Taubman College

Course List

Term Fall 2011
Class ARCH 571
Class Title Digital Fabrication
Description Digital fabrication techniques have changed the interaction between design, material, and process. This course serves to provide a “hands-on” environment for learning existing digital fabrication methods as well as innovating new ones. In order for the digital fabrication pro¬cess to embed itself into design methodology, knowledge of the tools and fabrication tech¬niques must become an essential skill; in many ways it must become a new craft altogether.

Advances in the integration of software tools and fabrication methods have placed archi¬tects at the crossroads of various disciplines. The sharing and integration of knowledge across various disciplines opens up new paths to innovation in the digital process. The line between designer and fabricator is continuing to blur. The feedback loop that the digital/physical process affords is an invaluable tool for design research and innovation, reaching far beyond purely formal investigations.

The seminar functions as an evolving research lab for advanced fabrication techniques. A wide range of computer controlled manufacturing tools are available in the digital fabrication lab. The newest machine, a 6 axis industrial robot, serves as a multifunctional platform for both investigating new processes and producing full scale components. The robot has a working volume roughly 30’ x 10’ x 6’, and can change between various functional tools, including a milling spindle, an abrasive water jet, and a gripper for assembly tasks. All of these tasks can be performed with high accuracy in 3d space, at speeds much higher than normal CNC equipment.
Prereq none
Crosslist none
Required No
Elective Yes
Selective No
Meets M, W 11:00am-12:30pm 2108 A&AB
Credits 3
Faculty Wesley McGee
Syllabus Arch571-001.pdf