Although 3D scanning and 3D printing are major technological advances that have found widespread use in different fields of design and engineering, bridging both methods is less explored. We used this crossover as a novel process to explore and inform design. As a case study, we developed a workflow that involved a 3D scanner, then using the resulting data in Rhinoceros to inform design of an interactive 3d printed object that will custom fit to its existing context. Our goal was to provide users with healthy environments through designing a responsive enclosure, and create a tool for citizens and activists to inform, educate, and empower them to take action for a greener future with less air pollution.
Air pollution is an environmental challenge that impacts a large number of people world-wide. In major metropolitan cities such as Beijing people wear dust masks daily to preserve their health due to the high levels of PM 2.5 particles year round. Air pollution is called ‘wumai’ (雾霾) in Chinese. Wu (雾) meaning fog, and Mai (雾) meaning haze, while together they mean smog. Wumai is an important environmental challenge facing China which then served as an inspiration for our project.
We developed an interactive mask to be utilized in extreme smog conditions of Beijing that can influence mobility choices by encouraging the interaction between the user and their community. While a screen display allows a user to display their feelings about the situation, a moveable part that opens and closes functions as a controlled air filtration mechanism. This system was inspired by naturally ventilated buildings in challenging environmental conditions.