first_imgSome of us geeks have always been envious of artists who are able to take an idea from their minds and express it on paper or through sculpture. While I posses the skill to create ideas digitally, I have never been able to create them in the real world. If you are in the same boat, there is hope for us as a team from the Responsive Environments Group at the MIT Media Lab has created a handheld digital milling device that will both guide our hands and allow us to be creative at the same time. Called the “FreeD,” the device communicates with your computer in order to establish boundaries when carving a model that the device won’t allow you to violate. Using a magnetic sensor in both the device and the work-table, the FreeD sends a 3D CAD program its exact location at all times. If you are working on a piece and your actions are going to deviate too much outside of the 3D model that you are using as your template, the device automatically withdraws the milling bit to save you from making a drastic mistake.What is impressive is that when using the FreeD, you have total freedom to create what you want while working inside the 3D model. This gives you the flexibility to be creative, and the confidence that you will be able to create something that resembles the idea that you had in your head. Think of it as a guide to “color in the lines.”The FreeD team is also working on creating a handheld 3D printer/extruder that works on the same principles mentioned above, letting you inject your creativity into the 3D printing process. These are pretty exciting times as the 3D creation process makes huge strides forward as a technology.via MAKElast_img

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