UW CSE MSR Summer Institute 2019

Future of Fabrication


The 2019 Summer Institute, cosponsored by the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington and Microsoft Research will be held at the Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, Washington from the evening of July 22 through mid-afternoon July 25, 2019. Semiahoo is approximately ninety miles north of Seattle and 40 miles from Vancouver, BC.


Fabrication represents a new frontier for computation. Similar to robotics, it pushes computational effort into real world contexts, but instead of sensing and actuation, the focus is on design and production. Advances in both subtractive and additive processes have significantly improved fabrication fidelity and speed and enabled general-purpose, programmable methods. Overall, these advances allow one-batch manufacturing of products with unprecedented complexity, outlining a potential for a new economy of on-demand personalized production.

Participants at the institute will explore challenges in fabrication, both in terms of applications and technology for achieving the automated fabrication of functional and beautiful objects. Some topics we hope to discuss include new materials, fabrication in the large, embedded sensing and circuits, assistive fabrication tools, education platforms, etc.

With recent hires, UW has reached a critical mass in this domain. The Paul G. Allen School now hosts not only fabrication experts in Graphics and HCI, but also brings together programming languages, networking and sensing perspective. University wide, efforts are being made in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Architecture and Medicine. There is also great local industrial expertise. Seattle has an opportunity to become a leader regionally and nationally as there is no equivalent center of work in this area elsewhere. Up until now, much of this effort has been siloed. Now is the time to bring all of these people together to jumpstart a more concerted effort to be world leaders in this domain.

Our goals for this workshop include: Working sessions for smaller groups around interest areas and collaboration; plenary presentations by fabrication leaders in the Seattle community and beyond, and presentation of early breaking results by students. We hope to leave the two days together invigorated with new opportunities for fabrication research and collaboration, and having built a network of local expertise that we can draw on in the future. We expect this to lead to future larger efforts in the Seattle region, including possibly the formation of a center, regular meetups and so on. In addition, we hope this will lead to future opportunities such as hosting the computational fabrication conference SCF in Seattle in the future.


Jennifer Mankoff, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
Shwetak Patel, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
Adriana Schulz, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
Colleen Carroll, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
Sidhant Gupta, Microsoft Research
Nicholas Villar, Microsoft Research

Descriptions of past summer institutes may be viewed at www.cs.washington.edu/events/mssi/.
Last updated May 5, 2019.