This class explores alternative and small-scale (e.g. tens or hundreds) manufacturing processes through the hands-on design and prototyping of electronic devices. Following a studio format, students develop a product over the course of a semester, working individually or in small groups. (Students should enter the class with some idea for what they’d like to make.) The course investigates the aesthetic and practical possibilities of digital fabrication and other small-scale production processes like laser-cutting, 3D printing, and circuit board fabrication. Consideration is given to material selection, form and interaction, assembly, and distribution. Students develop multiple prototypes throughout the semester, iterating and refining their design. The studio work is complemented by lectures and readings on design and manufacturing as well as guest talks on product design and production. Students are expected to document their work online throughout the semester.
The class does not provide extensive instruction in individual CAD tools, computer programming, or general electronics. Students should have a background in one of these areas and are expected to develop the others independently, as necessary for their projects.
Enrollment is limited to ~12 students.
Instructor: David Mellis
Faculty Sponsor: Leah Buechley
Collaborators: Marcelo Coelho, Mark Feldmeier, Nan-Wei Gong, Dimitris Papanikolaou, Nadya Peek, Amit Zoran
Time: Thursdays 1-4 pm, E14-493
Credit: H-level 12 units (0-12-0)