Low-fidelity prototyping with simple collaborative tabletop computer-aided design systems

Erdem Kaya*, Sema Alacam, Yasin Findik, Selim Balcisoy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Design processes encompass iterative elaboration and elimination of new and many ideas gathered from a wide range of resources. The higher the diversity of the resources, the higher the chances that the design process will bear expected outcomes. Following that idea, immense amount of effort has been devoted to the development of collaborative computer-aided design (CAD) systems, and process frameworks that drive those systems. We infer from the existing literature that collaborative CAD solution attempts involve holistic approaches in which all aspects of the problem (social and technical) are being addressed. As an attempt to address social and physical aspects of the problem, tabletop systems with complex structures have been proposed by the previous work. Unfortunately, such complexity comes with the lack of reproducibility of the research work, and high evaluation overhead per prototype imposing a low limit on the number of design ideas to be investigated. Sophisticated systems might be required to solve the real-world problems, however, we argue that, with simple setups, rapid collaborative iterative prototyping could be achieved. Such simple setups could lead to high number of good ideas ready to be fed into off-the-shelf CAD systems lacking adequate support for collaborative design. We realized and evaluated this idea by implementing a tangible tabletop collaborative design system that facilitates fast and iterative prototype production for residential area design. Based on the case studies conducted with this setup, we show that synchronous collaboration for rapid prototyping could be achieved with lean setups, provide a list of design recommendations for such systems that we derive from our case study observations and existing literature, and finally contribute to the community with an open source tangible tabletop installation tool kit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-315
Number of pages9
JournalComputers and Graphics (Pergamon)
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Collaborative CAD Systems
  • Collaborative design
  • Iterative low-fidelity prototyping
  • Tabletop CAD systems


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