Introduction to Fabrication

Fall 2016
Wednesday 9:00 – 11:30 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 – 11:30 p.m.

Instructor: Ben Light

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.

Office Hours:

Tuesday 1PM – 4PM

Friday 1PM – 4PM

Contact Info

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.