Making Making Machines for Makers

Image source: Jeff Wade
Course Description:

An introductory, project-based exploration of systems and processes for making things using computer-aided design and manufacturing, and an introduction to machines and machine tools. Emphasis will be placed on building novel machines and related software for use by “makers”. Course projects will encourage students to understand, build and modify/hack a sequence of machines: (1) an embroidery machine for custom textiles, (2) a paper cutting machine (with drag knife) for ornamental design, and (3) an XY plotter with Arduino controller. Through these projects students explore both (i) principles of operation (mechanical, stepper motors and servos, electrical control, computer software), and (ii) computer algorithms (trajectory, tool path, design). Current trends in interactive machines will be surveyed. The course will culminate in a final student-selected project.

Basic Logistics

Lectures: Tue, Thu 10:30 AM - 11:50 AM, Gayes 392.
Instructors: Pat Hanrahan, Doug James
For more detailed course logistics and policies, see the course info page.

Apr 2Introduction to Making
Apr 4Embroidery Machines and Paper Cutters
Assignment 0: How Things are Made(due Mon, Apr 8 at 12:00PM)
Assignment 1: Make Something! (due Thu, Apr 18)
Apr 9How Things are Made
Apr 11What is a Machine?
Apr 16 Plotter Principles of Operation 1
Apr 18Plotter Principles of Operation 2
Assignment 2: Assemble a T-Bot plotter (due Thu, May 2)
Apr 23G-Code (and stepper-motor music)
Apr 25Overview of CAM
Project Pitch Slide Deck (due Tues, Apr 30 at 10:30AM)
Read two papers: (due Thurs, May 2 at 10:30AM; Come to class prepared to discuss)
   Cardboard machine kit: Modules for the rapid prototyping of rapid prototyping machines. Peek. 2017.
   Computational Design of Mechanical Characters. Coros. 2013.
Apr 30Project Pitches
May 2Paper Discussion (see papers assigned Apr 25)
Final Project (Project Proposals due May 9; Project Due June 10 at 8:30AM)
May 7Jigs and Fixtures
Assigned for Thu:
   History of the sewing machine
   The wise chisel
   Interactive fabrication: New interfaces for digital fabrication
   Interactive construction: interactive fabrication of functional mechanical devices
May 9Interactive Machines
May 14Textiles (Weaving, Knitting & Braiding)
May 16 Ilan Moyer, ShaperTools
   Position-Correcting Tools for 2D Digital Fabrication
May 21Project Discussions
May 23Project Discussions
May 28Rodney Stock
May 30Silly & Useless Machines with connections to Kinetic Art
June 4Work Session
June 6Work Session
June 10**Mon 8:30 - 11:30** Project Demonstrations
Things We’ve Made:

We consider ourselves “makers” and here are some examples of things that we’ve made. Check out this page for other inspiration of things you can make (disclaimer, we didn’t make these!) :)