Physical volumetric displays

Active, physical 2.5D / 3D topographic / volumetric displays

inFORM pdf
Shape Display
The system uses 30 x 30 motorized white polystyrene pins,
in a 381 x 381 mm area. The pins have a 9.525 mm2
foot-print, with 3.175 mm inter-pin spacing, and can extend up to
100 mm from the surface. Push-Pull rods are used to link
each pin with an actuator, to enable a dense pin arrangement
independent of actuator size, giving the system a height of
1100 mm. The linkage, a nylon rod inside a plastic housing
(Sullivan Gold-N-Rods), transmits bi-directional force from
a motorized slide potentiometer (ALPS RSA0N11M9A07),
through a bend. Six slide potentiometers are mounted onto a
custom-designed PCB, powered by an Atmel ATMega 2560,
and TB6612FNGCT-ND motor drivers. The linear positions
are read by the 10-bit A/D converters on the microcontroller,
and allow for user input, in addition to servoing their position
using PID control.
150 boards are arranged in 15 rows of vertical panels, each
with 5 x 2 boards. The boards communicate with a PC over
five RS485 buses bridged to USB. The system has a 60 Hz
refresh rate, determined by the 115200 bps RS485 bus speed,
the 8 byte control message, and 30 boards on each RS485 bus.
For each pin, we can update both position and PID terms to
provide haptic feedback and variable stiffness, for example,
to create haptic detents or buttons that are harder to press.
This control also allows us to limit power consumption per
pin to avoid burning out the motors.

Relief: A Scalable Actuated Shape Display pdf

An array of 120 aluminum pins built into a circular tabletop. The pins are spaced 1.5 inches apart from each other and can protrude 5 inches from the table surface.
Every pin is actuated by an electric slide potentiometer, commonly utilized in audio mixing boards. The advantage of using electric slide poten
tiometers is fast actuation combined with very precise sensing in a relatively compact package. Each potentiometer is equipped with a DC motor, which is controlled by an Arduino board with an attached Ladyada motor shield. As each of these boards can drive 4 motors, 32 boards are used in our current setup

FEELEX by Iwata et al.
-36 motorized pins actuate the shape of a soft surface, onto which graphics are projected.

Lumen: a Shape Changing Display by Poupyrev et al.
-utilizes shape memory alloy to actuate pixels on a tabletop display.

The Terrain Table by Northrop Grumman
-A large high-resolution tabletop pin display utilized for geospatial
military applications

Digital Clay by Haihong

ShapeClip: Towards Rapid Prototyping with Shape-Changing Displays for Designers
Jason Alexander

List of Physical Visualizations and Related Artifacts

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