Advancements in rapid prototyping technologies are closing the gap between what we can simulate computationally and what we can build. The effect is opening up new design domains for creating objects with novel functionality, and introducing experimental manufacturing processes. My work applies traditional computer graphics techniques, leveraging tools in simulation, animation, and rendering for making functional objects in the physical world. In this talk I will present several lines of inquiry in computational fabrication workflows. On the topic of manufacturing processes I will discuss work on use of fabric formwork for creating plaster-cast sculptures. In the domain of design I will discuss mechanics and ML-based strategies for discovering impact-resistant 3D printed structures. Finally I will cover recent developments on design of tactile illustrations for blind and visually impaired individuals using a multi-projection rendering strategy.
Emily Whiting is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Boston University and Director of the BU Shape Lab. Her research in Computer Graphics combines digital geometry processing, engineering mechanics, and rapid prototyping to explore the development of computational tools for designing functionally-valid and fabrication-ready real world objects. Her lab’s work builds on collaborations in a broad range of fields including architecture, human computer interaction, accessible technologies, and art conservation. She received her PhD from MIT in Computer Graphics and Building Technology. She is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, Sloan Research Fellowship, and BU Innovation Career Development Professorship, and she was General Chair of the ACM Symposium on Computational Fabrication in 2020 and 2021.