The Alfred Report – Structure

Everybody who is even the slightest bit related to CreaTe has met Alfred once in their lives. Alfred is the technical guy from the SmartXP and an employee from the university. He is the man who can give you everything you need for your studies. From 3D printers to screwdrivers, everything a CreaTe student could ever wish for. That is why we, Proto.Ink, decided to interview Alfred and make it a recurring part of Proto.Ink. Now you do not ever have to miss out on Alfred’s adventures and secrets again!

Let’s see what’s new! From now on, a new gadget that can be found in Alfred’s headquarters is Structure. This is a clip on camera and accompanying application for iPads. Using Structure, the user can make a digital 3D model of its surroundings or even a person. The software Alfred uses for Structure is called Skanect and runs on a laptop or desktop. When you are scanning your surroundings or your friends with the iPad, the 3D model is generated via Skanect on the computer. The software is not flawless (yet!) so it might take you a couple of tries to get the desired results.

Once the model is generated properly you can use it for all kinds of awesome stuff. For example you can get the model 3D-printed or export it to Blender. Structure can also be used as an augmented reality app. A gameobject is placed inside the 3D image of the surroundings and it bumps into things as if it can really feel and see them. We from would like to encourage you to think of new ways you could implement this technology in your next CreaTe project.

Alfred enjoying Structure
Alfred enjoying Structure

According to Alfred, Structure alone is a good reason to buy an Apple iPad (Article is neither designed in California, nor assembled in China). He enthusiastically tells about an idea by Jan Kolkmeier. Jan suggested to use Structure to make himself the avatar of a 3D game. Then Alfred points out that the Structure was obtained after Laura Gunnigman finished her CreaTe Bachelor assignment. CreaTe students get their Bachelor degree after they finish their Bachelor assignment with a presentation. On the presentation day (Colloquium) attendees can vote for the best presentation and the winner gets a little 3D printed statue of his or her head in the front of the SmartXP. The latter was the project of Laura and since Alfred’s new purchase, the next heads will be printed using the Structure.

What we took away from this is not only that a semi-permanent statue of our heads is within reach, but mostly that one can add their own things to the SmartXP.. The only two things you need are a plan and a little bit of enthusiasm from the rest of the CreaTe community. You can approach this as any CreaTe project. Brainstorm with friends, research the state of the art and use common sense. Alfred told us that he is very willing to work with you if you have a plan. So besides asking you to use the cool stuff that is available in the SmartXP, we would also like to encourage you to think of ways to make the SmartXP even cooler.


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