Plain2Fun: Augmenting Ordinary Objects with Interactive Functions by Auto-Fabricating Surface Painted Circuits

by | Jun 23, 2018

Authors: Tianyi Wang, Ke Huo, Pratik Chawla, Guiming Chen, Siddharth Banerjee, Karthik Ramani
Proceedings of the 2018 DIS Designing Interactive Systems Conference, June 9-13, 2018, Hong Kong, China, with honourable mention.


The growing makers’ community demands better supports for designing and fabricating interactive functional objects. Most of the current approaches focus on embedding desired functions within new objects. Instead, we advocate repurposing the existing objects and rapidly authoring interactive functions onto them. We present Plain2Fun, a design and fabrication pipeline enabling users to quickly transform ordinary objects into interactive and functional ones. Plain2Fun allows users to directly design the circuit layouts onto the surfaces of the scanned 3D model of existing objects. Our design tool automatically generates as short as possible circuit paths between any two points while avoiding intersections. Further, we build a digital machine to construct the conductive paths accurately. With a specially designed housing base, users can simply snap the electronic components onto the surfaces and obtain working physical prototypes. Moreover, we evaluate the usability of our system with multiple use cases and a preliminary user study.

Tianyi Wang

Tianyi Wang

Tianyi Wang is a Ph.D. student in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. Before joining the C Design Lab, Tianyi received his bachelor's degree from the Department of Precision Instrument in Tsinghua University, Beijing in 2016. Tianyi's current research interests focus on utilizing the technology of robotics, augmented reality as well as deep learning in the area of Human-Computer Interaction.