Interactive laser-cutter

Constructable is an experimental laser-cutter from the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam. It uses a light-pen to direct the cutting beam, so that you can draw the cuts freehand, in realtime, rather than designing a pattern that is fed to the cutter. Basically, it transforms the cutter into a hand tool, rather than a programmable plotter.

Personal fabrication tools, such as laser cutters and 3D printers allow users to create precise objects quickly. However, working through a CAD system removes users from the workpiece. Recent interactive fabrication tools reintroduce this directness, but at the expense of precision.

Constructable is an interactive drafting table that produces precise physical output in every step. Users interact by drafting directly on the workpiece using a hand-held laser pointer. The system tracks the pointer, beautifies its path, and implements its effect by cutting the workpiece using a fast high-powered laser cutter.

Hasso-Plattner-Institut: constructable (via Kottke)