Introduction to Fabrication

Fall 2021
Instructor: Ben Light

Wed 12:20PM – 3:20PM

Thurs. 12:20PM – 2:50PM

Office Hours:
Monday 1PM – 4PM
Office Hour Sign Up

Class Description
In this class you will become familiar and comfortable with all the ITP shop has to offer.  We will cover everything from basic hand tools to the beginnings of digital fabrication.  You will learn to use the right tool for the job.

There will be weekly assignments, created to develop your fabrication techniques.  There will be in class lectures, demos, and building assignments.  Emphasis will be put on good design practices, material choice, and craftsmanship.

Safety Requirement:  You MUST attend a tool safety session in the shop before class begins.  Even if you are an experienced fabricator, everyone is required to take a safety session if they are using the shop (applies to both 1st and 2nd years).


Week 1: Intros, Safety, and Tools

In this class we will introduce ourselves, talk about what will be expected in this class, talk shop safety, and start our tour of the shop.

Assignment: Build a flashlight using any tool(s) or technique(s) you’d like.  I’m defining a flashlight as: portable, battery powered, and creates light.

Week 2: Guides, Jigs, and Repeatability

In this class we will discuss how to achieve the best results from tools, repeat processes, and make multiples of things.

Assignment: Make multiples of something, 5 or more.  The objects must be a multi-process piece, ie. I don’t want to see 5 things made solely on the laser cutter.

Week 3: Measurements and Laser Cutters

In this class we will go over common measuring practices and start to become familiar with the laser cutter.

Assignment: Create something using the laser cutter.  I’m looking for something more than just a simple 2D cutout or etching.

Week 4: Enclosures

In this class we will scratch the surface of creating project enclosures.  We will go over common (and not so common) examples and techniques.

Assignment: Build an enclosure for an electronics project using any tool(s) or technique(s) you like.  Make sure that you can get back inside to make repairs, change batteries, modify, etc.  The enclosure should have multiple components: buttons, switches, sliders, connectors, display lights, dials, etc.

Week 5: Materials and Fasteners

In this class we will discuss a variety of commonly used fasteners and material options.

Assignment: Fabricate something using primarily two different materials.  Let’s say the project is roughly 40% one material, 40% the other.  The materials cannot be acrylic or plywood.  The work should be held together using fasteners of your choosing.

Week 6: Mounting Motors

In this class we will discuss various techniques of mounting servos, steppers, and DC motors.  As well as cover objects that can be mounted to said motors.

Assignment: For the last assignment you will be mounting a motor/servo/stepper to something as well as mounting something to that motor/servo/stepper.  It can be completely DIY or off-the-shelf components or a combination of the two.

Week 7: Finishes

In this class we will review final assignments and cover various quick and reliable finishes to add a high level of polish to your projects.

Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work as though it were your own. More specifically, plagiarism is to present as your own: A sequence of words quoted without quotation marks from another writer or a paraphrased passage from another writer’s work or facts, ideas or images composed by someone else.

The core of the educational experience at the Tisch School of the Arts is the creation of original academic and artistic work by students for the critical review of faculty members.  It is therefore of the utmost importance that students at all times provide their instructors with an accurate sense of their current abilities and knowledge in order to receive appropriate constructive criticism and advice.  Any attempt to evade that essential, transparent transaction between instructor and student through plagiarism or cheating is educationally self-defeating and a grave violation of Tisch School of the Arts community standards.  For all the details on plagiarism, please refer to page 10 of the Tisch School of the Arts, Policies and Procedures Handbook, which can be found online at:

Please feel free to make suggestions to your instructor about ways in which this class could become more accessible to you.  Academic accommodations are available for students with documented disabilities. Please contact the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities at 212 998-4980 for further information.

Your health and safety are a priority at NYU. If you experience any health or mental health issues during this course, we encourage you to utilize the support services of the 24/7 NYU Wellness Exchange 212-443-9999. Also, all students who may require an academic accommodation due to a qualified disability, physical or mental, please register with the Moses Center 212-998-4980. Please let your instructor know if you need help connecting to these resources.

Laptops will be an essential part of the course and may be used in class during workshops and for taking notes in lecture. Laptops must be closed during class discussions and student presentations.  Phone use in class is strictly prohibited unless directly related to a presentation of your own work or if you are asked to do so as part of the curriculum.

Tisch School of the Arts to dedicated to providing its students with a learning environment that is rigorous, respectful, supportive and nurturing so that they can engage in the free exchange of ideas and commit themselves fully to the study of their discipline. To that end Tisch is committed to enforcing University policies prohibiting all forms of sexual misconduct as well as discrimination on the basis of sex and gender.  Detailed information regarding these policies and the resources that are available to students through the Title IX office can be found by using the following link: Title IX at NYU.