Designing for Digital Fabrication
The ability to digitally fabricate parts and whole pieces directly from our computers or design files used to be an exotic and expensive option not really suitable for student or designer projects, but changes in this field in the past 5 years have brought these capabilities much closer to our means, especially as ITP students. ITP and NYU now offer us access to laser cutting, CNC routing, and 3D stereolithography. In this class we will learn how to design for and operate these machines. Emphasis will be put on designing functional parts that can fit into a larger project or support other components as well as being successful on a conceptual and aesthetic level. In this class we will discover methods to design projects on CAD applications for total control of the result, and we will develop algorithmic ways to create designs from software (Processing) to take advantage of the ability to make parts and projects that are unique, customizable, dependent on external data or random. The class will include assignments to create projects using three machines (laser, router, 3D) and the opportunity to work on a final project.
Class No. 1 Sep 4 - Introduction
- Class introductions.
- Introduction to digital fabrication.
- Introduction to class syllabus
- Homework -
- Research assignment. Research your assigned digital fabrication machine (see Class work WIKI for your assigned machine). Create page with the results of the research, link to class work wiki by next week. Prepare a 5- 10 minute presentation to be given in your assigned week.
- Download the free student version of Vectorworks - http://student.myvectorworks.com/
- Start learning Vectorworks, concentrate on 2D drawing, you can use the following resources among others:
Class No. 2 Sep 11 - 2D Drawing
- 2D drawing using Vectorworks
- Using multiple views to describe objects
- Examples of multiple views drawings:
- Homework - Select an existing object of medium complexity (electronic device, furniture, physcomp component etc.) and draw it in 3 views in as great a detail as you can, dimension it . link PDF to homework WIKI
Class No. 3 Sep 18 - 2D Fabrication - Laser
Homework: Think of a project (1.5 weeks, so not too ambitious ) for the laser. be prepared to discuss in class next week, and show completed in two weeks. Even though algorithmic 2D will only be shown in class next week, consider using algorithmic generated geometry.
Class No. 4 Sep 25 - 2D Algorithmic Design
- Using Processing to create 2D design - There are a few reasons for us to want to create our geometry in a computational way rather than in the CAD program: User Interaction, External inputs, Computation and generative algorithms, Randomness.
- User Interaction:
- External Inputs:
- Computation and Generative Algorithms:
- Using PDF and DXF formats to export design from Processing. You can use both DXF and PDF to go to Vectorworks, DXF works better because there is something funky with the ovals in PDF. For Illustrator PDF works great, DXF is supposed to work natively but seems to require a plugin such as EXDXF-Pro
- Importing 2D designes into Vectorworks and Adobe Illustrator for further design and prepping for laser:
Class No. 5 Oct 2 - Fasteners
- Using libraries and data sheets to incorporate fasteners and components into Vectorworks drawing
- Fasteners and fastening techniques for assembling 3D objects from 2D parts
Class No. 6 Oct 9 -2.5D Fabrication - MasterCam and presentation of Laser assignment
- Design considerations for fabrication using CNC router
- Visualizing your 2.5 D designs in Vectorworks
- Exporting 2D design as DXF into MasterCam
- Using MasterCam to elevate our 2D design into 2.5 and generate NC files for router
- Do this tutorial, either as described or with your simple 2D shapes, generate the NC file. Next week we'll open the NC file in the router software.
- Start working on 2.5D assignment - Think of something that uses the CNC , is not too big (Max sheet is 4' x 4') . I encourage you to work in teams.
Oct 16 -Fall break, no class.
Class No. 7 Oct 23 - CNC 2.5D fabrication - CNC router + AMS 3D output demo
- Using CNC router to fabricate part
- Demo of 3D output at AMS
- Homework - Use CNC to route the MasterCam NC file you made for this week (You can pair up if you want so that you are not alone with the machine).
- Start thinking of project for CNC, this is not your final project, and it is due March 29. Working in teams is encouraged
Class No. 8 Nov 6- 3D
- Using Vectorworks to generate 3D objects.
- Importing 3D objects into Mastercam and generating tool paths.
- Do this tutorial, skip the SolidWorks part and substitute with your own 3D part tat you import as DXF or IGS, generate the NC file, import into the Techno router software and view it with the preview tool to see that it is ready for milling.
- Homework - start thinking of final project, can use any fabrication technique, can be individual or in team. be prepared to discuss in class next week and show progress in class for the next 4 weeks.
Class No. 9 Nov 13 - Final project proposals
Make up class -Nov 19 - Field trip to Danny's studio
- Meet at 1:00 at 5102 21st street LIC 11101 5th floor
- Take 7 train to Hunters Point , walk to 21st st, turn left, walk under the overpass and over the track, the building is on your right. (Subway G to 21st street also good)
- My cell if you get lost - 917-6281242
Class No. 10 Nov 20 - Algorithmic and More 3D
- Generation 3D geometry in Processing and Exporting
- Video input
- Audio input
- More complex 3D design in Vectorworks to take advantage of 3D output
Class No. 11 Nov 27 3D Rhino
Using Rhino to create more complex 3d geometry.
• show sketches/ design of final project
- Get Mac Rhino, (Beta version, expires every few months and needs to be re-downloaded)
- Learn Rhino:
- download the tutorial manuals by running Mac Rhino and selecting Help > Learning Rhino > Open Level 1 Training Manual in the application menu. If you do not have the training manual installed, Mac Rhino will prompt you to download and install it. After you install the manual, this same menu option will open the manual for you. There is only one tuturial download. Once you install the downloaded file, you will have the Level 1 Training Manual, Level 2 Training Manual, and tutorial models all installed on your computer. They can all be accessed from the Help > Learn Rhino menu.
- Video tutorials
- lynda.com good course, you can get a free one week trial
- show detailed design of final project
Class No. 12 Dec 4 - Final Project Workshop
Class No. 14 Dec 11 - Final Project Presentation