Project Details
Project Name :


Project Category :

01Digital Fabrication Technologies, Featured Project, marion, Narjes, Paul, Steimle

Client Review :

(CHI 2022)

Description :


A Handheld Printer for Physical Sketching of Circuits and Sensors on Everyday Surfaces

We present Print-A-Sketch, an open-source handheld printer prototype for sketching circuits and sensors. Print-A-Sketch combines desirable properties from free-hand sketching and functional electronic printing. Manual human control of large strokes is augmented with computer control of fine detail. Shared control of Print-A-Sketch supports sketching interactive interfaces on everyday objects – including many objects with materials or sizes which otherwise are difficult to print on. We present an overview of challenges involved in such a system and show how these can be addressed using context-aware, dynamic printing. Continuous sensing ensures quality prints by adjusting the inking rate to hand movement and material properties. Continuous sensing also enables the print to adapt to previously printed traces to support incremental and iterative sketching. Results show good conductivity on many materials and high spatial precision, supporting on-the-fly creation of functional interfaces.

Supplemental Material

The firmware code for controlling the printhead are available open-source.

Arduino Code (download on GitHub)



Narjes Pourjafarian, Marion Koelle, Fjolla Mjaku, Paul Strohmeier, and Jürgen Steimle
In Proceedings of the 2022 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’22), ACM Press, 2022.




Press Coverage