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Making a Machine that Makes Machines




CSAIL: Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab

Faculty Supervisor:

Stefanie Mueller

Faculty email:


Apply by:

May 30th, 2020


Martin Nisser, nisser@mit.edu

Project Description

With the rise of 3D printing and laser cutting, the accessibility and low cost of fabrication has led to their widespread adoption across academia, industry and even households. However, these machines are generally limited to producing stationary, mono-material objects without sensors or circuitry, fundamentally limiting their functionality. If electronics could be integrated into such widespread fabrication machines, it would initiate a paradigm change allowing devices such as wearables, consumer electronics and even robots could to be created at the push of a button, drastically reducing the barrier to entry for manufacturing of smart technologies. In this project, we are developing a hardware/software platform capable of fabricating physical objects while simultaneously populating them with electronics, allowing us to fabricate interactive devices—like wearables and robots—at the push of a button. At the core of this is an interface to let users design and analyze their own custom-made devices, and for which we are seeking a talented student to help us implement.


We are seeking candidates with demonstrable skills in software engineering and web development to join us in developing the user-facing fabrication interface for this platform. An interest in fabrication and strong programming abilities in Python and Javascript are desirable, as is hands-on experience in 3D printing, robotics, and embedded systems. But if you have none of the above, are still reading this post, and are interested in the project, feel free send us an email anyway at nisser@mit.edu.