A Semester into Digital Making

What were my Expectations?

I heard about this class through a professor of mine that saw my passion for making things. He knew that I was looking for a means to do that and wanted me to explore this passion so he pointed towards Vischal’s BADM 395: Digital Making Seminar. From what I heard about the class, I had great expectations on learning solely the technical skills listed on the brochure such as 3D printing, laser cutting, digital embroidery, and using Arduinos. I came focused and expecting the individual aspect of making but got so much more from this class. These all changed throughout the semester. I learned and gained insight beyond this.

What did I learn?

Maker Movement and “3D Printing Revolution” 

We were first taught about the maker community on and around campus, many applications and potential for 3D printing in our futures, daily lives and industries as well as education through the utilization of 3D printing in maker spaces for classes. This instilled the collaboration aspect of open source platforms and projects such as thingiverse.com

Design Thinking

We then went into more hands on things such as going From Design Process to Design Thinking. Starting off with perceiving and questioning the consumers’ world/perspective. After which we worked on an idea, sketch, a model prototype out of arts and craft material available. We came up with so many questions and scenarios for the consumers. The deign thinking process first pushes you to identify a problem or need. Then immersing my self, empathetically, relating to the world of the consumer encountering that problem or need, reframing the problem to avoid assumptions, coming up with an idea from the perspective of the consumer – this is where the human centered focus is crucial, then building the idea to those constraints and finally testing as in any product development cycle. Target specific problems and consumer responses to products as well as identifying new market potentials as in the examples given in Tim Brown’s articles. This also included the What/SoWhat/NowWhat template, a brainstorming method that can help ideators immerse themselves in the problem/situation to be able to empathize with the user and then come up with a solution – the missing piece. This template allows people to have a structured way of being creative, innovative and problem solving. It gives a broadly scoped problem a structure, a frame and a regularities

Computer Aided Drawing

We delved into another tool that you can use to create and make innovative products and how powerful and unique this software is and different ways of designing with the help of computer software. Throughout the class we learnt how to use several software and different methods of Computer Aided Drawing to be able to 3D print at the end of the CAD process. We got to learn about AutoDesk, TinkerCAD and Fusion360 as well as Cura.

3D Scanning

we were introduced to the idea of bringing physical/tangible product into their digital/cad model form. Kind of like the opposite of 3D printing where you already have the digital and turn that into something tangible. The way these work is that, the scanner/camera takes pictures and combines them together as meshes, it is then uploaded through software like MeshMixer to be able to turn into a 3D cad model. Its application include reverse engineering, duplicating, utilizing the interacts


This was by far one of my favorite parts of the class because it taught me the very skills I was looking to learn from this class to get trained on and work with the many great tools and resources there ranging from 3D printing, to digital embroidery and every thing in between such as the biohacking space and laser cutter.. We were introduced into the world of maker spaces through the CUC Fablab. We started off with learning how to make circuits and soldering, then led into coding arduinos in conjuction with the circuits and ended off with learning about laser cutting/engraving using inkscape to provide housing for the electronics. After this series, my technical skills were far above what I had come in with and my mind opened up to much more potential. After that we had these skills and were familiar with these resources to apply them to our own group projects due at the end of the semester. At the end of this series we created the Light box which was a culmination of hardware and software. We were then challenged to think of ways of using these tools to create and make changes to things already available. This taught me the implication of having so simple do something so complex if you used imagination for your needs.

Final project, team Xerott and the Makerlab Bot

At the end of the semester it all came down to how could we use all we learned to solve a problem by creating a product to address that user need and that is what we did. That is what drove me and team xerott to create the approachable Maker Lab bot that records people’s ideas and stories or any feedback they have for the lab. The bot will also have the ability to sense when someone gets close to greet the person. The video/audio recorded by the Maker Lab bot will be saved to an SD card/USB which could help in keeping a record of the things that are going on in the lab as well as collecting data for future use. This will help create interactivity within the lab and help with sharing what goes on in the lab to the world. We combined most of the things we learned in class to create this such as 3D printing, coding and electronics, Laser cutting and so on through various iteration, testing and feedback/auditing sessions. Since the beginning of the project I have learned more about our product and what is needed to complete the minimum viable product and have since then been stream-lining what features it will need as well as how I will go about doing that

Individual Research

We were also each challenged to cover a topic of interest that we believed was worth sharing and worth learning. I decided to talk about Where 3D Printing Meets Opensource Electronics where I discussed the power behind merging technologies of electronics and 3D printing to create amazing products that impact consumers, the industry and future/potential technologies such as 3D printing electronics already embedded in the product.

Take Aways

In the end I greatly enjoyed this class, it was a pleasure learning from everyone else in this class and all the stakeholders in this experience. I finally found the technical skills that I sought and more with the community and outlet that is the Makermovement and I look forward to keep working with the Makerlab and Fab lab in bringing out my inner maker as well as creating products that will impact many users. I have been opened up to many more possibilities and how to share my ideas with the world.


Below are videos to my final project. Feel free to reach out to me for any questions regarding it or my great experience in this class.



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