Computational Fabrication

Spring 2021
Course Website

Computational fabrication integrates programming, design, and digital fabrication. Computational fabrication enables people to design forms by writing code and then construct these forms with the aid of fabrication machines like 3D printers, CNC routers, knitting machines, and laser cutters. In this class, we will explore different approaches to computational design, as well as a range of fabrication machines, materials, and techniques by designing and building a series of objects.

Students will be introduced to computer-aided-design (CAD) software for 2D and 3D design along with programming environments aimed at the design of physical artifacts. In particular, we will use LOGO, Processing, Python, Grasshopper, and Rhino. The course will introduce essential mathematical topics in geometry, calculus, and linear algebra. We will examine different 2D and 3D file formats and explore the process of converting digital designs into physical form through computer-aided machining (CAM). Finally, we will explore design and research opportunities related to computational design and fabrication.

Students should leave the course with an ability to design and fabricate computationally generated 2D and 3D forms. Students should also have a basic understanding of computational fabrication as an emerging research topic in computer science as well as a powerful set of approaches that can be applied in art and design contexts.