This section contains resources that are useful for physical computing in general, like reading material, suppliers, links to other useful sites, recommended tools and parts to get started, and more.
Parts & Tools Guide – What’s in your kit, and what other parts and tools will you use frequently.
- Physical computing help sessions
- Fall 2023: Mondays at 4:00pm-5:30pm or Thursdays 2:00pm-3:30pm EST (First session Thursday 9/7/23)
- ITP/IMA Shop Site
- Shop checkout items (login with your netID and password, filter for “Physical Computing”)
- Part numbers for parts that are normally stocked in the components bins
- ITP/IMA Help Site
If you’re looking to buy components in NYC, here are your options:
- Tinkersphere. They do order-online-and-pickup, though their storefront is still not open for customers to browse.
- MicroCenter has a number of Arduino-compatible components, and is about half an hour away by train/bus. Search “Arduino+” sensor, motor, etc. to see if they have what you need before you go.
Books and Articles (Print, not Web)
Other ITP sites
- Alumni Physical Computing Blogs
- Journals & Documentation
- ITP Fabrication All the fabrication classes at ITP will be linked here.
- ITP Networks Information about networking is linked here.
- Connected Devices course – including resources on connectivity, screens, HTML and the DOM, and more (see the Resources menu on that site)
- Intangible Interactions course – including a guide to choosing a distance sensor
- Light & Interactivity course – including many light control resources (see the Resources menu on that site)
- Tangible Interaction course – including a set of sensor reports
- Construction Templates
- Building with Cardboard – a guide to building solid structures with cardboard, from the Adaptive Design Association.
- The Art of Cardboard – another guide to cardboard construction
- Template Maker – need to make a custom-sized cardboard box? Here’s a tool to generate a template that you can cut with a knife.
- Videos on cardboard construction:
- CardBoard Basics Tutorial Guide Chip/Matte Board model making: modeling for Designers & Architects
- CardBoard Advanced Basics Tutorial guide for model making: modeling for Designers & Architects
- Cardboard Modeling: Exploring, Experiencing, and Communicating by Joep Frens, includes some very detailed models made in foam-core and cardboard, proof that it’s possible to to high-fidelity modeling in paper and cardboard.
- Cardboard Motor Mechanisms collection
- Linear actuation with cardboard by Yeseul Song
- Shape Haptics by Clement Zheng et al. A great toolbox for laser cutting custom tangible controls.
- Design and Fabrication of Kinetic Wire Characters a paper and video from Disney with useful approaches to creating particular movements.
- LED current calculator
- Resistor color code calculator
- An SVG file of electronic schematic symbols
- Sensor reports from ITP Tangible Interaction class
- Microcontroller Pin Functions
- Breadboard Layouts
- Dustyn Roberts’ Mechanisms & Things That Move site
- Rob Ives, formerly Flying Pig, a great site for simple mechanisms
- Notes from Kinetic Sculpture Club 2021-2022, run by resident researcher Lu Lyu. Includes notes on basic mechanical movements, and on a couple of useful stepper motor drivers, like the A4988 stepper driver or the TMC2209 stepper driver.
- Mekanizmalar.com – a great series of animations illustrating different mechanisms.
NYU Google App suite – you’ll need to know these for most of NYU interaction. You have access to the whole suite through your NYU account. Search for NYU Drive. We’ll use mail, calendar, docs, sheets, drive, and slides.
Zoom – Crucial during 2020, perhaps still useful in 2021 and beyond? Check out Zoom tutorials and resources by NYU.
- Arduino: As of Spring 2023, we use version 2.0.3 or later. Download is free.
- GitHub: gitHub is a code repository that we use in many classes at ITP. The code samples for this class are all in this gitHub repository, Accounts are free, and the GitHub Desktop app is free as well.
- glitch.com is a code sharing site that’s specific to web apps.It works well with p5.js and node.js sketches and applications p5.js sketches on Glitch can talk to Arduino using the p5.serialport library and p5.serialcontrol app. Accounts are free.
This course involves a lot of circuit and system drawings. You can use any drawing tool that you like.
- The circuit diagrams on this site are made in Fritzing, a circuit and schematic drawing program designed for electronics beginners. Downloads are about $9.oo USD. Alternately you can download the source and compile it yourself for free. You can export SVGs from it and work in any other drawing program as well.
- Inkscape is a free and open source vector drawing tool. Downloads are free.
- Sketch, Affinity Designer or Adobe Illustrator are also popular vector drawing tools, though they are not free.
- Circuit Diagram Editor – an online circuit schematic editor that can export most standard image formats. No registration needed, use is free.