Digital Design and Fabrication

Course Description

Digital Design and Fabrication investigates the transformation of concept design to production within contemporary digital media. Situated at the threshold between virtual and physical, design information and artifacts, it is comprised of both design computation methods as well as material fabrication techniques.

Learning Objectives

  • Apply scripting and parametric modeling to construct designs in CAD environments.
  • Synthesize designs using physical tools and learn a scalable method of production.
  • Communicate design methods and ideas physically opposed to verbally.
  • Directly manufacture designs with rapid prototyping and CAD/CAM manufacturing tools.

Measurable Outcomes

  • Acquire a broad base of knowledge in areas of digital design and physical production.
  • Learn methods of design production with digitally driven machines (e.g., CNC routing, Laser Cutting, Waterjet Cutting, FDM, 3D printing).
  • Apply CAD based methods to generate designs with scripting, surface and solid modeling programs.

Prerequisites

Computational Thinking for Design

Software & Hardware

Course workshops require the use of laptops with Windows >= 10. Students shall install Rhinoceros 6 / Grasshopper [>] and Fusion 360 [>] before the first workshop session. Additionally, you need to install Python >= 3.9 [>]. For software assistance please use google and/or contact the IT support help-desk.

Recommended Readings

  • Schodek, D., Bechthold, M., Griggs, J. K. and Kao, K. (2004) Digital Design and Manufacturing: CAD/CAM Applications in Architecture and Design, Wiley.
  • Kolarevic, B and Klinger, K (eds) (2008) Manufacturing Material Effects, Rethinking Design and Making in Architecture, Routledge.
  • Howes, P. and Laughlin, Z. (2012) Material Matters: New Materials in Design, Black Dog Publishing.
  • Lefteri, C. (2007) Making It: Manufacturing Techniques for Product Design, Laurence King Publishing.

Schedule

DayTimeTypePlace
Tuesday9:00-10:00LectureTT 20
Tuesday14:30-17:30WorkshopTT 20 + FabLab
Time and Place

Note that demonstration sessions will be held at the SUTD FabLab. We will meet there directly. Make sure you dress appropriately as per the FabLab’s dress code requirements!

WeekDateTopicsLocation
01Tue 23-0109:00-10:00 Lecture: Introduction to Digital Design and Fabrication
14:30-15:30 Demonstration: Metal Lathe Turning
15:30-16:00 Assignment: Metal Ring Turning
16:00-17:30 Workshop: Computer Aided Design with Fusion360
TT20
FabLab
TT20
TT20
02Tue 30-0109:00-10:00 Lecture: Materials, Performance and Design Inspiration
14:30-15:30 Demonstration: Vacuum Forming and Casting
15:30-16:00 Assignment: Vacuum Forming and Casting
16:00-17:30 Workshop: Associative Geometric Modeling with Fusion360
TT20
FabLab
TT20
TT20
03Tue 06-0209:00-10:00 Lecture: Conventional and Digital Methods of Manufacturing
14:30-15:30 Demonstration: Metal Cutting, Grinding and Bending
15:30-16:00 Assignment: Welding and Machining
16:30-17:30 Workshop: Constructive Solid Modeling with Fusion360
TT20
FabLab
TT20
TT20
04Tue 13-0209:00-10:00 Lecture: Early Digital Fabrication in Architecture Case Studies
14:30-15:30 Demonstration: Shielded Metal Arc Welding
15:30-17:30 Workshop: Computer Aided Manufacturing with Fusion360
TT20
FabLab
TT20
TT20
05Tue 20-0209:00-10:00 Lecture: Architectural Rationalization for Design-to-Construction
14:30-15:30 Demonstration: CNC Wood Machining
17:30-18:00 Assignment: Welding the Stool Legs from Rebar
18:30-19:30 Workshop: Machining Optimization & The Traveling Salesman Problem
TT20
FabLab
TT20
TT20
06Tue 27-0209:00-10:00 Lecture: Digital Design and Fabrication in Architecture Practice
16:30-17:30 Demonstration: Sheet Metal Waterjet Cutting
17:30-18:00 Assignment: Joinery Details using Kerf Cutting and Bending
18:30-19:30 Workshop: Statistical Analysis of Dimensional Variation in Free-Form Design
TT20
FabLab
TT20
TT20
07Tue 05-0311:00-12:00 Lecture: Digital Design and Fabrication in Singapore
16:30-17:30 Demonstration: Industrial Robot Pick and Place
18:30-19:30 Workshop: Typological Clustering of Architectural Components
TT20
FabLab
TT20
TT20
08Recess Week
09Tue 19-0309:00-10:00 Lecture: Term Project Assignment Brief Presentation
14:30-17:30 Workshop: Cutting and Packing Production Optimization Problems
TT20
TT20
10Tue 26-0309:00-10:00 Lecture: Architecture, Engineering and the Construction Industry
14:30-17:30 Workshop: Concept Design Proposal – Design Team Review
TT20
TT20
11Tue 02-0409:00-10:00 Lecture: Sustainable Additive Manufacturing
14:30-17:30 Workshop: Detail Design Resolution – Design Team Review
TT20
TT20
12Tue 09-0409:00-10:00 Lecture: Research Topics in Digital Design and Fabrication
14:30-17:30 Workshop: Production Optimization – Design Team Review
TT20
TT20
13Tue 16-0409:00-10:00 Lecture: Research Topics in Digital Design and Fabrication
14:30-17:30 Workshop: Procurement & Fabrication – Design Team Review
TT20
TT20
14Thu 25-04
Fri 26-04
17:00-18:00 Final Presentation
00:00-18:00 Final Report Submission (Common with Structures)
FabLab
Assignment Time Table

Grading

AssignmentReportDeadlineGroupWeight
A1Metal TurningA1Tue 06-02110%
A2Vacuum Forming & CastingA2Tue 20-02210%
A3Shielded Metal Arc Welding415%
A4Wood CNC MachiningA3 + A4Tue 05-03415%
A5Waterjet Cutting410%
A6Term ProjectA5 + A6Fri 26-04430%
Participation110%
Grading CriteriaWeight
01Physical Artifact Quality40%
02Design Concept Sophistication20%
03Computation Thinking Intelligence20%
04Presentation Visual Communication20%
ArtifactGrade
01Well CraftedA +/-
02Adequately CraftedB +/-
03Poorly CraftedC +/-
04Haphazardly CraftedD +/-
DesignGrade
01Original ThinkingA +/-
02Generic ThinkingB +/-
03Stereotypical ThinkingC +/-
04Inadequate ThinkingD +/-
ComputationGrade
01Creative ProgrammingA +/-
02Parametric ModelingB +/-
03Conventional DraftingC +/-
04Irrelevant ComputationD +/-
PresentationGrade
01Concise and ComprehensiveA +/-
02Verbose or IncompleteB +/-
03Unorganized and ConfusingC +/-
04Inappropriate for DesignD +/-
Report SpecificationRequired
Page SizeA3 (420 x 297 mm)
Page OrientationLandscape
Page Count10 (exactly)
File TypePDF (one pdf file only, no zip, pptx, 3dm, f3z etc)
File Size50 MB (or less)
File NameContains student ID(s) (100####)
Image Resolution300 dpi
Submission TimeBefore Lecture

Policies

  • Attendance in lectures and workshops is mandatory. Missing three or more sessions will result to an official warning letter and reduction of course participation component. If unwell, please notify the instructor via email, prior to the session being unable to attend; not after.
  • Deadlines for all assignments, except for the term project, are on Tuesdays before the lecture session, unless extension is granted to ease FabLab facilities congestion and/or address technical challenges such as machinery failures. Do not send assignment reports via email. Use the upload links provided in the assignment briefs. Late submission will result to 10% grade reduction for every day past the submission deadline.
  • Failure to comply with the report specifications will result to 10% grade reduction.
  • Material wastage, inappropriate garbage disposal, facilities destruction, unsafe use of machinery and fabrication tools, will result to 20% grade reduction per associated assignment.
  • Unscholarly acts including plagiarism, cheating, double booking FabLab slots, inappropriate behavior towards classmates or SUTD staff will result from 50% grade reduction to completely failing the course.