Let's use AR (Augmented Reality) and haptics to design and make furniture!

I live in Palo Alto but collaborate with my colleagues at MIT, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, etc., so we needed a way to do collaborative CAD/CAM and haptic augmented reality was our answer.

Fusion 360 is the best way to share designs while they're being worked on, so we're doing our collaborative haptic augmented reality computer-aided design and manufacture while trying to come up with clever ways to control or interact with Fusion 360, in order to make things together....

Specifically a table carved from nature itself, i.e. actual electromagnetic radio waves or sound waves permanently recorded in wood, granite, or stainless steel.

The world's first wearable augmented reality computer was built in 1974 to visualize radio waves using simple physics to ensure exact alignment between the real and virtual worlds, and you can make one cheaply and easily as reported in a previous Instructable.

Here we're going to use phenomenal (phenomenological) augmented reality to visualize the otherwise invisible waves around us, and to inscribe these waves into real physical objects, and in particular, use the waves to cut the materials to make furniture.

Specifically we're going to make a workbench and shelves out of a waveform and its harmonics.

The sound source is a violin mechanically actuated (driven) by a transducer connected to a Fourier signal generator, and the note is A440 (440 cycles per second) for which we can select (sculpt) with various harmonics.

The sounds are sculpted using the T-SWIM (Tactile Sequential Wave Imprinting Machine).

The note A440 has a wavelength

= speed of sound / frequency

= (343 meters/second ) / (440 cycles/second)

=.77955... meters.

So the wavelengths is about 78 centimeters, which makes a nice wavy shape that's actually quite space efficient, i.e. 78 centimeters is enough space for a nice indentation to sit at and have the table "wrap around" you locally, while a couple of other people can sit at the table in the other recesses of subsequent waves of the periodic waveform.

The table (work benchtop) is the fundamental, and each shelf above it includes the next harmonic in the naturally occurring Fourier series of the sound wave.

Step 1: Catch the Wave

This first step is to capture the wave.

You can capture your own wave, or you can use an existing wave from this Instructable or grab one from http://wearcam.org/swim/ or newSWIM

You can also simply jump ahead to Step 3 of this Instructable and use the .step file HARCAD_HARCAM_WaveTable.step .

If you're using an existing wave, you can skip this step and proceed directly to the next step.

Waves are captured using the concept of a "sitting wave", i.e. where waves are made to "sit still" so that we can see them.

An easy way to do this (child's play in terms of difficulty) is with a lock-in amplifier, a microphone, and a speaker. Connect the speaker to the oscillator output of the LIA (Lock In Amplifier), and the microphone to the signal input, and move one with respect to the other, along a sliderail, and your "sitting wave" emerges as a position-varying voltage at the output of the amplifier. It should be only a function of position, not time, i.e. you trace out the same wave no matter how fast or slow you move the speaker or microphone.

The simplest way to capture the waves is photographically with a long-exposure photograph in a darkened room. Wear black and use a black cloth behind the SWIM for best results.

Waves can also be captured using a datalogger at the output of the LIA, assuming you move at a constant speed (or separately record your position).

A better way to do this is with the a linear array of LEDs as a dotgraph, as shown in the pictures above (following my earlier Instructable). Add a mechanical transducer to the hand-grip of the SWIM so you can feel the wave you're sweeping through.

Once you capture the wave (or select a pre-recorded wave), bring it into a CAD program such as Fusion360.

In many of my earlier experiments with haptics and waves, I used X-Y plotters and this makes it easy to share waves and experiences among multiple people at the same time. Consider the plotter like a ouija board where multiple people can press and pull on the various Fourier coefficients of real physical waves!

About This Instructable




Bio: I grew up at a time when technologies were transparent and easy to understand, but were evolving toward insanity and incomprehensibility. So I wanted to ... More »
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