Teaching rapid fabrication at Carnegie Mellon University’s

for CMU’s IDeATe program


8 weeks • Offered quarterly

Adjunct Instructor • Curriculum Designer • Researcher • CAD Drafter • CNC Operator

Techniques + Tools
Fusion360 • CO2 Laser • FDM 3D Printers



A regularly offered course that explores laser cutting and
3D printing through a hands-on, interdisciplinary lens.



digiTOOL is a mini course offered in Carnegie Mellon University’s IDeATe department. In this course I teach an introduction to the fundamental concepts, processes, and procedures for laser cutting, 3D printing, and CAD modeling. Open to all majors, my classes are taught in CMU's IDeATe interdisciplinary program. These courses take an integrative approach to design, art, and technology.



  1. Solve a problem with tools

  2. Make something useful

  3. Think critically about making

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Course structure

The course begins with introductions to the facility, portfolio expectations, project planning tools, and prototyping methods.

Within the first unit, students begin to work in the 2D and 3D environment. From this stage, we transition into expected safety procedures, then file preparation for digital fabrication.

Moving forward, we introduce relevant philosophical materials, 3D geometry creation, development, & editing. Users will be introduced to CAD software options and methods. This information not only influences proper modeling techniques, but also applies to 3D Printing and laser cutting. CAM processing environments are discussed, and users will 3D print/cut forms of their own creation.

Students are required to complete multiple projects, with complete documentation, for this class.

Equipment training will cover policy, procedure, and safety. All users will be expected to exhibit proper equipment utilization under supervision before they are approved for continued access.

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Students in digiTOOL are expected to develop an ability to articulate the story (visually, orally, verbally, aurally …) of their own work and learning. They showcase this ability through the development of a process document portfolio piece. These process documents include intention, research, inspiration, sketches, renderings, and final product photographs. Examples of student work from my classes can be found below.