This augmented modelling device enables customers to touch, poke, rub or pinch geometric varieties projected onto their skin to design wearable 3D-printed pieces (+ film).

Tactum 3D by Mad Lab

Digital analysis studio Madlab has produced a system that combines projection mapping with depth and motion sensing technologies to create customised jewellery and other items worn about the wrist.

Called Tactum, the system generates interactive projections that wrap around the topography of the user’s arm, which can be 3D-scanned in advance for additional accuracy. These pictures respond to gestures that allow the genuine-time modelling of wearable objects.

Tactum 3D by Mad Lab

The method ensures that no matter how considerably the type is manipulated, it will always be produceable with a 3D printer and the last object will fit the consumer.

“Pre-scanning the physique is not completely necessary when designing a wearable in Tactum,” stated the studio. “Nonetheless, it ensures an precise fit after the printed kind is positioned back on the entire body.”

Once completed, the patterns can be exported as data files to a range of different sorts of printer.

Tactum 3D by Mad Lab

The 1st prototypes for Tactum have relied on depth and movement sensors in present devices, like a Microsoft Kinect, to map the geometry of the entire body as effectively as track the hand gestures like pinching and pulling employed to manipulate the style.

Relevant story: Naomi Kizhner’s jewellery collection harvests power from the human entire body

These sensors feed the data on every gesture into a modelling programme to make dwell changes to the design, which are projected back onto the skin, producing a loop of data.

Tactum 3D by Mad Lab

Challenging constraints can be programmed in to fit the projections to specific parameters – for instance, the actual dimensions of an existing watch encounter that need to match into a strap designed employing Tactum.

This means imprecise human gestures, which are only precise to the size of a fingertip, can be mixed with the precision needed for designing about an current object.

Tactum 3D by Mad Lab

“In between the 3D scan, the intelligent geometry, and intuitive interactions, Tactum is able to coordinate imprecise skin-based mostly gestures to create extremely precise styles all around very exact forms,” explained the studio.

Tactum 3D by Mad Lab

So far the team has explored the task by means of two prototypes. The very first used a Microsoft Kinect sensor to detect and track skin gestures, and a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet as an off-body show for presenting the digital geometry to the designer.

The second prototype switched to an above-mounted Leap Motion Controller for monitoring the gestures, and displaying them straight on the skin.

Tactum 3D by Mad Lab

“Whilst this sensor provided far more robust hand and arm monitoring, the gesture detection was far more robust with the Kinect,” explained Madlab. “The 2nd prototype also switched from an auxiliary to mapping and projecting geometry immediately onto the entire body.”

The results of the team’s experiments and comprehensive technical info on every part of the procedure have been published as a research document.


The technologies has previously been utilised to produce a new watch strap for the Moto 360 Smartwatch.

The place and orientation of the view face on the wrist, as properly as the overall kind of the band, have been established by making use of hand gestures.

Tactum 3D by Mad Lab PLA print created from a regular desktop 3D printer

The precise measurements and tolerances for the clips to hold the observe encounter – and the clasp to shut the band onto the arm – had been pre-determined in the computer software programming, which was set ahead of the light projection design process started.

Tactum 3D by Mad Lab Nylon and rubber print made from a Selective-Laser Sinter (SLS) 3D printer

A series of test artefacts has also been developed to demonstrate the technological innovation with distinct kinds of interactive geometries, supplies, modelling modes and fabrication machines.

These contain a PLA plastic print manufactured on a standard desktop 3D printer, a nylon and rubber print designed with a Selective-Laser Sinter (SLS) 3D printer, and rubbery print making use of a Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer.

Tactum 3D by Mad Lab Rubbery print made from a Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer

Tactum was presented at the SXSW Interactive festival in Austin, Texas, earlier this 12 months.



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