Benjamin Peters

Inventor of a pin bed mechanism for directly forming physical three-dimensional contoured surfaces from a digital file

Benjamin Peters is a master’s degree student in the Mediated Matter Group at the MIT Media Lab, where he works to develop new digital fabrication technologies. His primary invention is a novel technique for efficiently actuating a large array of tiny pins for use as a molding tool. Similar to the common pin-art toy, the reconfigurable molding surface combines the speed of molding processes with the dynamic reconfigurability of a 3D printer. The development of a unique fusible alloy micro-clutch array allows the device to quickly reconfigure thousands of pins with only a single moving actuator. Aside from the digital mold, Ben has recently developed a cable suspended robotic crane for 3D printing buildings and novel devices for electro-discharge machining, ceramic superconductor synthesis, and inkjet deposition.

Ben received an SB in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. He was awarded a first place award in the Lobby 7 Design Competition, and the Whitelaw Award for Excellence in Design and Manufacturing. While Ben was an undergraduate, he was coordinator of Discover Mechanical Engineering, a popular freshmen pre-orientation program. He regularly volunteers to assist in instruction with courses 2.009, 2.00B, 2.S97, 2.00 and MAS.863. Ben can be found roaming around the Media Lab with his robotic, mobile office.