How to make (almost) anything
AbstractThe course is a hands-on introduction to the tools that are necessary to design and develop physical artefacts.
This course is the first course of the Robotics specialisation.
The course will give an overview of the most important manufacturing methods like 3D printing, NC milling, laser cutting or moulding. In addition, we will explain how to design simple electric circuits to handle sensors and actuators and how to design printed circuit boards. These techniques will allow students to design physical prototypes on their own at the end of the course.
The topics for each lecture could be:
Lecture 1: The design process, 3D modelling and assemblies
Lecture 2: 3D printing
Lecture 3: Laser, water jet and plasma cutting and basic techniques (drilling, sawing, tapping, etc. )
Lecture 4: Machine elements (bearings, gears, belts, fasteners, etc.) and mechanisms
Lecture 5: Electronics, sensors and actuators
Lecture 6: Microcontroller programming and advanced sensors and actuators
Lecture 7: PCB design
Lecture 8: Milling and turning
Lecture 9: Moulding
There are no formal prerequisites for this course. A completed course on programming such as "Introductory Programming" will be helpful but is not mandatory.
It is recommended to have taken the IxD Workshop Courses (Basic access, Laser license and 3D printing license) https://ixdlab.itu.dk/ixd-workshop-introduction-courses/. These courses will allow you to use the IxD and REAL workshops during the course. However, we will run special courses for the students who did not take them.
Intended learning outcomes
After the course, the student should be able to:
- analyse and compare the main manufacturing methods
- model 3D parts and assemblies using Computer Aided Design (CAD) Software at beginner level
- select the best manufacturing process for a component
- design simple electronic systems and circuit boards
- Use different manufacturing techniques on custom-designed parts
- Design complete, but simple mechatronic systems and prototype small mechanisms
The course is divided into two parts:
Part 1. During the first part of the course, there will be lectures followed by a laboratory session. Each lecture will explain a technique, which should be used in the following lab. The lab assignments will be carried out in groups of two persons. After each lab, the student groups should work on the mandatory activity and write a one or two pages report describing their work. The reports will be handed in regularly during the first part of the course. Also a project proposal must be submitted online to get feedback from other students.
Part 2. The second part of the course is to work on a group project with supervision. The project should use several of the techniques learnt in the course. The group project report (small written report describing the prototype + documentation and design files) will be handed-in. Students should bring the physical artefact to the oral exam and use this as support for the oral presentation. It is essential that you follow both lectures and lab exercises in order to come along with mandatory activities and project.
There are 7 mandatory activities throughout the course.
Students must hand in 7 small reports describing the works carried out during each mandatory activity.
Depending on the assignment, the reports will be handed in learnIT or though a
peer-grading system. If the assignment is handed in a peer-grading system, it is mandatory that the
student gives peer-feedback at a satisfactory level. The deadline will be announced at LearnIT.
If any of the mandatory activities is not approved, students have two weeks to re-submit.
The student will receive the grade NA (not approved) at the ordinary exam, if the mandatory activities are not approved and the student will use an exam attempt.
The course literature is published in the course page in LearnIT.
Student Activity BudgetEstimated distribution of learning activities for the typical student
- Preparation for lectures and exercises: 10%
- Lectures: 10%
- Exercises: 10%
- Assignments: 25%
- Project work, supervision included: 40%
- Exam with preparation: 5%
Ordinary examExam type:
D: Submission of written work with following oral, External (7-point scale)
D2G: Submission for groups with following oral exam supplemented by the submission. Shared responsibility for the report.
D2G Submission for groups with following oral exam supplemented by the hand-in. Shared responsibility for the report., (7-scale, external exam)
The group project report consist of:
• a small written report describing the developed prototype
• documentation and design files.
Duration of the oral exam: 15 minutes group presentation followed by 25 minutes for each student (incl. voting).
Type of group exam: Mixed exam 1.
- Group size: 2-3 persons (4 persons can be permitted if the project is very ambitious)
Mixed exam 1 : Individual and joint student presentation followed by an individual and a group dialogue. The students make a joint presentation followed by a group dialogue. Subsequently the students are having individual examination with presentation and / or dialogue with the supervisor and external examiner while the rest of the group is outside the room.