Rapid Prototyping

In this STEAM elective course, you will learn about and participate in the 21st Century human maker experience. You will look at technology being used today to create products quickly and efficiently, as well as the math and science concepts that allow these machines to work. You will apply these ideas in different scenarios, both low and high tech, creating projects on three CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines – a Cameo cutting machine, a Carvey router, and a Makerbot or Up 3D printer. You will attempt projects using ‘old world’ technology in addition to using these new technological machines, so that you can truly compare your experiences, and understand and appreciate the value of these advancements. We hope that you will begin to see how the future may change because of these technologies and find your path in the creative journey of our future.

Course Units

Lines are just one dimensional collections of points — or are they? In this unit, you will begin by tracing various shapes as an entree into exploring lines, the various ways you can measure them, and how those lines merge together to create amazing shapes. Then, you will dive deeper into machines that are designed to trace lines and see firsthand how this seemingly miniscule ability is transforming manufacturing today.

Here are the Unit sub-guiding questions you will pursue:

  • What makes a line a line?
  • Who uses lines in the real world?
  • What can an electronic cutting machine do that hands can’t?

In Unit 2, you will take it to the next level by looking at what happens when another dimension is introduced – not quite 3D, but no longer 2D.

Below are the Unit guiding questions:

  • What happens when you start to dig deeper?
  • Who uses depth in the real world?
  • What can you make by subtracting?

Just like lines and planes work in one and two dimensions, respectively, spaces are three dimensional expanses. In this Unit, you will look at spaces and discover the possibilities of filling them, as well as a few ‘impossible’ objects. You will consider the space inside various objects, and then, instead of studying “subtractive” methods of creation where you are cutting or taking away, you will now focus on “additive” creation as you build with 3D models and printers.

Below are the Unit guiding questions:

  • What makes a space a space?
  • Who uses spaces in the real world?
  • What can a 3D printer do that hands can’t?

Field Experiences