3D Printing In AR Using A Robotic Assistant

The interactive fabrication system combines AR CAD editing with precise robotic control.

In a 2018 research paper entitled RoMA: Interactive Fabrication with Augmented Reality and a Robotic Printer, Huaishu Peng, an information science doctoral student at Cornell University, and his team of primarily MIT and Cornell University-based researchers introduced RoMA, a robotic modeling assistant that utilizes an AR CAD editor to provide an interactive fabrication system operated via a VR headset and motion controls.

In the video provided, Huaishu wears an Oculus Rift headset outfitted with an Ovrvision stereo camera as he designs a 3D model of a teapot in a 3D space using a pair of slightly-altered Oculus Touch controllers. As he works on his digital object in augmented reality, a 6DoF robotic 3D printer mounted to a rotating platform mimiks the users actions in real-time, creating a real-world replica of the augmented object in the process.

“Instead of designing 3D models on the computer screen, we wanted to give users the opportunity to work in conjunction with the robot,” states Peng. “We call it in-situ fabrication.”

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