Fiona Bell demos work from the Hand and Machine Lab at ACM CHI.

Researchers from The University of New Mexico Hand and Machine Lab in the Department of Computer Science recently traveled to Hawaii for the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM CHI).

While there, the team presented research papers, organized a workshop, and demoed 3D printing technology they developed as human-computer interaction researchers. The multidisciplinary field focuses on designing and evaluating new technologies. ACM CHI, which takes place annually in different locations around the world, is the largest and most important conference in the field. The UNM Hand and Machine Lab, which presented four research papers at the conference, explores relationships between technology, materials and culture. Recent projects have included shape-changing clay, 3D printing in biodegradable materials, and interactive murals. The group traveled with examples of their work to show at the conference.

“We are excited about developing new materials and technologies that have the potential to change what we build in the future. We are especially interested in helping everyone design and create objects from beautiful, functional, and sustainable materials,” said Leah Buechley, director of the Hand and Machine Lab and associate professor in the Department of Computer Science.

Demo of 3D printing technology.

Traveling to Hawaii with 3D printers and models of their work paid off when the group received high marks on their interactive demos. UNM’s Hand and Machine Lab live, interactive demo, “Demonstrating New Materials, Software, and Hardware from the Hand and Machine Lab,” earned the Honorable Mention Award in the juried category and second place in the People’sChoice category at the conference.

“A lot of our work showcases what true collaboration between humans, machines, and materials can look like ultimately combining technology with art in a beautiful way,” Fiona Bell, postdoctoral researcher in the Hand and Machine Lab, said. “It was fun to show all of our work and have colleagues from all around the world encourage us to keep doing the research we are doing.”

Bell presented on shape-changing 3D printed ceramics, where a user prints an initial form that changes shape over time, like a printed plate that turns into a bowl when fired. Buechley, presented research on CeraMetal, a new low-cost material and method for 3D printing in metal. Camila Friedman-Gerlicz, a visiting researcher in Computer Science, presented work on WeaveSlicer, a new software program that makes it possible to print previously unprintable forms in clay. Alyshia Bustos, Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science, presented an interactive mural that lights up when touched.This mural was co-created with muralist Nanibah Chacon, Working Classroom, a non-profit arts organization, and Albuquerque middle and high schoolers.

From left to right: Leah Beuchley, Fiona Bell, Camila Friedman-Gerlicz, and Alyshia Bustos at the ACM CHI conference.

The lab team also helped organize a conference workshop on sustainability titled, “Sustaining Scalable Sustainability: Human-Centered Green Technology for Community-wide Carbon Reduction,” with researchers from universities around the world.

Learn more about the work at Hand and Machine Lab on Instagram or the lab website.

Top image: Bronze objects 3D printed by the Hand and Machine Lab and showcased at the conference.