SMAAD Surface is a fabric input/output device that uses fibrous shape memory alloy (SMA). By referencing Surflex (the first programmable surface [Coelho et.al 08]), we have improved the ability to maintain, record and play back arbitrary surface shapes through feed-back loop. This fabric functions as a smart material and designers can modify its shape through manual operations. As the flex sensor detects the fabric shape and the actuator works to maintain the shape, a designer can model the fabric shape as if he/she manually models a free-form surface. The surface shape is sent to a 3D CAD through a microcontroller and the digital data data can be modified in the same manner as the shape of the fabric device. In the same way, if the digital data is modified in the 3D CAD, the command is sent to the fabric device so that the fabric shape can be modified to follow the digital data.
Akira Wakita, Akito Nakano, Michihiko Ueno, SMAAD Surface: A Tangible Interface For Smart Material Aided Architectural Design, in Proceedings of CAADRIA 2011 – Circuit Bending, Breaking and Mending (The 16th International Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia), pp.355-364, Newcastle Australia, April 27-29, 2011. [pdf]