Stefanie Mueller
X-Consortium Career Development Assistant Professor
MIT EECS, joint with MIT MechE
Head of the HCI Engineering Group
Human-Computer Interaction at MIT CSAIL

office: room 32-214, 32 Vassar St, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
LinkedIn | Facebook

Curriculum Vitae (PDF) | Google Scholar


Personal Fabrication

In this journal paper (130 pages) on personal fabrication we ask the question what it will take for personal fabrication to transition from makers to consumers. For this, we review the related work, look at the history of similar technologies, and lay out a roadmap for future research.
 Paper (11.4MB) | 
Collection of Related Work in Personal Fabrication (Archive Website)

A Sensemaking Platform for the Blind

For visually impaired users, making sense of spatial information is difficult as they have to scan and memorize contents before being able to analyze it. Even worse, any update to the displayed contents invalidates their spatial memory, which can force them to manually rescan the entire display. Making display contents persist, we argue, is thus the highest priority in designing a sensemaking system for the visually impaired. We present a tactile display system based on a 3D printer that is designed with this goal in mind. [...]
 Paper (11.4MB) | Video |  Slides (208MB) | 
New Scientist | Tech Times | 3ders | 

Destructive Games:
Creating Value by Destroying Valuable Physical Objects

David Eickhoff, Stefanie Mueller, and Patrick Baudisch
In Proceedings of CHI '16 (Note).
While personal fabrication tools, such as laser cutters and milling machines, are intended for construction, we are exploring their use for destruction. We present a series of games that result in valuable physical objects being destroyed—objects owned by the players. Interestingly, we found that we can design these games to be desirable to play, despite the loss of the object, by instead producing social value. [...]
 Paper (7.4MB) | Video |  Slides (89MB) | 

Fabricating 3D Objects by Laser Cutting and Welding

The key idea of LaserStacking is to use the laser cutter to not only cut but also to weld. Users place not one acrylic sheet, but a stack of acrylic sheets into their cutter. In a single process, LaserStacker cuts each individual layer to shape (through all layers above it), welds layers by melting material at their interface, and heals undesired cuts in higher layers. When users take out the object from the laser cutter, it is already assembled. [...]
 Paper | Video |  Slides (350MB) | 3ders | hackaday | [DEMO AT UIST '15]

Patching Physical Objects

Personal fabrication is currently a one-way process: Once an object has been fabricated with a 3D printer, it cannot be changed anymore; any change requires printing a new version from scratch. In this paper, we propose a different approach: instead of re-printing the entire object from scratch, we suggest patching the existing object and replacing only the unsatisfactory parts. [...]
 Paper | Video |  Slides (235MB) | 
New Scientist | | 3D-printingtrends | 

Physically Sketching Room-Sized Objects at Actual Scale

Protopiper is a mechanical device that allows users to sketch room-sized objects at actual scale. The key idea behind protopiper is that it forms adhesive tape into tubes as its main building material, rather than extruded plastic or photopolymer lines. Since the resulting tubes are hollow they offer excellent strength-to-weight ratio, thus scale well to large structures. [...]
 Paper | Video |  Slides (300MB) | Gizmodo | 3ders | MAKE | 
Hackaday | Adafruit | Techtimes | Tested | Core77 | Technabob | 

Platener: Low-Fidelity Fabrication of 3D Objects by Substituting 3D Print with Laser-Cut Plates

Dustin Beyer, Serafima Gurevich, Stefanie Mueller,
Hsiang-Ting Chen, and Patrick Baudisch
In Proceedings of CHI '15 (Paper). [BEST PAPER NOMINEE]
Platener is a system that allows quickly fabricating intermediate design iterations of 3D models, a process also known as low-fidelity fabrication. Platener achieves its speed-up by extracting straight and curved plates from the 3D model and substituting them with laser cut parts. [...]
 Paper (6.3MB) | Video |  Slides (149.4MB) | | hackaday | 

Scotty: Relocating Physical Objects Across Distances Using Destructive Scanning, Encryption, and 3D Printing

Stefanie Mueller, Martin Fritzsche, Jan Kossmann, Maximilian Schneider,
Jonathan Striebel, and Patrick Baudisch
In Proceedings of TEI '15 (Paper).
We present a simple self-contained appliance that allows relocating inanimate physical objects across distance. Each unit consists of an off-the-shelf 3D printer that we have extended with a 3-axis milling machine, a camera, and a microcontroller for encryption/decryption and transmission. [...]
 Paper (4.8MB) | Video | 
Gizmodo | The Guardian | | TechCrunch | | 
Technabob | Gadgetify | the creators project | Heise | 

Fast 3D Printed Previews

Stefanie Mueller, Sangha Im, Serafima Gurevich, Alexander Teibrich, Lisa Pfisterer,
François Guimbretière, and Patrick Baudisch
In Proceedings of UIST '14 (Paper).
WirePrint is a low-fi fabrication technique that prints 3D models as wireframe previews. By extruding filament directly into 3D space instead of printing layer-wise, we achieve a speed-up of up to 10x compared to traditional 3D printing. [...]
 Paper (6.2MB) |  Slides (631.4MB) | Video | UIST Talk
Wired Design | Gizmodo | | | 
Creative Applications | | Hack a Day | Gadgetify
more information: Hasso Plattner Institute and Cornell University

faBrickation: Fast 3D printing of Functional Objects With Building Blocks

Stefanie Mueller, Tobias Mohr, Kerstin Guenther,
Johannes Frohnhofen, and Patrick Baudisch
In Proceedings of CHI '14 (Paper). [BEST PAPER NOMINEE]
faBrickation a new approach to rapid prototyping of functional objects, such as the body of a head-mounted display. The key idea is to save 3D printing time by automatically substituting sub-volumes with standard building blocks — in our case Lego bricks [...]
 Paper (10.8MB) |  Slides (131.4MB) | Video | CHI talk | 
MAKE | Gizmodo | The Atlantic | 3ders | Golem | Heise | 
Hack a Day | 3D Printing Industry | Technabob | RapidReview
[DEMO AT CHI'14] |   CHI Video Showcase (2.0MB)

Laser-Cutting 3D Objects

Stefanie Mueller, Bastian Kruck, and Patrick Baudisch
In Proceedings of CHI '13 (Paper). [BEST PAPER AWARD]
We present LaserOrigami, a rapid prototyping system that produces 3D objects using a laser cutter. LaserOrigami is substantially faster than traditional 3D fabrication techniques such as 3D printing and unlike traditional laser cutting the resulting 3D objects require no manual assembly [...]
 Paper (7.7MB) |  Slides (148.1MB) | Video | CHI Talk | 
BBC Radio | Wired Design | ACM Interactions Feature | Ponoko | 
Tested | DVICE | TeachSTEMNow | Inhabitat | 3ders | | 
Designers' Open Conference
[DEMO AT CHI'13]  CHI Video Showcase (1.6MB)

Interactive Construction:
Interactive Fabrication of Functional Mechanical Devices

Stefanie Mueller, Pedro Lopes, and Patrick Baudisch
In Proceedings of UIST '12 (Paper).
constructable is an interactive drafting table that produces precise physical output in every step. Users interact by drafting directly on the workpiece using a hand-held laser pointer. The system tracks the pointer, beautifies its path, and implements its effect by cutting the workpiece using a fast high-powered laser cutter. [...]
 Paper (10.1MB) |  Slides (107.9MB) | Video | UIST Talk | BibTex
IDG | New Scientist | Wired Design | Creative Applications |  Gizmodo | 
Tested | Engadget Germany | Wired | ACM Interactions Demo Hour | 
[DEMO AT CHI'13]  Interactivity (4.7MB) | [DEMO AT TEI'13]Video TEI'13 demo

Low-Fab (low-fidelity fabrication)

The concept of low-fi fabrication allows for fast iterative prototyping. In contrast to the traditional workflow, in which the 3D model is always fabricated as a slow hi-fidelity version, low-fi fabrication fabricates all intermediate versions as fast low-fidelity previews. Only at the end when the design is finished, the complete 3D model is printed. Low-fi fabrication can be implemented in different ways: With our project faBrickation we show one implementation that combines construction kit building blocks, such as Lego, and 3D printing. [...]
 PDF (4.8MB) | Video | 

Workshops, Courses, Tutorials (as organizer)

CrossFAB: Bridging the Gap Between Personal Fabrication Research in HCI, Computer Graphics, Robotics, Art, Architecture, and Material Science.

This workshop aims at bridging the gap between related disciplines in the area of personal fabrication by bringing together researchers from HCI, Computer Graphics, Mechanical Engineering, Robotics, Art, Architecture, and Material Science.
 Workshop Proposal (1MB)  |  Workshop Webpage | 

Personal Fabrication:
State of the Art and Future Research

In order to understand what trajectory fabrication can be expected to follow, we analyze state-of-the-art research and draw an analogy to similar trends we have seen in the history of personal computing.

Hot Topics in
Personal Fabrication Research

Stefanie Mueller, Alexandra Ion, and Patrick Baudisch
In Proceedings of ITS '14 (Tutorial).
In this tutorial, we survey novel ways for interacting with personal fabrication machines, such as laser cutters, milling machines, and 3D printers. The goal is to provide attendees with an overview of recent HCI research in personal fabrication and together with attendees build a roadmap for future research directions.
 Tutorial Proposal (1MB)

Magazine Articles

Laser Cutters:
A New Class of 2D Output Devices

Stefanie Mueller, and Patrick Baudisch
ACM Interactions '15, Forum 'Interaction Technologies'.
The invention of new input and output devices has been a longtime enabler of human-computer interaction research. In particular, a combination of analog-digital and digital-analog converters allowed us to replace analog solutions with digital solutions (e.g. 2D scanners/printers, CD readers/writers). One of the latest versions of this pattern are personal fabrication devices [...]
 Article (3MB)

Previous Research

CapStones and ZebraWidgets: Sensing Stacks of Building Blocks, Dials and Sliders on Capacitive Touch Screens

Liwei Chan, Stefanie Mueller, Anne Roudaut, and Patrick Baudisch
In Proceedings of CHI '12, pp. 2189-2192 (Note).
Recent research proposes augmenting capacitive touch pads with tangible objects, enabling a new generation of mobile applications enhanced with tangible objects, such as game pieces and tangible controllers. In this paper, we extend the concept to capacitive tangibles consisting of multiple parts, such as stackable gaming pieces and tangible widgets with moving parts. [...]
 Paper (6.6MB) |  Slides (198.5MB) | Video | CHI Talk | BibTex
Adafruit Industries | Touch User Interfaces

General Co-Chair

General Co-Chair ACM Symposium on Computational Fabrication (SCF'17)

Program Committees

Program Committee Member for UIST'16, UIST'17
Program Committee Member for
CHI'15, CHI'16, CHI'17, CHI'18
Program Committee Member for RobArch'18
Program Committee Member for ACADIA'17

Organizing Committee

Demo Co-Chair for UIST'18
Poster Co-Chair for UIST'16, UIST'17
Student Innovation Contest Co-Chair for UIST'15
Student Volunteer Co-Chair for UIST'14
Main Organizer: ACM SIGCHI Summer School on Computational Fabrication
Workshop Organizer: CrossFAB CHI 2016


ACM XRDS Crossroads Guest Editor, Special Issue on Personal Fabrication


Reviewer for UIST'15, UIST'14, UIST '13, UIST '12, CHI'15, CHI'14, CHI '13,
CHI '12, SIGGRAPH '15, SIGGRAPH '13, GI 2016, DIS'14, TEI'14, TEI '13, MobileHCI '11

Workshop Invitations

06/15 Federal Ministry of Education and Research Germany, HCI Think Tank
09/14 Computational Aspects on Fabrication, Dagstuhl Seminar
06/14 Programmable Matter and Things, NSF/CCC workshop
05/13 FAB at CHI, CHI 2013 workshop


2017 Forbes 30 under 30
2016 PhD Graduation with highest honors (summa cum laude)
2015 Best Paper Nominee ACM CHI
2014 Best Paper Nominee ACM CHI
2013 Best Paper Award ACM CHI
2013 Hasso Plattner Institute MSc Best Diploma
2011 Best Thesis of Woman in Engineering
2011 Business Plan Competition Liechtenstein, High-Tech
2010 German Academic Exchange Service DAAD Scholarship
2006 Youth Culture Award Saxony Anhalt


01/2017 - XX/20XX Assistant Professor MIT EECS, Member of MIT CSAIL


11/2013 - 12/2016 PhD student in HCI, advisor: Patrick Baudisch
04/2011 - 10/2013 IT-Systems Engineering (MSc), Hasso Plattner Institute
10/2010 - 03/2011 Entrepreneurship, University of Liechtenstein
10/2006 - 09/2010 Computer Science in Media (BSc), Harz University


06/2014 - 08/2014 intern with Andy Wilson, Microsoft Research Redmond
02/2010 - 08/2010 intern with Sidney Fels at the Media and
Graphics Interdisciplinary Center
, University of British Columbia

External Talks


15/07/17 RSS 2017 Women in Robotics Workshop
06/06/17 FUSE conference, panel with Skylar Tibbits, Marcelo Coelho
30/05/17 Northwestern University, host: Jake Pollock
22/04/17 Keynote Speaker MIT LevelUp Pathways in STEM
11/02/17 Keynote Speaker MIT RoboCon 2017


13/07/16 Max Planck Institute for Informatics, hosted by Juergen Steimle
15/06/16 FabCon 3.D, hosted by Florian Horsch
10/04/16 Technion (Israel Institute of Technology)
06/04/16 Cornell Tech, hosted by Shiri Azenkot
04/04/16 Cornell University, hosted by François Guimbretière
30/03/16 Columbia University, hosted by Steven K. Feiner
28/03/16 Princeton University, hosted by Szymon Rusinkiewicz
24/03/16 Carnegie Mellon University, hosted by Chris Atkeson
21/03/16 University of Michigan Ann Arbor, hosted by Mark Ackerman
17/03/16 Brown University, hosted by Jeff Huang
15/03/16 University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, host Karrie Karahalios
10/03/16 University of Toronto, hosted by Daniel Wigdor
07/03/16 Harvard University, hosted by Krzysztof Gajos
02/03/16 University of California San Diego, hosted by Scott Klemmer
29/02/16 University of British Columbia, hosted by Karon McLean
25/02/16 University of Washington, hosted by James Fogarty
22/02/16 MIT EECS, hosted by Srini Devadas
19/02/16 MIT MechE, hosted by David Wallace
11/02/16 Yale University, hosted by Holly Rushmeier
08/02/16 Stanford University, hosted by James Landay
04/02/16 UC Berkeley, hosted by Bjoern Hartmann
02/02/16 Max Planck Research Group Symposium
26/01/16 Adobe Research, CTL, hosted by Mira Dontcheva


16/12/15 Royal College of Art (RCA), hosted by Kevin Walker
09/12/15 UCSD Design@Large, hosted by Scott Klemmer and Jim Hollan
07/12/15 FXPAL, hosted by Daniel Avrahami
19/11/15 MIT CSAIL, hosted by Wojciech Matusik
18/11/15 MIT Media Lab, hosted by Hiroshii Ishii
16/11/15 Cornell Tech, hosted by Shiri Azenkot,
13/11/15 Carnegie Mellon University, hosted by Scott Hudson
25/06/15 Newcastle University, hosted by Patrick Olivier
23/06/15 University of Bristol, hosted by Mike Fraser
15/06/15 IST Austria, hosted by Bernd Bickel
26/02/15 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, hosted by Amit Zoran
21/01/15 Adobe Research San Francisco, hosted by David Salesin


11/12/14 Rakuten Institute of Technology, hosted by Adiyan Mujibiya
10/12/14 University of Tokyo, hosted by Jun Rekimoto
02/12/14 EPFL, hosted by Mark Pauly
27/11/14 Disney Research Zürich / ETH
30/08/14 University of Washington, dub lunch talk
17/06/14 MSR Redmond, Natural Interaction Research Group


24/10/13 Designers' Open Conference on Rapid Prototyping
30/09/13 Media Interaction Lab, hosted by Michael Haller
13/05/13 MSR Cambridge, Sensors and Devices Group
23/04/13 Rapid Prototyping Panel, TSB Technologiestiftung Berlin


User Interface Design and Implementation

Co-instructor with Rob Miller (course creator)
(spring semester, ca. 300 students)
Covers design principles, prototyping techniques, evaluation techniques, and the implementation of graphical user interfaces. Deliverables include short programming assignments and a semester-long group project.

Engineering Interactive Technologies

Main instructor.
(fall semester, ca. 30 students)
Teaches how to build cutting edge interactive technologies, explains the underlying engineering concepts, and shows how those technologies evolved over time. Most of the class uses a studio format, i.e., extended periods of time for constructing software and hardware prototypes under the supervision of the teaching team.

Build your own Multi-Touch Pad

Main instructor.
(IAP, ca. 30 students)
A two-day introduction to laser cutting, electronics breadboard prototyping, soldering, and computer vision.

Research Team / Advisees

at MIT (since 2017)

02/2017 - XX Paul Worgan
01/2017 - XX Antonio Gomes
01/2017 - XX Parinya Punpongsanon

PhD Students
09/2017 - XX Junyi Zhu
09/2017 - XX Martin Nisser

Interns / Visting Researchers:
09/2017 - XX Dishita Turakhia
07/2017 - XX Kevin Reuss
06/2017 - XX Mustafa Doga Dogan
02/2017 - 05/2017 Jiamin He

MEng Thesis:
09/2017 - XX: Yini Kelly Qi
05/2017 - XX: Jose Luis Garcia del Castillo y Lopez (thesis advisor)
03/2017 - XX: Yasaman Tahouni (thesis advisor)
03/2017 - XX: Scott Penman (thesis reader)

09/2017 - XX: Carolyn Lu
05/2017 - XX: Megan Chao
05/2017 - XX: Xin Wen

at Hasso Plattner Institute (2011 - 2016)

Co-Advised Master Thesis Students (6 months full time)
10/2015 - 04/2016 Anna Seufert
09/2014 - 07/2015 Saiganesh Swaminathan (CHI'16 paper)
04/2014 - 04/2015 Alexander Teibrich (UIST'15 paper)
03/2014 - 09/2014 Dustin Beyer (CHI'15 paper)
07/2013 - 06/2014 Bernhard Rabe
07/2013 - 05/2014 Tobias Mohr (CHI'14 paper)
02/2013 - 10/2013 David Eickhoff (CHI'16 note)
10/2012 - 06/2013 Konstantin Kaefer (TEI'13 demo)

Co-Advised Bachelor Thesis (1 year full time)
10/2015 - 07/2016 Sven Mischkewitz
10/2015 - 07/2016 Lukas Wagner
10/2015 - 07/2016 Klara Seitz
10/2015 - 07/2016 Amadeus Glöckner
10/2015 - 07/2016 Dimiti Schmid
10/2014 - 07/2015 Arthur Silber
10/2014 - 07/2015 Stefan Neubert
10/2014 - 07/2015 Adrian Sieber
10/2014 - 07/2015 Yannis Kommana
10/2014 - 07/2015 Johannes Deselaers

Co-Advised Research Project Students (Bachelor + Master)
SS 2016: Carl Goedecken, Kevin Reuss, Tobias Wollowski
SS 2015: Anna Seufert, Kai Adrian Rollmann, Sijing You, Steffen Kötte, Maximilian Brehm, Markus Dücker
SS 2014: Alexander Franke, Elina Zarisheva, Pascal Crenzin, Kai Adrian Rollmann
WS 2013: Kai-Adrian Rollmann, Alexander Teibrich, Lisa Pfisterer, Maximilian Schneider, Martin Fritzsche, Jan Kossmann
SS 2013: Jonathan Striebel, Kerstin Guenther
WS 2012: Bastian Kruck, David Eickhoff, Nils Kenneweg, Johannes Villmow, Fabian Eckert
SS 2012: Konstantin Kaefer