

30s video

2m 30s video