SBIR Phase II: Sketch-based interaction for designing for laser cutters

Period of Performance: 10/21/2014 - 09/30/2016

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Blank Slate Systems
1724 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80302
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Abstract

This SBIR Phase II project will develop innovative design software that enables people of all ages to easily create blueprints for production with laser cutters, CNC routers, and 3D printers. These machines hold the potential to transform American manufacturing by enabling anyone to design and build physical items. However, design software remains a bottleneck. This project addresses this problem by offering a paper-like interface to create machinable drawings while retaining the creative and cognitive advantages of freehand sketching. Moreover, the software's innovative interaction paradigm has broad applications in every domain where people sketch or make diagrams, and will enable people to design and prototype more productively. The project goal is to provide an effective, intuitive design application for tablet computers to make it easier for students to engage in engineering design as they invent and build physical constructions. The innovation combines sketch recognition (that enables freehand input) with geometric constraint management (that enables the software to maintain as much precision as the user needs). Throughout development, the software will be continuously deployed and assessed at collaborating high schools and out-of-school fabrication labs to guide future features and interaction needs.