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FabHacks: Transform Everyday Objects into Functional Fixtures

Yuxuan MeiBenjamin JonesDan CascavalJennifer MankoffEtienne VougaAdriana Schulz
Jan 2024
Storage, organizing, and decorating are an important part of home design. While one can buy commercial items for many of these tasks, this can be costly, and re-use is more sustainable. An alternative is a "home hack", a functional assembly that can be constructed from existing household items. However, coming up with such hacks requires combining objects to make a physically valid design, which might be difficult to test if they are large, require nailing or screwing something to the wall, or the designer has mobility limitations. In this work, we present a design and visualization system for creating workable functional assemblies, FabHacks, which is based on a solver-aided domain-specific language (S-DSL) FabHaL. By analyzing existing home hacks shared online, we create a design abstraction for connecting household items using predefined types of connections. We provide a UI for FabHaL that can be used to design assemblies that fulfill a given specification. Our system leverages a physics-based solver that takes an assembly design and finds its expected physical configuration. Our validation includes a user study showing that users can create assemblies successfully using our UI and explore a range of designs.
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