The newly developed software allows the production of toys with a 3D printer; to get feedback what is done with the toys, sensors can be included.
Disney Research and ETH Zurich have once again collaborated to develop a unique 3D printing process with real world toy-related applications. Just a short time ago they have developed 3D printed robots. In the new project everything is about the use of toys that provide feedback what is done with them. Therefore different sensors are included in form of a cable.
A special developed algorithm calculates where and how the cables with the sensor have to be placed to detect the different movements. During the 3D printing process the cables are built into the object or toy. After printing it is ready to use and you just have to plug in the cables in a special tool that measures everything and sends the data to the computer.
3D-printed objects that can sense their own deformation will open the door to a range of exciting applications, such as personalized toys, custom game controllers and electronic musical instruments.
At first sight you may think this research is only done for toys but there are a lot of other applications: For example you could build a robot that detects when somebody shakes his hands or you could build a controller for a game that reacts on movements of an object.