As design customization, 3D printing and wearable technology each continue to rise in popularity, experimental design collective Madlab has developed a solution that converges all three into a seamless user experience with no CAD skills required.

Designed by Madlab director Madeline Gannon, Tactum was done in collaboration with Autodesk Research and uses projection mapping and Microsoft Kinect cameras to allow users to see designs on their body in real-time.

Since of the main goals for the project was to get CAD out of the traditional computer screen and onto the body, the result is an entirely new way of thinking about designing customized objects that nearly any user can custom design to their own likeness without the need for understanding CAD.

In order to ensure that the wearables fit properly, a 3D scan is taken of a user’s body part (in this case an arm) and parameters of the design are locked in to ensure that a user is designing within the constraints of what is possible for both fit and manufacturing. When the user has finished designing their wearable, the file is sent directly to a 3D printer.





Although Tactum is currently in a prototype stage at the moment, it raises some interesting questions about not only the future of customized products – but also the future of CAD itself.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.