Product Prototyping On A Budget Certificate

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Product Prototyping on a Budget Certificate

Creating a prototype of a product used to be a very expensive proposition. Now, however, with the availability of consumer-level 3D printers and relatively easy-to-program custom electronics controlled by processors like the Arduino, it is possible to prototype many types of products yourself. This certificate consists of two classes; either one can be taken first.

3D printing can be used to create product mockups quickly, and is particularly useful for things like seeing how something feels to a user, seeing how a piece will fit with other existing pieces, and the like. It is still very difficult to scan an existing object and create a copy, and the class will talk about where the technologies stand for the areas that are not easy (yet).

“Maker” electronics include microprocessors like the Arduino, which have a free and open source ecosystem of software and compatible sensors that will allow you to create interactive prototypes that can detect motion, sound, light, and so on, or control moving parts. There are even sewable versions of these processors that can be integrated into garments or other fabric products.


Taken together, these two classes will give you the skills to get started with these two aspects of low-cost prototyping, and give you an idea of what is possible and where to learn even more skills going forward.

Introduction to 3D Printing

3D printing has been hailed as a solution to all manufacturing problems. Obviously that is exaggerated, but what is it good for (and when is traditional manufacturing still the better choice?) In this course you will learn how to separate the real promise of the technology from the hype, and understand the workflow for a consumer-level 3D printer. You will become familiar with some typical online databases of objects available to print, and get a bit of experience with free or open-source software for all stages of the process. This class will be primarily focused to introduce you to the tools of the open 3D printer ecosystem, but the principles will apply to consumer 3D printers in general.

Prototyping with Maker Electronics

Arduino. 3D printing. Wearable tech. Your students or your kids may be talking about these things, but what is all this stuff, and how can you keep up and try to get ahead of them? This class will survey the core technologies found in makerspaces and give you a start in understanding what you will need to learn to create awesome technology projects. You will also learn how to find and sort through the many free resources online.

Recommended optional e-book: Horvath and Cameron, The New Shop Class: Getting Started with 3D Printing, Arduino and Wearable Tech (Apress: 2015) [discount code for U Got Class students will be available]