Bringing direct manipulation to laser cutters via transparent displays
The laser-cutter, enables fast and high quality cutting and engraving of a wide range of materials. However, the method by which users interact with this and similar tools is still very primitive. The process of drafting a design and executing the cut still contains many intermediate processes introducing many possible complications.
Clearcut is a system for direct manipulation with laser-cutters. The system consists of a semi-transparent, projected display and optical tracking system interfaced with a laser cutter so that users can draw and edit virtual graphics on top of their work piece which can then be cut by the laser cutter. The system also helps users make virtual copies of physical artifacts.
Clearcut offers advantages currently only accessible with hand fabrication such as letting users adjust designs quickly and iteratively based on visual feedback by virtue of stylus, and letting users use ruler, protractor and more as if they were working on the physical piece directly