New multi-touch surface hardware is nearly complete!

Added on December 13, 2010

For this entire semester I have been working hard on designing and putting together a new multi-touch surface for the CS department at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Some of the students and faculty I see on a regular basis know about the project and where things are at, but most do not, so I’ve decided to go ahead and post some new pictures and information about the surface, now that there are finally things to show.

Compare this with the conceptual diagrams

The system is built entirely out of steel, which allowed me to use less material while still having a very stable and durable frame. Most of the pieces are various sizes of square steel tubing, with 1/4″ steel plate used as a stable base for it all. The structure was fabricated by Jack Lederman’s and was powder-coated by ACE Irrigation.

The structure was designed to be somewhat modular, so that in the future students could replace the actual acrylic touch surface with larger sheets and only have to move the two sides of the steel structure further apart to accommodate the new sheet. Furthermore, because the joint that holds the acrylic sheet onto the rest of the frame is a actually a pivot, students should be able to convert the structure into an angled “drafting board”-style surface.

Things to do

  1. The acrylic sheet we have needs to have some holes drilled into it in order to be attached to the two small steel pieces that secure it to the steel frame
  2. Laser’s for the surface now need to be wired up, attached to the surface and calibrated
  3. Various holes in the frame need to be widened, it can be tough to get bolts in and out