Arch 433 Intro to Digital Fabrication Fall 2017

Arch 433 Intro to Digital Fabrication

Course Description:
This course offers a comprehensive exploration of computer-aided fabrication from concept development and modeling through digital file creation and cutting processes. Using CAD/CAM software, laser cutters, CNC mills, and 3D printers, students with a variety of interests can build the elements of detailed models, fabricate a range of finished objects, or even create landscapes incorporating highly articulated surfaces. The course stresses the integration of the complete thought process from concept development to pre-visualization to detailed modeling to fabrication setup and finishing. Students gain a solid understanding of the rapidly developing world of CAD/CAM techniques while acquiring specific long-term skills in software-based modeling and machine-assisted fabrication.
Course format:
Using the theme of ‘Baroque’ students will work in small groups to research, design, and fabricate prototypes. At the Midterm presentation the entire class will select one of the group projects to build full scale for the Final project. Each original group will continue to work together on separate tasks as well as work together with the whole class to complete the final project.

Prerequisite: DC II or permission to take the course





Alphonso Peluso:


Class Tutorials and Assignments:

Class-01: Course Introduction  _ 3D Printing Basics _Form Groups _ Laser Authorizations Reminder

Group Assignment 01 – Arch433_Conceptual Designs_Assignment

Past Conceptual Design Presentations: 

(Please note the examples below are for a seating element, you are designing a chapel)

Lopez, Alonso, Berra


Galbis, Falcones, Gonzalez Garcia-Segovia

Medina Sanz Calbacho



Class-02: Conceptual Design Presentations #01 (Group assign. 01) _ Idea Shop Tour

3D Print Assignment: Arch433_FA17_3D_Print_Assignment

Idea Shop Wiki:


Class-03: Conceptual Design Presentations #02 (Group assign. 02) _ 3D Print Prototype(s)

LaserCut Assignment: Arch433_FA17_Laser_Cut_Assignment


Class-04: Sectioning Concept _ Say Hello to the Precix

Demo Rhino File: Slat_Demo_Rhino_File

Sectioning Reading: Iwamoto_Digital_Fabrications_Sectioning

Digital Design and Fabrication Firm:

Sectioning Video:

Findulation Video:



Class-05: Get Friendly with the Precix _ Intro to RhinoCam #01 _ Name plate Assignment _ Engraving _ Profiling

Name Plate Assignment: Arch433_FA17_Name_Plate_Assignment

Precix CNC Router post processor file: FLASHCUT_PRECIX_INCH.spm (this file must be saved in a folder _ right-click and save file or link as _ to retain the .spm file extension)


Case Study Videos:

Laser Cut

3D Printed

Digital Grotesque . Printing Architecture from Digital Grotesque on Vimeo.


Class-06: Laser Cut Presentation


Class-07: BFF with the Precix _ Intro to RhinoCam #02 _ Joining Exercise _ Pocketing _ Drilling

CNC Drawing Assignment: Arch433_FA17_2D_Machining_Assignment


Class-08: Precix Speeds and Feeds _ Work in Class

Article: Wired Magazine ‘You Suck at using a CNC Router’

Article: CNC Cookbook ‘Speeds and Feeds for Wood’

Article: Make Magazine ‘The Skinny on End Mills’

Chip Load:


Midterm Assignment:  Arch433_FA17_Midterm_Assignment


Class-10: Surface Milling _ Parallel Rough and Finish _ Final Build Selection _ Group Assignments



Class-11: Mold Making & Vacuum forming

Vacuum Forming Guide:
(See section 5, pay special attention to p31-35)

Arch 433_FA17_VacuumForm_Assignment