Purdue University’s researchers in Indiana have collaborated with the National Science Foundation to start an innovative platform that enables your smartphone to assist in 3D printing, allowing you to create some unique designs. This new platform is known as Makerpad – an inventive and advanced platform specifically for beginners. The patents of this platform are presently pending by the Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization.
Karthik Ramani, project leader of this venture said that manufacturing and product design are the purviews of professionals and enterprises like artists and engineers. On the other hand, Donald W. Feddersen, a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University explained that many people have ideas but only a few of them have guts to implement those ideas into a reality. This is actually a waste of available creative human resources and the economic prospects of the world economy.
This platform can even be used by amateur users to create 3D prints, 3D scans, 3D models and laser cuts. With the network accessibility and free technology available, anyone can easily attempt to become a designer. However, 3D printing involves some fundamental skills as well as tools. Hence, many designers are simply not capable of using 3D printing technology effectively. But with the help of this platform, “Makerpad,” users can now easily 3D print several designs.
This platform is user-friendly and it uses depth-sensing cameras to scan various objects in a smartphone to modify and digitize, self-designed 3D prints and laser cuts. Several smartphone gestures like pinching, moving and swiping work as “controls” in the designing process, enabling users to 3D print various designs via smartphone. Makerpad recently got the grant of $1 million from the National Science Foundation.
This service can easily be used by anyone, said Ramani. He further says that whether he wants a lampshade or an accessory for his car, he can create them with the help of his smartphone. Cloud-powered algorithms are the supportive pillar for this project, designed at the lab of Purdue University. “While the algorithms under development require a team of highly skilled engineers and computer scientists, they are designed to be used by people who have no technical background,” Ramani said. This project involves other partners too. These partners are the Imagination Station museum in Lafayette, the ZeroUI Inc Company, Indiana, as well as the Education Resource Institute.