Ann Marie Shillito - Software in Motion


It’s exciting to be heading up to Inverness to talk about our Cloud 9 software and the design applications of haptics – the study of human touch and the ability of touch to affect changes.

Our touch-based system is designed to be intuitive and allow designers and artists to experiment and play while maintaining the full flow of their cognitive process. That is something I found to be really important when using design software as an artist.

Previous computer-aided design software was made by engineers for industrial applications. Creatives think totally differently – we want to get a feel for things and inputting data is not our style. We know how we want something to look and feel, not necessarily how big it is in centimetres.

But if you have a sense of touch and movement, and can see what you are creating in 3D, then you have an amazingly immersive system. There are no distractions and the creative process can get the most out of the technology.

We’ve discovered that, just as it is intuitive for artists and designers, our haptic technology also appeals to children and young people. I’m delighted to hear how popular Anarkik3D’s interactive exhibit on V&A Dundee’s ongoing Design in Motion tour has been.

I hope the exhibit and my talk inspire more people to use haptics and 3D modelling in design. It would be fantastic to see it being adopted by schools and colleges. Some people don’t learn well from reading about things, so the ability to feel what they are creating makes all the difference. And modelling creates a pressure-free environment – if you make a mistake or don’t like what you’ve produced, you can just hit a button and go back a stage or two.

Now that 3D printing has become so much more accessible, we plan to make very affordable programmes that should help bring 3D modelling and haptics to a much larger audience.

The more people we inspire to use it, the more applications will be found. The arts and creative industries are very good at pushing boundaries, searching for new and better solutions. We want to find out what a technology can do – or what we could push it to do. 3D printing has so much potential for new forms of designing and thinking.

That’s why I think Anarkik3D is such a good fit for the Design in Motion exhibition, which as well as showcasing cutting edge Scottish design, aims to inspire people to get involved in creativity in all its forms.

I first heard of 3D printing in 1990, so it’s been around for longer than most people think. But it was the best part of a decade before I was actually able to get something printed. It has gradually become more accessible, and as a new generation of designers and artists embrace it, using far more sophisticated tools, then we should see some amazing things taking shape… the sky’s the limit.

Author: Ann Marie Shillito, Founder, Anarkik3D.

You can hear more from Ann Marie on Monday 20 April, 6pm, at Eden Court Theatre in Inverness, in her talk ‘Software in Motion’. Free tickets are available from Eventbrite. Design in Motion will also be open so you can check out Cloud 9 in person.