Joong Han Lee / Design Academy Eindhoven
ThereÃs something Damien Hirst-like about this. And like art this project transcends the tangible objects themselves, and becomes a critique of current interfaces and a nod to untapped possibility. – Julia Whitney
The experience of using this – feeling out the invisible information to produce the visible – must be wonderful. – Matt Webb
This project had a complete story, and the sense of being manually rapid forming something against force feedback was very interesting. The products (cylinders of glue) from the process didn’t go far enough for me to understand how I might encounter or respond to the interaction in any context. The author identifies that reactions to interacting with the force feedback arm were very positive, I suspect that this may be the case with any implementation of force feedback. The communication of the project was robust and the author talked well about the work. – Jack Schulze
HAPTIC INTELLIGENTSIA is a human 3D printer that allows the user to tactually perceive the virtual object and to directly transform it into the physical. The user can freely move the extruding gun, which is attached to a haptic interface. When the tip of the gun is moved into a surface region of the virtual object, the interface generates forces under computer control, allowing the user to feel and touch the surface of the object. Without the computer screen, the only way to visualize the virtual object is to pull the trigger and extrude the material along the feedback surface.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
My project focuses on the perpetuation and transformation of the “handmade” in modern technology. Analyzing the ubiquitous technology of our daily lives, it is evident that machines have replaced human production and craft in many areas. The pursuit of commodity in industrial production has been accompanied by a lack of sense of “caring,” which can easily be communicated via human touch. My objective is to regain the intimate hand-object relationship and find a new process of craft, by embracing the invasion of technology, rather than keeping craft and technology separate.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
I have created a haptic force-feedback production process, a coherent balance between hands-on craftsmanship and digital technology. The process omits the screen-based interface—which has been separating the virtual from the physical—and is solely based on tactile stimulation. When invisible digital information is perceived by our sense of touch, we tangibly respond and intuitively materialize into reality.
As a digital object is transformed into the physical by different individuals, each outcome represents an imperfect, yet unique and highly personal, handmade object. This process results in the creation of a human 3-D prototyping machine, which requires more time, manual labor, and a sense of agency—just like any other form of craftsmanship.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
To further enhance interaction with the computer, a sense of touch has been introduced for better interfaces. Haptic technology is a tactile feedback technology that allows a user to feel forces, vibrations, and/or motions, in an attempt to bring the human and the machine closer together. There have been haptic devices available for users to create virtual objects, “for the sense of touch what computer graphics does for vision.” Unfortunately, the screen-based interfaces still seem inevitable.
With HAPTIC INTELLIGENTSIA, a users can experience the haptic device and prototype the outcome without the computer screen. To realize my project, I incorporated Sensable’s PHANTOM force-feedback haptic devices into my project. With 6 degrees of freedom (DOF), the user can move freely and feel the digital input at the same time. To extrude the physical outcome, I attached a glue gun onto the haptic device, allowing the user to feel the digital input and to immediately respond by pulling the trigger of the gun for a physical output. For this project the virtual object will be pre-determined and fixed so that anyone can only feel the virtual surface, but not able to manipulate it. Depending on the individual’s reaction and the material, results will be always unexpected and different.
As a student project I wanted to focus on a future scenario, which can be resonate discussion among people. I envisioned this discursive project to inspire people from many different creative industries to apply in reality. As I am working on a next phase by making different object with the machine, I’ve been able to get in contact with people from different schools and organizations for lectures and exhibitions.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
HAPTIC INTELLIGENTSIA humanizes the 3D printing process, bringing the user a tactile relationship to the virtual object.
My research challenges the visual dominance of screen-based interfaces in our current society. I argue that sight is not the only way to comprehend what is around us. By bringing what we touch and feel virtually into the physical realm, the idea of craftsmanship is restored to its original sense, opening up a new way of connecting the hand and head. This is a new systematic process that interweaves manual work with “knowledge work.”