Speaker: Professor Bernd Bickel, Computer Graphics and Digital Fabrication, IST Austria

Monday October 23rd, 4:15pm, in BC 420
Title: Computational Fabrication: Creating Virtual Content for the Real World

3D printing and related digital fabrication techniques have grown in sophistication over the last decade, vastly extending the scope of structures and materials that can be fabricated. While new opportunities have emerged for the design of customized shapes, architected materials with novel functionalities, and active composites that can sense and respond to their environment, the potential impact is currently limited by the lack of efficient computational approaches for content creation.

In this talk, I will describe the recent progress in computational fabrication toward novel concepts for modeling, designing, and reproducing objects with nontrivial shapes, topologies, and functionalities. I will first focus on our attempts to develop computational approaches for automatically reproducing important basic physical properties of objects, such as their deformation behavior and appearance. I will then investigate the design of objects that can self-deform. I will introduce CurveUps, curved shells that arise from initially flat states. Each consists of small, rigid tiles that are tightly held together by two pre-stretched elastic sheets. Our method allows the realization of smooth, doubly curved surfaces that can be fabricated as flat pieces. Once released, the restoring forces of the pre-stretched sheets support the objects to take shape in 3D. All of our approaches will be illustrated with examples. Finally, I will discuss the outlook of the field and present its open challenges.

Bernd Bickel is an assistant professor heading the Computer Graphics and Digital Fabrication Group at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria). He is a computer scientist interested in computer graphics and its overlap with animation, robotics, materials science, and digital fabrication. His main objective is to develop new techniques for efficient creation, simulation, and physical reproduction of digital content.

Bernd obtained his master's degree in computer science from ETH Zurich in 2006. For his PhD studies, Bernd joined the group led by Markus Gross, who is a full professor of computer science at ETH Zurich and the director of Disney Research Zurich. From 2011 to 2012, Bernd was a visiting professor at the Technical University of Berlin, and in 2012, he became a research scientist and research group leader at Disney Research. In early 2015, he joined IST Austria. He received the ETH Medal for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis in 2011, the Eurographics Best PhD Award in 2012, the Microsoft Visual Computing Award in 2015, an ERC Starting Grant in 2016, and the ACM SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award in 2017.