My Semester with Digital Making

Expectations

When entering this course I truly had no idea what to expect. I had been advised by my fellow classmate that heard that this was an interesting course to take our senior year. Although I didn’t know what we were going to be doing in the class I did know that I have yet to take a class in college anything like it. Throughout my college career, I had been taking very limited classes with a very structured view of business. This course offered me a great opportunity to work on the making behind the business plans, which is what really intrigued me to sign up!

Fusion360 and 3D Printing

As a business major coming from the Gies College of Business, I came into this course with really no background in any design program. Although the course was a huge learning curve I have definitely gained some pretty valuable skills in the process. This first program we learned was Fusion360. This was such an amazing experience because we really got to learn and visualize our designs and then print them on the very same day. I have many aspirations to create my own company and learning the skill of prototyping while utilizing a program like Fusion 360 is definitely going to benefit me.

Iterating

Throughout our entire process, we worked tirelessly making our project as great as it could possibly be. As a group, we met on many occasions in the Art and Design Building making improvements to our prototypes. Again coming from the business school we really haven’t been able to create build and foster projects as we did in this class. I really found great pleasure in working with our projects and learning about the idea of iteration. Throughout our project, we went through 5 or 6 separate prototypes and a large make-a-thon where we put all our hard work together. We went from prototypes made out of paper to cardboard to bending acrylic. This is a process that takes time and effort and is extremely rewarding in the end.

InkScape and LaserCutting

Also in the semester, we got very personal with the FabLab which is an amazing building by the ACES library that has such an incredible environment that foster ingenuity. With the FabLab We worked on making a watch and the great staff members really helped us to understand the software and hardware involved. We needed to work on our software skills so we could design the watch. That is when we were introduced to InkScape. InkScape is a program the allows us to model our prints in 2D instead of 3D. This is important because for the laser cutters that we would be using in the FabLab we need to be able to model in 2D for the cutters to understand. After a quick tutorial on the basics of InkScape we were tasked on creating our watch face so the user would be able to know if the watch function was set to measure “twists” or “curls”.

Overall I have a fantastic time joining this class. I have never been in a class where I have been able to interact and physically design solution for issues that people face every day. One of my favorite thing Professor Vishal said day one was, “We are not looking to solve problems, but we are looking to find opportunities”. I thought that this was an amazing way to look at innovation that I have never noticed before.

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