As a key advantage over conventional manufacturing technologies, 3D printing has the ability to
create complexity and variety at no extra cost. This fact indicates the possibility of a mass
customization culture in which we personalize designs according to our needs and preferences and
fabricate them at home on a 3D printer. But while there is already a thriving market of
consumer-level 3D printers, the tools that would empower average users to design 3D-printable
content are still largely lacking.
In this talk, I will highlight a number of challenges that arise when creating such tools and
illustrate some key concepts on the example of physical characters such as mechanical toys, robotic
creatures, and other mechanically-functional models. I will also talk about our work on design
tools for physical surfaces such as balloon-like inflatables and structures made from interlocking
Bernhard Thomaszewski is a Research Scientist at Disney Research Zurich, where he leads the
group on Computational Design and Digital Fabrication. He obtained his Master’s degree (Diplom) and
PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) in Computer Science from the University of Tübingen. Prior to joining Disney
Research, he was a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zürich, where he is an adjunct lecturer today.
Bernhard's research interests are in the areas of computational design, digital fabrication, and
computer animation. His current focus is on design tools that allow non-expert users to create
functional content for digital fabrication devices.
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