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Dynamic Toolchains Software Infrastructure for Digital Fabrication Workflows Hannah Twigg-Smith and Nadya Peek


New digital fabrication workflows require both software development and digital/physical material exploration. To support digital fabrication workflow development, we contribute infrastructure that prioritizes extensibility and iteration. Dynamic Toolchains are dataflow programs with event-driven feedback between interactive, stateful modules. We contribute a browser-based dataflow environment for running Dynamic Toolchains, a library of fabrication-oriented front- and back-end modules for design and machine control, and a development framework for building custom modules. Furthermore, we show how our infrastructure supports unconventional fabrication workflows with demonstrations that include interactive watercolor painting, map plotting, machine knitting, audio embroidery, textured 3d printing, and computer-controlled milling. These demonstrations show how our infrastructure supports multiple kinds of engagement including reuse, remix, and extension. Finally, we discuss how this work contributes to broader conversations in HCI on creativity across the digital/physical divide.


  title={Dynamic Toolchains: Software Infrastructure for Digital Fabrication Workflows},
  author={Twigg-Smith, Hannah and Peek, Nadya},
  booktitle={Proceedings of the 36th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology},