PneuSeries: 3D Shape Forming with Modularized Serial-Connected Inflatables


We present PneuSeries, a series of modularized inflatables where their inflation and deflation are propagated in-between stage by stage to form various shapes. The key component of PneuSeries is the bidirectional check valve that passively regulates the air flowing in/out from/to adjacent inflatables, allowing each of the inflatables to be inflated/deflated one by one through serial propagation. The form of the inflatable series thus is programmed by the sequential operations of a pump that push/pull the air in/out. In this paper, we explored the design of PneuSeries and implemented working prototypes as a proof of concept. In particular, we built PneuSeries with (1) modularized cubical, cuboidal, tetrahedral, prismatic, and custom inflatables to examine their shape forming, (2) fast assembly connectors to allow quick reconfiguration of the series, and (3) folding mechanism to reduce irregularity of the shrunken inflatables. We also evaluated the inflating and deflating time and the flow rate of the valve for simulating the inflating and deflating process and display the steps and time required to transform in our software. Finally, we demonstrate example objects that show the capability of PneuSeries and its potential applications.

The 34th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology