Digitally Reconfigurable Surface

Digitally Reconfigurable Surface

A Digital Molding Device
2011-2013, Actuated Pin Array
MIT Medial Lab

Benjamin Peters,Prof. Neri Oxman

The digitally reconfigurable surface is a pin matrix apparatus for directly creating rigid 3D surfaces from a computer-aided design (CAD) input. A digital design is uploaded into the device, and a grid of thousands of tiny pins–much like the popular pin-art toy–are actuated to form the desired surface. A rubber sheet is held by vacuum pressure onto the tops of the pins to smooth out the surface formed by them; this surface can then be used for industrial forming operations, simple resin casting, and many other applications. The novel phase-changing electronic clutch array allows the device to have independent position control over thousands of discrete pins with only a single motorized 'push plate,' lowering the complexity and manufacturing cost of this type of device.

In collaboration with Eric Marion.

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