HotFlex: Post-print Customization of 3D Prints Using Embedded State Change
01Digital Fabrication Technologies, Daniel
Honorable Mention Award
While 3D printing offers great design flexibility before the object is printed, it is very hard for end-users to customize a 3D-printed object to their specific needs after it is printed. We propose HotFlex: a new approach allowing precisely located parts of a 3D object to transition on demand from a solid into a deformable state and back. This approach enables intuitive hands-on remodeling, personalization, and customization of a 3D object after it is printed. We introduce the approach and present an implementation based on computer-controlled printed heating elements that are embedded within the 3D object. We present a set of functional patterns that act as building blocks and enable various forms of hands-on customization. Furthermore, we demonstrate how to integrate sensing of user input and visual output. A series of technical experiments and various application examples demonstrate the practical feasibility of the approach.