With the advent of the Internet of Things, the future sounds exciting, but many of us are not quite there yet, enticing as it sounds.
With the help of RetroFab from Autodesk Research, however, you may be able to bypass the IoT, interconnecting and reprogramming household appliances using 3D printing, actuators, and sensors, all on your own—and with no engineering degree or previous skillset required. Most of us are already familiar with ‘interconnecting’ items like our smartphones and computers—now it’s just time to take that one step further and learn how to do so with other items. RetroFab is specifically geared toward legacy devices—those which you are probably still financially invested in or don’t want to get rid of, but whose functionality no longer suits you for one reason or another. The system, made up of a 3D CAD environment and toolkit, allows you to change both the layout and the behavior of an appliance—repurposing and interconnecting.