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Video: Purdue Researchers Develop Hands-On 3D Digital Modeling Tool
7/22/2013

These 3D-printed designs were created with the use of Shape-It-Up, a new design tool created by researchers at Purdue University that allows designers to use hand gestures to created 3D geometric shapes.   (Source: Mark Simons, Purdue University)
These 3D-printed designs were created with the use of Shape-It-Up, a new design tool created by researchers at Purdue University that allows designers to use hand gestures to created 3D geometric shapes.
(Source: Mark Simons, Purdue University)

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Elizabeth M
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Re: Clever use of Kinect and gesture sensors
Elizabeth M   7/25/2013 6:06:06 AM
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i agree with you, TJ, I think with the additions of some other helper devices, this could really be something professionals could leverage to make design more intuitive. I think Ann agrees with you, too, as I believe she explains in a comment. The 3D display is a great idea but you're right, those glasses are a bit clunky. But perhaps there will be some solution to replace them in the future...

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Clever use of Kinect and gesture sensors
Ann R. Thryft   7/24/2013 11:32:18 AM
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I sure think it's a great start! Maybe adapting it to complex designs will prove to be not only possible but open up a whole new field of R&D. Stranger things have happened :)

Elizabeth M
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Re: Clever use of Kinect and gesture sensors
Elizabeth M   7/24/2013 9:10:15 AM
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You're probably right, Ann. Perhaps a future version of the tool will be more suited to professionals. I think this one was meant to be more educational or hobbyist anyway. :)

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Clever use of Kinect and gesture sensors
Ann R. Thryft   7/23/2013 1:39:03 PM
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TJ, the 3D shapes being outputted at this early stage are very, very simple compared to some of the more complex ones like rocket engine parts or aircraft components that DOD subcontractors and NASA are designing for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Considering those added levels of complexity implies to me that similar added levels of complexity in gestures would be necessary. 

TJ McDermott
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Re: Clever use of Kinect and gesture sensors
TJ McDermott   7/23/2013 1:14:53 PM
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Ann, I wouldn't call this crude at all.  I can easily see this evolving into a very workable interface.  But I think it will not work soley by itself.  There will be something like an IPad and a keyboard to go along with it.

Boy, combine this with a really good 3-D display (though I hate the glasses necessary), and you've got a heck of a design system.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Clever use of Kinect and gesture sensors
Ann R. Thryft   7/23/2013 1:02:51 PM
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Elizabeth, like I said I think this is a great idea. For educational purposes it sounds especially useful. I'm just not convinced it will work in actualization for professional engineers because of the complexity involved.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Clever use of Kinect and gesture sensors
Ann R. Thryft   7/23/2013 12:57:57 PM
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TJ, I know how crude the 3D software was in the 1980s, since I reported the first 3D printer from 3D Systems. So this may eventually get better. All I'm pointing out is that it's crude now, and that the sophistication needed in user input may be far too complex to achieve by gestures.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Big Gestures
Elizabeth M   7/23/2013 5:25:04 AM
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I agree, TJ, this tool has a bit of a way to go before it will be ready for professional use. But it's a good start! I think cubicles are probably getting smaller, not bigger, so those grand gestures you mention just wouldn't be practical unless someone was working from home! But I think that could also be physically tiring. As you point out, we'll just have to see how it evolves.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Clever use of Kinect and gesture sensors
Elizabeth M   7/23/2013 5:22:18 AM
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You're right, Ann, it did seem rudimentary to me, too, at this point. But a good idea and possibly as it evolves it could become more useful to pros. I think in the early stages it's meant to be more for amateurs or hobbyists who want to design but aren't into using CAD tools.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Clever use of Kinect and gesture sensors
Elizabeth M   7/23/2013 5:20:39 AM
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Yes, Chuck, I'm sure maybe "anyone" is an exaggeration, but it sure seems to simplify the process. And I imagine as you point out it will be especially helpful for kids to get them going and plant the seeds as early as possible for the next generation of engineers.

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