Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Sensel Morph Allows Users to 3D Print Overlays Which Work as Platforms for Music, Gaming, Art & More

ST Medical Devices

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UntitledYou may take an initial look at the Sensel Morph and immediately come away with the idea that it functions as a one-stop-shop platform for your devices, sort of parallel to the universal remote. While it organizes your activities and interests into one device, it does so much more, and Sensel is absolutely correct in saying that you will have your mind blown when you see all it can do.

Offering overlays that you will be able to customize and 3D print yourself, this product is able to take you from your iPad to your Arduino. Not only that, you can even use a paintbrush for an art program or a drumstick for a music application. It works with a multitude of applications and is ‘hackable’ according to Sensel, if your talents lie in that area as well.

If you are like most individuals and families these days, there is probably a conglomeration of devices, programs, connectors, and the usual technological mishmash–and mismatch–around your home. Sensel’s goal is to streamline your relationship with your technology and allow for greater exploration of the digital world, offering compatibility through the following:a7d23be5289a39c57b5aedb78e7d48c3_original

  • USB
  • Bluetooth
  • Arduino
  • Computer
  • Tablet

Meant to ‘morph’ with your activities at the computer and online, this new device is on Kickstarter now, and Sensel has already far exceeded their goal of $60,000 with quite some time still to go before the campaign ends October 9th. At the time of writing, they had support already of over $184K and are reaching toward their stretch goal of $250K. That’s a pretty good advertisement in itself for anyone who is interested in this next-generation device that allows you to further a wide range of interests besides just surfing the net.

The Morph is pressure sensitive and allows you to do nearly everything just with your hand, meaning for some applications it may have you saying goodbye to the keyboard and mouse forever. Employing overlays which can be 3D printed (by you), the main platform has over 20,000 sensors which can detect the exact force of your hand.

“Our team worked closely with a material scientist to custom-formulate a highly-tuned polymer layer which gives each individual sensor element the ability to sense force,” states the team on Kickstarter. “This material enables the product to have high sensitivity and a high dynamic range.”

Because of the incredible sensitivity, it allows virtually any material to be placed over the Morph. Sensel has developed multiple tactile overlays with magnets that can be placed on top of the Morph and change it in to a wide array of things, from a piano keyboard to an art program. Modes change based on the overlay, thus ‘morphing.’

“With the Sensel Morph, I’m able to work with the brush very naturally in a nuanced way,” says one user who employs the device for art purposes. “The tools disappear and you are left to your creativity–and that’s what’s exciting.”

Users will be able to make and 3D print their own overlays.

Users will be able to make and 3D print their own overlays.

The Morph allows you to interact with your whole world in a different way. You can use it to sync up with your Arduino, guide robotics projects that are being digitally controlled, as well as using it to intensify the gaming experience or even working in your own home recording studio. It comes in a sturdy aluminum housing which is lightweight and offers great aesthetics as well.

The overlays are actually defined as ‘physical apps.’ A web-based drag-and-drop interface will allow you to design your own overlays and either 3D print them or even just print them on paper to use with the Innovators Overlay. No coding or hacking experience required. And you can even make multiple overlays to use at once–for an extended keyboard or gaming uses.

Thin and flexible and about the size of an iPad, Morph overlays are able to feel the pressure and movement of your hand and come in the following forms:c8747240b8afea5489d8bea1d88ca194_original

  • Keyboard
  • Music production controller
  • Gaming
  • Art
  • Innovator’s kit
  • Drum pad

You can even enter to win the contest for their next overlay which will be voted on by backers of the Kickstarter campaign. See here for more on how to enter.

 “The Morph is taking all of these things that I want access too but are typically in separate devices–and now we have them all combined into one device.”

The team, headquartered in Mountain View, CA, has been working on this product for years now and they are ready for both support via Kickstarter and feedback from users–as well as from those who can code. With the open-source design, options are pretty unlimited–and you can even design and 3D print your own overlays. Sensel plans to develop a whole community around the Morph as everyone shares what it can do.


3D print your own overlay

At only $249, a limited number of supporters will receive one Morph device and three overlays to go with it. At $479, a very limited number will receive two devices–and at $779 you can receive four devices with 12 overlays. Be sure to check the Kickstarter page for more perks, information, and availability as backers are snapping up the devices quickly.

Are you planning to back this campaign? What area of interest would you use the Morph for, and what kind of overlay would you need? Would you be interested in 3D printing your own? Discuss in the Morph Sensel forum thread over at



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