SlideShare presentation for #shemakes, a GirlGeekAcademy event in Melbourne, Austratia, 10th Sept 2016.
Here is more information on each slide:
Slide 1. My story: a career move from designer jeweller to running a software development company. The move seems a big leap but is really a very straight path helped along the way through collaborating with super techies and computer scientists and demonstrates the value that STEAM collaborations bring to innovation. Slide 2. My jewellery business specialised in using refractory metals such as titanium and niobium. Refractory metals are not easy to cut by hand but laser cuts them like butter and the technology made my business more viable! Slide3. In 1990 as digital data controlled the laser path I learnt 2D computer aided design and worked in the engineering department at Heriot Watt University with 2 PhD students who were developing the software, the technology and the expertise to laser cut exotic metals. These brooches are made in Niobium and titanium, and anodised individually so each is unique. Slide 4. Also in 1990 I came across 3D printing. Very excited by the potential of this technology for jewellery making – But couldn’t afford it. Only in 1998 did I have my first piece 3D printed – this bangle with moveable rings, designed using CAD and 3D printed using FDM. Slide 5. I really struggled with 3D CAD so became a Research Fellow at Edinburgh College of Art in 1999 to investigate better programmes for artists. Rhino was the closest but still an engineer’s programme not an artist’s. Slide 6. I also came across 3D haptic technology. Haptic means touch and this virtual 3D touch technology looked very promising for a more intuitive interface for working in 3D. A grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded 3 years’ research, in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh. Slide 7. This diagram illustrates the full scope of the Research Project, which brought together three sets of elements that establish the extent of study: the working practice of designer makers, the design process, and enabling technology. Slide 8. My co-investigator was a computer scientist from Edinburgh University. We also had research assistants from both the arts and from software engineering. This is 3 of the team planning and testing an early study to understand the value of touch and sound as tacit knowledge for craft practice, using a forging task. We measured performance under different constraints and also used motion capture on the 12 participants involved – 6 professional silversmiths and blacksmiths, and 6 people with no forging experience – to compare their physical interactions and their proprioceptive sense. Slide 9. Another Study compared performance on a conventional computer UI (WIMP) & on the haptic Reachin system using a simple positioning task. The 10 test candidates were all expert 3D StudioMax users with 2 – 10 yrs experience. None had ever used a haptic system before. To get quantitative measurement the Methodologies used were time and mouse clicks. For ease of use we used Nasa Taskload and SUS (System Usability Scale) to measure the experience in qualitative terms. Slide 10. The set up on the right is the haptic Reachin System using a device with 6 degrees of freedom and 3 degrees of haptics. Following on from the research we had Proof of Concept funding from Scottish Enterprise to develop a demonstrator: 3D modelling software, with hardware creating a co-located environment with haptics, stereovision and 6 degrees of movement. The demonstrator was used to market test this setup. Slide 11, Artists and designers makers who tried it loved it. This is a set of designs that the designers makers testing the software produced within hours of being introduced to the system! Slide 12. I used separate funding to add the capability to the system for saving models in .stl format so models could be 3D printing. My university colleagues did questioned the value of 3D printing and why I wanted this included but then this was 10 years ago in 2006. But the whole shebang with the least expensive hardware cost £6 ½ grand. So no way could they afford it nor could we get the costs lower. Slide 13. Xiaoqing, the project’s senior computer software engineer and I spun out Anarkik3D Ltd in late 2006. We started with bespoke projects for companies, like this haptic dashboard for BMW who could afford the kit. Being a start-up is painful with loads of angst but we were both passionate about haptics and about eventually developing an affordable 3D modelling package for artists and designer makers. Slide 14. In 2008, bad and good things happened. The Economy collapse and we lost a couple of big projects. But we were awarded SMART funding for prototyping a middleware platform for the development of haptic programmes. Also a low cost haptic device for gamers, the Falcon, came onto the market and our vision for affordable 3D modelling became possible! SLide 15, Both Xiaoqing and I have invested heavily in the company. Most important for me was that Xiaoqing was totally supportive. She had an artistic side, her ‘right brain’ side and she understood where I was coming from focusing on developing software for artists with a more intuitive interface for working in 3D. Slide 16. In 2010 we released a beta product bundling the software with the Falcon device and branded the bundle as ‘Anarkik3D Design’. In 2013 we won the best consumer software award at the London 3DPrint Show’ Global Awards. We released version 3 last year and are now working on v3.1. SLide 17. Anarkik3D Design caters for right brain thinking, CAD is left brain. Our collaboration between designer maker and computer engineers has created a remarkable product : easy to learn, use and huge fun with serendipity as a default! It taps into how we naturally interact with the real world through touch and movement in 3D. Slide 18. It gives creative artists direct access to 3D printing technologies. Me included. and I love using the package to design jewellery for 3D printing. I also love seeing how other creatives use it. SLide 19. Where are we now? We have Touchable Universe, an Innovate UK funded project, collaborating with 3 other micro companies who are specialists in software development, in learning and in corporate business. We are redeveloping our prototype middleware platform to enable developers to combine haptics with other software and hardware to build haptic enabled learning programmes. SLide 20. We are building small haptic apps to test this platform and trial in schools for feedback on haptics enhanced learning for difficult to teach subjects. Examples of our test apps include one on atomic forces – principles of physics and chemistry, and one on language. We also have models to demonstrate what smoking does to our lungs as with haptics the pink healthy lung is soft and spongy whereas the smoker’s lung is hard and scarred. Slide 21. Our aim is to also have Anarkik3D Design package used in schools to build models. One area of use is building the cases for the BBC Micro:bits that are being introduced to schools to encourage kids to code. We are encouraging art, design and craft departments in schools to get involved and use Anarkik3D Design to enable these pupils to access technology on their own artistic terms. Slide 22. Anarkik Creations is another venture that I am involved in with a business partner. Our aim is to bring funky 3D printed accessories and jewellery to people who like to make a statement, not blend in. As our crowdfunding campaign to launch this venture was only partially successful it is going to take a bit longer to launch! Slide 23. For the future our aspiration is to continue developing Anarkik3D as a vibrant business with strong brand products and R&D culture. And through collaborations to develop services that enable people to have fun with learning and fulfil their own creativity. There you go. Thank you.