ProxyPrint: Supporting crafting practice through physical computational proxies
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1145/2901790.2901828
Advances in digital fabrication (DF) technologies are making it easier to produce high-fidelity replicas of digital designs. However, this push-to-print paradigm limits the creative opportunities that arise from the process of "working through a material" which involves risk, uncertainty, and serendipitous discovery. We investigate how DF artifacts can function as static intermediary tools, which we term proxies, to support crafting practice. We focus on the wire-wrapping process where physical wire is bent into complex shapes and build DF fixtures to aid with construction and fabrication. We explore how these proxies can be generated to provide users with different levels-of-assistance and evaluate how these proxies affect the making process. We show that our proxies affect quality and speed and yield different making experiences between novice and expert craftspeople. We derive design principles to inform future proxy design and discuss how approaches such as ProxyPrint that are designed aware of the medium can create more engaging making tools that can embed tacit knowledge, encourage creativity, and sustain crafting practice.