Chalkaat. AR-based interface for laser-cutters

Visual communication and market strategy for an augmented reality based interface for laser-cutters

Chalkaat AR laser cutter is the continuation of the project Clearcut started by Anirudh Sharma at the MIT Media Lab in the Fluid Interfaces Group. Fabio Besti joined Anirudh and Nitesh Kadyan in 2015 and contributed in defining the user interactions and usability, designing the communication of the project and identifying business strategies and market applications.

Present day CNC/Laser-cutters have an indirect interface involving external computers. Chalkaat is a direct manipulation laser-cutter that’s aware of the strokes being drawn on the workpiece. It is a ‘computer-less’ UI for interacting with laser cutters, where the users can express themselves more directly by working directly ‘ on the workpiece’. The camera on top tracks the strokes. Different colored markers allow different commands to be executed. We built a laser cutter from ground up, with computer vision and mechanics to optimize for the interface.

The laser-cutter interface setup

How it works


Just in time scan and etch

Other links to the project:


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