Introduction

We are in the process of offering a digital fabrication workshop for artists, designers, architects and all others interested in digital fabrication, parametric architecture and interactive design. The workshop will be given by Mathew Owen and Anna Niespielak, both obtained a masters degree in architecture. Their professional and academic background has mainly focused on sustainable design in architecture and digital fabrication —— work in digital fabrication. and will include an intro an introduction to fabrication tools including

The Workshop:

The digital fabrication workshop will focus on the various tools available for digital fabrication which will go through step by step, from a digital file on the computer to an actual build version of that design. The software and soem hardware that will be uses. We will focus on which tools are best suited for the design best fits with you, therefore creating a student driven course with key emphasis on specific goals. Although we will cover several tools in digital fabrication, each student can drive their own interest in the direction they would like to specify. For example students wishing to dive deeper into 3D printing will have extra time dedicated to 3d modeling / 3d scanning and printing of their designs, students wishing to obtain more in depth knowledge about laser engraving or laser cutting can spend more time using these tools. We will also have courses specifically on 3d printing or laser engraving as well as courses on cnc milling (both large and small scale) and vinyl cutting. If you only wish to focus on one machine please schedule ether a class or a private session with us.

The Tools:

  • 3D Printers & 3D Scanner – we have several 3d printers available which we will use throughout the course. We will start by scanning yourself or another large object. We will help you edit your model so that it is watertight (no holes / errors in 3D model) and send the file to the 3D printer for
  • Laser Cutter – we offer time on our Epilog Helix 50 watt laser cutter. Our absolute favorite laser cutting system, so whether you are trying it out for the first time or are looking into getting your own laser engraving business set up, we can give you advise on what to look for, what to avoid and what your options are.
  • ShopBot CNC Router / Milling Machine – our ShopBot CNC mill is 96″ x 48″ of space which is able to be routed. For the course each student will be given their own sheet of 3/4″ plywood of 24″ x 24″¬† which will be used for experimentation in creating your own sign. The sign may be taken home for painting or used as a gift for family or a friend. It is advised to come with an idea, design, logo or sketch before the class starts so that you can spend more time actually making the sign.
  • Small CNC router – for the small CNC mill / router we will show you how to get started with routers that are less expensive. For this part we will use a ShapeOko CNC mill which costs between $600-1000. This can be great for use with small 2-2.5D designs such as smaller signs, pcb board tests, mold making and much more.
  • Vinyl Cutter – the vinyl cutter

The Program:

The program will consist of an intensive weekend of work on all machines and use of software. We will also have evening classes which will be given over the course of 3 nights instead of one weekend.

Saturday (day 01)

10:00am – Brief introduction to the course. Being on time is of great importance as we will get started very quickly.

10:15am – 12:30pm – 3D Scanning using a ‘modified’ Xbox Kinect and other easily accessible 3d scanning devices (such as an iPhone), followed by editing of the 3d mesh in various open source / software (we use free software to ensure that you will be able to repeat the process at home or at work without having to spend a fortune on licenses. If you own your own copy of your favorite 3D modeling software please feel free to take it with you). Once the 3d model is finalized and cleaned up we will start the 3D printing process.

12:30pm – 1:00pm – Lunch. Bringing your own lunch is recommended as we will continue to assist anyone who might have any software (or hardware) issues that we can resolve and have everyone on the same page when we continue after the break.

1:00pm – 1:30pm – Introduction to the Laser Cutting / Engraving.

1:30 – 4:00pm – Work on getting files ready for laser cutting and engraving.

Sunday (day 02)

10:00am – 11:00am – Introduction to CNC milling. We will start with our small CNC Machine to get a good understanding of what CNC machining is and how it works. We will use inexpensive / free software for this machine (both for design as well as running the g-code).

10:15am – 12:30pm – CNC Milling using a large 4′ x 8′ ShopBot CNC Machine.

12:30pm – 1:00pm – Lunch. Bringing your own lunch is recommended as we will continue to assist anyone who might not have any software (or hardware) issues that we can resolve and have everyone on the same page when we continue after the break.

1:00pm – 2:00pm – Introduction to Vinyl Cutting using a Roland Vinyl Cutter. We will use the free open source software Inkscape for sending jobs to the Vinyl Cutter. Feel free to download it and get to know the software ahead of time as you will be able to dive right into cutting your file. Everyone will receive a sheet, approximately 2 ft x 4 ft of vinyl to work with. We also have vinyl for t-shirts that can be applied with a heat press. You can either make stickers for kids / friends, signage for a vehicle / office / store or use it on t-shirts and clothing.

2:00pm – 4:00pm – Completing projects.

Cost and Application:

The cost for the weekend or 3-night workshop will be $250 and will include all materials. Each course will have a maximum of 5 students to ensure everyone will have enough time on machines and will get the most out of the instructors.

Certificate:

Upon completion of the course we will have a commemorating laser engraved certificate of completion for you. Completion of the course will give you a few benefits if you wish to continue in digital fabrication. Upon completion you will be able to follow a more in depth course on a specified machine focusing on more advanced topics of machining. Advanced classes will be given for Laser Cutting & Engraving, CNC Milling and 3D Printing. In addition to the advanced classes you will have enough knowledge to be able to book time on your favorite machine for use for your own projects. Typically the cost of a 1-hour block will be $25. We will provide options for membership and a multi-pass soon.