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This exclusive course is part of the program:
DigiFab: Introduction to Digital Fabrication
Go at your own pace
4 Sessions / 10 hours of work per session
Included w/ premium membership ($20/month)
Skill Level
Video Transcripts
Digital Fabrication, Autodesk Fusion 360, 2D design, 3D design, CNC Routers, Fabrication Techniques
Open For Enrollment

DigiFab 2D: Laser, CNC and Waterjet

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Go at your own pace
4 Sessions / 10 hours of work per session
Included w/ premium membership ($20/month)
Skill Level
Video Transcripts
Digital Fabrication, Autodesk Fusion 360, 2D design, 3D design, CNC Routers, Fabrication Techniques
Course Description

Now that you know how everything works in theory, it's time to learn how to actually do it. During this course you will learn how to manipulate vector and raster imagery in Adobe Illustrator and Autodesk Fusion 360 to create files that can be successfully cut out with computer controlled machines such as laser cutters, CNC routers and water jet. This course is designed to familiarize you with the software that will enable you to get what's in your head into your hands. This course is all about 2D design and fabrication for both flatwork such as stickers and papercraft, as well as 3D assemblies from 2D parts.


This course is in adaptive mode and is open for enrollment. Learn more about adaptive courses here.

Session 1: Adobe Illustrator: Finding your Path (April 23, 2019)
In this session, we will be using AI’s vector creation tools to make cut lines and engraved lines in materials ranging from paper to hot dogs.
5 lessons
1. Introducing Illustrator
2. Opening Illustrator: The User Interface
3. Menus, Tools, and Hotkeys Time
4. Let's Check Out Some Tools
5. Application: Making a Flower Path
Session 2: Adobe Illustrator for Laser Cutting (April 30, 2019)
Learning Illustrator is one thing, making laser cuttable and engravable files is another. During this session you will learn what you need to consider to make a successful design that is ready for laser via Ponoko, any other laser cutting service or waterjet.
7 lessons
1. Making a Vector out of a Raster Using Image Trace
2. Using the Knife Tool
3. Using the Shape Builder Tool
4. Adding More Images Using Place and the Tools in Image Trace
5. Add Cuttable/Engravable Text
6. Uploading to a Print Service
7. Conclusion
Session 3: Introduction to Autodesk Fusion 360 (May 7, 2019)
Autodesk Fusion 360 is a creator's dream. It's a strong and robust parametric drafting program that is easy to use, ever-expanding and a great visualization tool for 2d and 3d parts and full models. This session will be an introduction to its interface, tools and parameters.
13 lessons
1. An Introduction
2. Learning the Interface
3. Design History
4. Your First Component
5. The Sketch Palette
6. Dimensions, Constraints, and Parameters
7. Create a Feature - Extrude
8. Let's Make Something Now
9. Let's Make Something More
10. Making a Polar Array and Feature to an Existing Body
11. Adding a New Component to Our Assembly
12. Adding a Component - Offset Planes
13. Using a Body Over Using a Component
Session 4: Autodesk Fusion 360: Flat Pack Nesting and Hardware Integration (May 14, 2019)
During this session we will integrate Fusion’s insert feature from McMaster-Carr to start building around real world hardware. We will also be looking at methods for nesting our projects to fit on standard sizes of materials, as well as how to do dogbones for CNC cuts.
14 lessons
1. Introduction
2. Starting a Project: Construction Lines and User Parameters
3. Adding Constraints and Dimensions
4. Adding Rectangular Tabs, Creating Features and New Components
5. Fixing Mistakes Using the Timeline and Edit Feature / Sketch
6. Modifying Features Using the Combine Tool
7. Building Features Using Existing Surface Planes
8. Adding Screw Holes Using the Countersunk Hole Tool
9. Inserting McMaster-Carr Hardware into Your Model
10. Inserting an SVG for Decoration and Branding
11. Getting Everything Flat to Use the Dogbone Add-on
12. After the Fact: Adding a Captured Nut
13. Putting it Back into Illustrator for Laser Cutting
14. Conclusion
Learning Outcomes

Below you will find an overview of the Learning Outcomes you will achieve as you complete this course.

Instructors & Guests
What You Need to Take This Course
  • Software:
    • Autodesk Slicer ( Free)
    • Autodesk Fusion 360 (Free)
      • Students should download Fusion 360 via a free, 3-year educational license, from this page.
    • Autodesk Meshmixer (Free)
    • Adobe Illustrator
    • *You will need administrator privileges on your computer in order to download software.
    • *You will be required to sign up for an Autodesk account in order to download software.
  • Equipment:
    • Digital caliper
    • 2 button mouse with scroll wheel
    • This class will be using a print service to make our projects, but if you have any DigiFab equipment at your disposal (a makerspace or collage fablab) you will be able to explore deeper.
  • Materials
    • You will be responsible for the cost of getting your project printed, as well as the cost of the materials, which you will select yourself.
Additional Information

If a student signs up for the Introduction to Digital Fabrication program, it is recommended that these courses are taken sequentially.

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