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A Schnittmuster for crafting context-sensitive toolkits

Lookup NU author(s): Janis Meissner, Angelika Strohmayer, Emeritus Professor Pete Wright



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2018 Copyright is held by the owner/author(s).DIY-making can be an expensive pastime if makers are relying on ready-made toolkits, specialised materials and off-shelf components. Many prefabricated commercial kits seek to lower the learning barrier of making and to help beginners to successfully take their first steps in engineering. However, as soon as the novices become a little more advanced, these toolkits often do not fit the specific requirements of personal maker projects anymore. We introduce the idea of a Schnittmuster (or a meta-toolkit) as a novel approach to toolkit design that seeks to address these creativity-limiting factors as well as practical entrance hurdles. To demonstrate the adaptive power of the Schnittmuster concept, we discuss an exemplar in the context of capacitive touch sensing (FlexE-Touch). Implemented under the constraints of materials, user skill sets and making environments, we illustrate how the Schnittmuster facilitated four cheap and flexible toolkit instantiations for crafting custom touch sensor electrodes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Meissner JL, Strohmayer A, Wright P, Fitzpatrick G

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Year of Conference: 2018

Acceptance date: 21/04/2018

Date deposited: 28/06/2018

Publisher: Association for Computing Machinery


DOI: 10.1145/3173574.3173725

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781450356206