This weekend I’ll be teaching the Interactive Parametrics Workshop with Studio Mode (Gil Akos and Ronnie Parsons) and MakerBot (represented by Bre Pettis). We’ve been planning this for a while, but since it’s happening during my residency at MakerBot we thought it’d be fun to focus on the MakerBot as a possible output method. Our thanks to Bre and the MakerBot crew for supporting the workshop!

With a good mix of architects and code-hacking designers as our participants it should be an interesting weekend. We will be posting the resulting code examples and STL models after the workshop.

Tools & libraries

We’ll be looking at strategies for parametric modeling using Processing, outputting MakerBot-ready models as STL files and printing them on site.

Processing lacks the hardcore math engine of typical CAD packages, but is far more flexible when it comes to working interactively with dynamic realtime systems. By extending Processing’s core functionality with libraries for simulation and 3D mesh construction we can combine realtime processes with advanced geometry tools.

We’ll be relying on a selection of Processing libraries:

  • unlekker.ModelBuilder, a new library I’ll be releasing for the workshop that supports mesh-oriented parametric modeling for 3D printing. It’s nothing fancy, but it’ll get the job done in predictable ways.
  • Karsten Schmidt’s always excellent Toxiclibs library offers volumetric modelling and advanced simulation functions.
  • Frederik Vanhoutte’s Hemesh library is a comprehensive set of tools for constructing and modifying meshes through procedural tools like extruding, subdividing, slicing, chamfering etc. Hemesh allows the effortless creation of hypercomplex models.
  • Andreas Schlegel’s ControlP5 library will be our steady workhorse for GUI interface elements.

We’ll also be using Rhino3D and MeshLab to clean up models for fabrication.


Below is a list of links to tutorials and resources related to the tools we’ll be using: