The Form 2 is a highly advanced resin and laser-based 3D printer, released in 2015. It is equipped with a sizeable touchscreen for printer control. I was fortunate to be lead UX designer for this fascinating machine’s interface during the complete development cycle – from conception to prototyping to launch.
This was a highly challenging project, in that our engineers redesigned the previous model’s process from the ground up – and as far as the UI design was concerned, it was pretty much a moving target.
Working in parallel with mechanical, electrical, software and material engineers, constant iteration was more than a buzzword. We had to design solutions under ever-changing requirements. With an extensive beta testing program and the continuous integration of user feedback, we arrived at a product that successfully reconciles engineering requirements, user needs, as well as ease of use and aesthetics.
Process & Prototyping
Development of this project was a lot of fun. I wrote quite a lot of animation code on our hardware platform, especially in the early phase, to test what was possible. Communicating design ideas to the software team happened through a multitude of prototypes – we used After Effects, InVision, drawings, cardboard models, even interactive specifications – but especially quick demos written in QML that would run on our actual embedded system.
In this early demo you can see how the device visualizes hardware button presses with a big blue halo – a concept that later turned into the opposite: the button calling for the user to press it.
What Reviewers Say About the Form 2
(kudos to the entire product/engineering team!)
“The touchscreen-based UI features tech-noir themed iconography and animations that would find itself at home in a movie set. This refreshing attention to detail sets the Form 2’s UI apart from the utilitarian ‘designed-by-programmers-for-geeks’ UI typical of most digital fabrication tools.” —Bunnie Huang
samluescher: #Spotify selects for my evening run: Goth Rock@150 steps/min. ★★★☆☆ for solving my bpm problem while inspiring angst of the cold, big world. Dec. 16, 2015
samluescher: #Bash #timesaver of the day: `alias short="that-command-I-type-500-times-a-day"` in ~/.bash_profile; now just type "short" 500 times. Aug. 14, 2014
samluescher: @hairyjewbear slow response, sorry I'm not an active twitter user. Form designer updated, should work fine again with a modern django! April 17, 2014
samluescher: Bye bye #skeuobashing, no more leather + canvas – and we don't even have to pay for it. Thanks Apple. Oct. 22, 2013
samluescher: Hard lesson learned [again]: real world just doesn't align with a video feed, a projector AND a virtual world at the same time. #dirtyhacks April 15, 2013
samluescher: So if there are only 15,700 Google results for #SoMoClo, there must still be at least a couple of startup ideas in there, right? April 9, 2013