This course is a hands-on introduction to rapid prototyping integrating physics engineering design computer science and art. Students learn to safely use software and hardware to fabricate programmable projects in a collaborative environment. Tools and topics include shop safety hand tools laser cutter 3D printer computer-controlled milling electronic circuit design programmable microcontrollers molding and casting. Applications include personal fabrication product prototyping fine arts and creation of scientific research tools. Biweekly class meetings consist of a discussion of the previous assignment a short lecture on the next topic and a hands-on training session for the accompanying assignment. The course culminates with an individual final project integrating as many of the topics as possible. In addition to class meetings there are supervised help sessions to work on assignments. Each student documents work on each biweekly topic in a personal website thereby finishing the course with an online portfolio that not only illustrates their new skill sets but also contributes to a collective repository of knowledge. Although no fabrication expertise is required the open-ended nature of the course would make it valuable for students with any amount of prior experience.
Harvard Division of Continuing Education
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