3D printing, as a rapid prototyping technique, usually fabricates objects that are difficult to modify physically. This paper presents FlexTruss, a design and construction pipeline based on the assembly of modularized truss-shaped objects fabricated with conventional 3D printers and assembled by threading. To create an end-to-end system, a parametric design tool with an optimal Euler path calculation method is developed, which can support both inverse and forward design workflow and multi-material construction of modular parts. In addition, the assembly of truss modules by threading is evaluated with a series of application cases to demonstrate the affordance of FlexTruss. We believe that FlexTruss extends the design space of 3D printing beyond typically hard and fixed forms, and it will provide new capabilities for designers and researchers to explore the use of such flexible truss structures in human-object interaction.
The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (https://chi2021.acm.org/)