ACPS - Design & Build

Piedmont Virginia Community College
Sping 2018 - Thursday 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Course Outline & Calendar
Anonymous Feedback Form

2.8 - Introduction & Laser Cutting

Today is the first day of class, we will get to know each other and look at why we are taking this course. We will begin with a simple project that will teach us about design in 2D as well as creating shapes and objects using the laser cutter. This is my example from class! Here are a few resources similar to the project that we created in class:
Inkscape - Laser Cut Pt. 1
Inkscape - Laser Cut Pt. 2
Universal Control Panel from Inkscape
Illustrator for the Universal Laser Cutter - S. Passman
Image Files in Illustrator for Laser Cutter - S. Passman
Illustrator to Universal Control Panel - S. Passman
If you can - bring in a material, a design, or a finished laser cut item that is purposeful to you. We will review our skills, run a few jobs in the background, and move forward next class.

If you have not filled out the introduction survey please do so HERE!

Keep in mind that we are designing a project, unit, module, cross-curricluar activity, choice, etc. from scratch. Think about something you have always wanted to accomplish and do with students. The sooner we can get the list together, the sooner we can start preparing!

UCP Installer
VLS Desktop User Guide
Laser Cutter Design Guide

2.15 - 2D -> 3D Design

We are going to have time to work on our laser cut projects that we started last class. We will discuss our schedule for the coming weeks. We will also discuss our plans for our project-based learning module and begin our list of materials. Remember that we will implement this module into our class or space and spend time reviewing and getting feedback.

We are going to start in the realm of designing in 3D for Computer-Numeric Controlled (CNC) Machines and 3D printing. We are going to start with an introduction to programming and design using a free and open source tool, OpenSCAD. If time permits we will also look at designing using a professional Computer-Aided Drawing (CAD) software suite, Fusion 360.
3D Cup Design - OpenSCAD
2D Example - OpenSCAD

Make sure you spend this week deciding on your class/space project idea with your students. We will get a head start on ordering materials. Email me if you have any questions!

OpenSCAD User Manual
OpenSCAD Tutorial - iMaterialise
Learn Parametric Modeling w OpenSCAD - txoof
Lasercut Library for OpenSCAD - bmsleight
Autodesk - Fusion 360
Autodesk Fusion 360 - Getting Started Tutorials

2.22 - CAD Design

We are building on our previous work in CAD and 2D drawing to develop a sense of designing more complex parts and be able to design things for the 3D printer. We are going to focus on making a fucntional prototype for the 3D printer in class. You will have the ability to tweak aspects of the design and 3D print on your using tools at your school. At this point, you should have a laser cut design of something useful, a program from OpenSCAD that is different from the cup design, and now a functional part 3D printed.

Autodesk - Fusion 360
Autodesk Fusion 360 - Getting Started Tutorials
Fusion 360 Tutorials CAD/CAM - NYCCNC

We will get started with some basic Fusion360 drawing skills and have some free create time. This will be the last piece of design software we look at in terms of 3D design. We will however use the CAM portion of this project to create GCODE for the CNC machines. During this class we will be afforded time to play with the software and design something of our own creation. I will not offer a project suggestion, rather a set of guidelines. This is useful in thinking about problems that can be regularly solved utilizing a prototyping tool.


3.1 - CAM Tools and Machining

This week will be spent working on our proposal bill of materials, catching up on past projects and designs, and working with the CAM portion of Fusion360 and a small CNC Machine. We are going to first use the Roland SRM-20 to mill a few simple pieces out. We can look at some small wood and acrylic pieces and compare them to our other processses.

Roland SRM-20 Resources
Fusion360 Feeds and Speeds - NYC CNC
Camotics - CAM Simulator

3.15 - CAM Tools and Machining pt 2 ish

We spent time honing our 3D design skills by designing something that will fit into the Roland SRM-20 CNC Milling Machine. We are going to mill our designs out of insulation foam that we cut down on the bandsaw. We are then able to utilize the Roland software to create an object from an exported STL file that we created.

At this point we have introduced a few free tools including: Inkscape, OpenSCAD and Fusion360. Next class we are going to move into the world of electronics and microcontrollers so that we can manipulate our physical designs!

Microsoft MakeCode Editor for Micro:Bit
Micro:Bit MakeCode Examples
Python Editor for Micro:Bit
Micro:Bit - Adafruit

3.22 - Snow Day!

Please fill out the below form to pick a new date. Next week we will begin our venture into electronics and we will also check out the VR Museum at Murray!

Pick the New Class Form!

3.29 - More Micros

We spent a portion of the class working building micro:bit based RF transmitters using the block code. We tested examples and modified the code. Some of us were able to add a built in sensor on the board to send the data to our partner.

Radio Example - Javascript

4.12 - Applications of Micro...

This class was devoted to building a project based on the micro:bit and the resources provided. Make sure to attach at least one sensor and one output, like a motor. We will compare projects and troubleshooting as we continue and share results. If needed, soldering equipment is available to add sensors.

Soldering Comic - MightyOHM

4.19 - Arduino Party

We spent the class building a simple thermistat using the Arduino platform. We learned how to install a library, use digital read and write, and serial communication. Our class project related to building a temperature sensor that turns a light on at a certain ambient temperature.

DHT11 - Datasheet
DHT11 - Fritzing Part
Arduino Code
Fritzing Diagram
Fritzing Breadboard
Adafruit DHT Sensor Library
Adafruit Sensor Library