Digital Making to be offered in Spring 2016


The pilot session in Spring 2015 was a great success and we are looking at passionate makers to come learn how to make #digitally for Spring 2016. Have a look around this website, where the makers shared what they are learned. Some of them have been in the news as well, such as Arielle Rausin and Nora Benson in the recent postmarks story, that went to over 50,000 students, and their families. Arielle went on to win a grant for a  3D printer for DRES and has taken her project forward into a potential new venture.

The next session in Spring 2016, will be on Mondays 2:00 to 4:50 pm, in BIF 3030. The CRN is 45166.  Applications are being accepted till 15th November. We can only accommodate twenty one students in the class. The syllabus and schedule from Spring 2015 will give you a good idea of what we will be doing but expect some exciting changes.

Apply by email to Vishal Sachdev at vishal AT illinois DOT edu with a resume and a  short statement of what kind of “making” skills you have, or what would you like to learn and why. If you have an portfolio of things you have made do send a link as well. We want to enroll a mix of majors from across all schools on campus. In Spring 2015, we had Gen. Engineering, Journalism, Finance, Design, Marketing and IS/IT majors.   Business majors are encouraged to apply, and IS/IT majors can use this course as one of the two Major Electives.


Digital Making Project Presentations

Please join us on Tuesday May 5th from 3:00 to 4:45 pm in BIF  Room 2001, for presentations from students in the first Digital Making class. Come find out how a hand’s on approach to learning by making, allows students to engage in self directed learning. Some of the interesting projects you will hear about are listed below.

  • Wheelchair racing glove: Arielle Rausin, a student in the course, is a wheelchair racer, who needs custom molded gloves while racing. She 3DScanned and  printed one and now is developing workflows to help the entire team. Thanks to Travis at Beckman institute and Deana for providing support for this project.
  • Lending a helping (3D printed) hand for Enable the Future project.
  • A Micro controller based medicine box that reminds seniors to take medicine ( developed as part of our participation in the CU Make event, by 3 business majors with no experience in micro controllers)
  • A Silicon grip helper for seniors with weak arm muscles ( CU Make event)
  • Mathematica and 3D Printing come together for some mathematical art
  • A Brain –  3D Printed from an MRI Scan
  • Science Fiction come to life to support a book project(by our Journalism student)
  • Learning Pathways in Digital Making
  • Several other individual projects using arduinos, laser cutters and even digital embroidery, which the students loved. These were made at the CU Fab Lab (Thanks for Jeff Ginger and FabLab staff for coordinating the sessions, and to Lisa Bievenue for sponsoring our visits there)

This course is the second in a series of courses offered at the Lab. Aric Rindfleisch leads the Making Things course, which had a successful debut last spring, and had tremendous interest this Spring (with 75 applicants for 21 spots). We have now moved the Digital Making course to the Fall, and are accepting applications. Please forward this invitation to attend the presentation to any other interested stakeholders(students, faculty/staff, administrators, community members). Refreshments will be provided.


The Do’s and Don’ts of Twitter



Twitter is a great platform to not only share your posts with your followers, but also to reach out to larger and harder-to-reach audiences. This is why today, you’ll see Twitter used in a variety of contexts including lecture halls, conference rooms, concerts, parks, etc. A Twitter feed is like one giant conversation with thousands of topics to discuss, welcoming ease dropping and interjection. You just need to know how to find the right audiences to speak with and speak to them in a way they’ll listen to you. Here are some do’s and don’ts that will help you maximize your use of your account when entering the twitter-sphere of digital making.


  • Polish your profile. Even if your account for this course is separate from your personal account, brand it accordingly. Treat it like your LinkedIn; put yourself out there in the same way you would on a platform where you’re engaging in professional and academic conversations. Have a profile picture, cover photo, and interesting bio. No one wants to engage with a boring egg.
  • Build your digital making community. Start out by following thought leaders and organizations talking about digital making. I’ve begun to do this, so you can get a head start by checking out who I’m following.
  • Tweet your work. We’re on the forefront of a HUGE maker movement; tweeting screenshots of your projects or photos of what you’ve made is a great way to showcase our class work.
  • Call people out. Yes, tweet directly at thought leaders and comment on their posts! This is a great way to get noticed by big players in digital making and also to express your interest/expertise in the area.
  • Tweet often! How do you expect people to engage with you if you’re never speaking to anyone? Tweet out your thoughts of digital making, articles you find, retweet interesting posts, and favorite others’ posts.


  • #Go #crazy #with #hashtags. When tweeting, 2 hashtags should be used – MAX. Studies on hashtag use have found that using more than 2-3 hashtags in a post actually decreases engagement with a post.
  • Use #random hashtags. Use relevant hashtags that people in the digital making and 3D printing space are using. A great resource is TagBoard. On this website, you can see how often people are using this hashtag per hour/day/week and see what the most recent posts are that used this hashtag (across all SM platforms, not just Twitter; you can filter though).
  • TWEET LIKE THIS!!! Exclamatory messages are great for instant messaging, but not so great for Twitter. Nothing wrong with using an occasional exclamation point, but all-caps should always be avoided. Fun Fact: It actually takes people longer to read words in all-caps due to the fact that all-caps gives words a box-like shape, which makes them more indistinguishable from other words to the brain.
  • Be annoying. You definitely want to interact with other users on Twitter, but don’t assault them with tweets. Tweet at people once in a while and if they’re not responding, perhaps begin retweeting or favoring their posts – a more subtle form of interaction.

Some Amusing Resources/Reminders:


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