Digital Clay as Active Material

This paper describes a shape input device that extends the behavior of clay as a general model of shape interaction and supports arbitrary material deformation, addition and subtraction at interactive rates. These attributes are implemented in a prototype interface consisting of clay composed of wireless position trackers held together by a binding agent. These trackers provide position data in real time while isosurface extraction reconstructs the surface of the model as the user deforms it. Results are shown of this system behaving as an active material by performing geometry capture, and its utility in an augmented reality environment is discussed.

Credits: Reed 2009


Michael Reed. 2009. Prototyping digital clay as an active material. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI ’09). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 339-342. DOI:

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