Fabricating Objects Expanding and Changing Shape with Heat

ExpandFab is a fabrication method for creating expanding objects using foam materials. The printed objects change their shape and volume, which is advantageous for reducing the printing time and transportation costs.

For the fabrication of expanding objects, we investigated a basic principle of the expansion rate and developed materials by mixing a foam powder and elastic adhesive. Furthermore, we developed a fabrication method using the foam materials. A user can design expanded objects using our design software and sets the expansion areas on the surface. The software simulates and exports the 3d model into a three-dimensional (3D) printer. The 3D printer prints the expandable object by curing with ultraviolet light. Finally, the user heats the printed objects, and the objects expand to maximum approximately 2.7 times of their original size. ExpandFab allows users to prototype products that expand and morph into various shapes, such as objects changing from one shape to various shapes, and functional prototype with electronic components.

In this paper, we describe the basic principle of this technique, implementation of the software and hardware, application examples, limitations and discussions, and future works.

#Hiroki Kaimoto, Junichi Yamaoka, Satoshi Nakamaru, Yoshihiro Kawahara, and Yasuaki Kakehi. 2020. ExpandFab: Fabricating Objects Expanding and Changing Shape with Heat. In Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI ’20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 153–164.  https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/33…

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