Oct 2, 2015 | By Kira

Armed with roughly 20,000 individual pressure sensors packed into an iPad Mini-sized device and powered by patented Pressure Grid technology, the Sensel Morph is the next generation of multi-touch interaction. Its pressure-sensitive surface can detect not only your fingers, but any object, such as a paintbrush or drumstick, and determine exactly the amount of force that is being applied, from the lightest brushstroke to throbbing beats. With open source, customizable and 3D printable overlays, the Morph can go from QWERTY keyboard to paint canvas to drum pad in seconds, opening new possibilities for computer-human interaction.

Our hands can do so much more than point and click. They can paint, draw, glide, knead, tap, stroke, stretch, hit and clap. They can make music, control robots, play games…when was the last time your computer mouse let you do any of that? While Apple has been making huge inroads with the Macbook’s pressure-sensitive trackpack and iOS’ 3D touch, which can determine how hard to you are pressing and adjust the response accordingly, these devices still restrict us to a few pre-determined movements and only scratch the surface of what is possible.

“Our mission from the start was to address the mismatch between the expressive capabilities of our hands and the restrictive interfaces of today’s devices,” said the creators of the Morph, an innovative pressure-sensitive device that sense even the slightest pressure and switch from piano keyboard to gamepad to paint canvas in seconds. “People today have many hobbies and interests—isn’t it time you have a device that literally ‘Morphs’ with your activities?”

The technology behind Morph required major innovations in materials, manufacturing and electronics. The unique combination of a highly-tuned polymer layer, lithographic manufacturing process, and patented electrical drive scheme allow the surface to sense conductive and non-conductive objects in a high dynamic range—something even Apple hasn’t been able to offer as yet.

On top of the pioneering pressure-sensing technology, the Morph is far from a one-trick pony. Given the huge range of creative and professional activities that people engage in every single day, the Morph was designed with multiple uses and hackability in mind. The trackpad device comes with a series of ‘overlays’—extremely thin covers that sit on the surface and provide a visual map and tactile feedback depending on its functionality. For example, one overlay presents piano keys, turning the Morph into a musical instrument. Multiple Morphs can even be connected to create a 96-key piano! Other overlays include a music production controller, QWERTY keyboard, video game controller and art tablet. Each one is like a physical app that changes the functionality of the device. They are automatically detected and attached with magnets, making them easy to swap in or out.

So far, Sensel plans to make about 10 overlays, but they know there are way more than just 10 uses for their product. Thus, they are encouraging users to design and then 3D print their own overlays for whatever specific purpose they want or need. An easy-to-use app will allow even non-coders to assign specific commands to an infinite range of movement and pressure combinations. The Morph is also compabitble with USB, computer, tablet bluetooth and Arduino, and includes an open source API for modifying raw pressure data. What’s more, Sensel imagines an entire community built around the Morph. Once you’ve designed and 3D printed your custom interface, you can share it online and see what others are doing. So much more than your standard trackpad, the Morph is an entirely new form of interaction.

The Morph launched on Kickstarter, and has already raised 500% more than its original goal. As of this writing, it’s at $410,000 and counting. Each device goes for $249, which includes your choice of three overlays. Sensel has received widespread attention from the tech industry for their interactive technology, and they seem to have tapped into somewhat of a technological nerve. We as humans are doers, creators, makers, shapers, fixers and players…we are not point-and-clickers. It’s about time our devices reflected that.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications





Maybe you also like:


Allie wrote at 10/2/2015 10:16:24 PM:

That is wild! What do you guys and gals think of the feasibility of 3d printed tires for cars, trucks and heavy equipment? Is it totally impossible or possible say in 10-15 years?

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive