designer. thinker. programmer.

Atomu: Augmented 3D Anatomy

Atomu: Augmented 3D Anatomy


Project Goal

To create an interactive display of human anatomy in 3D. The section views of organs are revealed according to  their physical depth.

My Role

Ideation, Design, Prototyping



Arduino, Processing (Java-based graphics library), Adobe Photoshop, Maya


Myself (Final Project for Physical computing Class)


Project Background


Atomu is an Augmented Reality installation that allows people to dissect and view human organs through touching the physical interface in 3D. The installation supports a life size human figure covered by deformable fabric, and the visual content is projected onto the fabric from behind. 

Behind the fabric, 12 proximity sensors are installed. Depending on how deep the users press into the fabric, the depth data is collected and sent to Processing, to select the section views of the human body at the corresponding depth.

This project investigates new ways to interact with virtual information in physical space. It integrates and overlays the digital “interface” on top of tangible experiences and spacial deformations. 


Second Show at NYSCI


After its debut at the ITP Winter Show 2016, Atomu received many exciting feedback from visitors. It was also selected to attend the exhibition at New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), during its STEM Night event.

Hundreds of high school students came to NYSCI during the exhibit, and I had the chance to teach them the technology I used to build this installation.


The Process

Slice Anatomic Models into Individual Layers

To create a image database for the interface, 3D models of human organs are first sliced and rendered into 22 discrete layers, using the Maya software.


Building The Physical Structure with CNC

Using computer-aided fabrication tools, I was able to build a human-sized rigid wooden frame to support the deformable tactile interface.


Demo at ITP Winter Show 2016


The End.

Thank You for Viewing :)