As computer-aided design software becomes more advanced, new users may become turned off due to the steep learning of using this technology; however Shape-it-up may have found the solution for this problem. Shape-it-up is CAD software which utilizes specialized computer algorithms and a depth-sensing camera to allow designers to create and manipulate 3D shapes by using hand gestures. The tool interprets hand gestures and enables users to create and modify 3D shapes using their hands rather than the traditional keyboard and mouse.
Using a Microsoft Kinect depth-sensing camera, the program’s algorithms recognizes hand gestures and creates a shape responding to the hand interaction of the user; creating a virtual workplace for the user.
‘You create and modify shapes using hand gestures alone, no mouse or keyboard,’ said Karthik Ramani, Purdue University’s Donald W. Feddersen Professor of Mechanical Engineering. ‘By bringing hands into the virtual space with a single depth camera we are able to manipulate the 3D artifacts as if they actually exist.’
This tool has great significance as it has influence in areas including engineering design, games, architecture and art and serves as a tool for the emerging creative community. The tool allows the designer to create a simple model during early design which isn’t possible using current CAD tools. Through having a basic model, the user could create changes with more advanced CAD software accordingly to his judgments.
Shape-it-up serves primarily as a tool for new entrepreneurs to create models based on their ideas. The tool enables less tech-savvy people to use CAD software to bring their ideas to life. Since the software only requires the Kinect camera, a cost-efficient hardware, Shape-it-up will encourage more inventions and innovations as creative minds and entrepreneurs could create prototypes without worrying about the cost of outsourcing the CAD process to professionals.