Pervasive fabrication technologies including 3D printing, computer-controlled milling, and robotic assembly are increasingly accessible and broadly applied. The precision of computer control without a high upfront investment in tooling coupled with human ingenuity enables more flexibility and shorter cycles of production runs. These developments are driving industry initiatives ranging from mass-customization to factory 4.0. In industrial manufacturing many open research questions remain, including how computation contributes to artifact design and simulation of characteristics of material, manufacturing process automation, testing, and verification.
We envision a future of pervasive manufacturing going beyond incremental changes to existing factory infrastructure. In this special issue, we seek to catalyze new research in manufacturing, computational design, and the human-technology frontier.
How might a skilled builder incorporate their embodied knowledge within pervasive fabrication? How might we interact with fabrication tools differently if the maximum attainable precision and complexity is not always required? How might these fabrication tools recognize that design constraints are often ﬂexible and ambiguous, and be similarly ﬂexible in their workﬂows? How can we build pervasive fabrication with sharing agency between user and machine? How can we break with linear and rigid engineering process (e.g., specification, function structure, principal solution, module structure, preliminary layout, definite layout, product document) and enable a more playful incremental approach?
The guest editors invite original and high-quality submissions addressing any aspect of this field, as long as the connection to pervasive computing is clear and central to the paper. Review or summary articles—for example, critical evaluations of the state of the art, or an insightful analysis of established and upcoming technologies—may be accepted if they demonstrate academic rigor and relevance.
Example topics include:
End-user facing fabrication systems
Computational design tools for pervasive fabrication
Security and quality control for pervasive fabrication
Human-machine interaction on the factory floor
Interactive fabrication tools enabling iterative trial and error designs without premade plans
Services for customer, supplier, and machine integration in pervasive environments
New methods of training and upskilling workers in the future factory
Testing and evaluating factory-of-the-future scenarios
Vignettes of business models that harness manufacturing 4.0
Articles submitted to IEEE Pervasive Computing should not exceed 6,000 words, including all text, abstract, keywords, bibliography, biographies, and table text. The word count must include 250 words for each table and figure. References should be limited to at most 20 citations (40 for survey papers). Authors are encouraged, but not required, to use a template for submission (accepted articles will ultimately be typeset by magazine staff for publication).
Note that the magazine always welcomes submissions into its regular queue that cover the role of computing in the physical world—as characterized by visions such as the Internet of Things and Ubiquitous Computing. Topics of interest are, e.g., hardware design, sensor networks, mobile systems, human-computer interaction, industrial design, machine learning, data science, but also societal issues including privacy and ethics. Simply select the “Regular” option when submitting at the submission site (submissions are possible at any time; no need for prior abstract by email).