DigiFab: Introduction to Digital Fabrication
Michael Darling is a sculptor, fabricator and tinkerer based in Los Angeles, CA. Known for his assemblages of small wooden blocks and technically creative and highly crafted constructions. He has used his skills in fabrication and technical design on projects large and small in theater, TV, film and themed entertainment all over the world. Michael is on faculty at the California Institute of the Arts where he is the head of technical design and production for the school of theater as well as teaching Digital Fabrication for artists. Prior to teaching Michael was the technical director for Richard Foreman’s Ontological Hysteric Theater in New York City where he built and toured some of the most beautiful and technically designed sets imaginable. Michael rarely knows what is impossible and has learned over his lifetime not only how to take things apart but how to put them back together by making the parts that get lost.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to design and fabricate parts for custom furniture? Do you want to 3D print baked goods in your spare time? This 3-course Kadenze Academy Program, developed in collaboration with leading design and manufacturing software company Autodesk, explores modern skills in digital object design. This knowledge will kickstart your process for a broad range of projects in creative design, robotics, 3D modeling and documentation, rapid prototyping and manufacturing.
You’ll learn from multidisciplinary maker and CalArts faculty member Michael Darling, who will teach you how to translate your ideas into 2D and 3D forms with industry software workflows using Autodesk Meshmixer, Autodesk Fusion 360, and Adobe Illustrator.
Paired with foundational knowledge of machines, hardware, and materials, these powerful tools will allow you to use laser cutting, CNC routing, 3D printing, and many other CAM-based equipment to create physical objects for your artwork and commercial products. No matter your skill level, by the end of the Program you will be able to translate whatever you design on a computer screen into tangible reality.
- In this program you’ll not only learn software skills, but also develop an adaptive mindset for working with machines, hardware, and materials to ensure that your creative designs can be turned into tangible realities.
- Learn digital fabrication techniques, including the practical software skills you’ll need in Autodesk Fusion 360 and Meshmixer.
- Learn to create basic and complex objects, while developing your technical design knowledge and a deeper understanding of materials and hardware.
- Session 1: What Is DigiFab?
- Session 2: Pre-Fabricating: Measurement & Hardware
- Session 3: Materials for Fabrication
- Session 4: 2D Joinery Techniques
- Session 1: Adobe Illustrator: Finding your Path
- Session 2: Adobe Illustrator for Laser Cutting
- Session 3: Introduction to Autodesk Fusion 360
- Session 4: Autodesk Fusion 360: Flat Pack Nesting and Hardware Integration
- Session 1: Introduction to 3D Printing
- Session 2: Autodesk Fusion 360 Sculpt Workspace
- Session 3: Learning Autodesk Meshmixer
- Session 4: Rendering and Drafting with Autodesk Fusion 360
- Explore creative applications of simple fabrication techniques such as constructing a cardboard vase with a paper flower bouquet
- Design a birdhouse with bird model to learn the standard procedures and technical aspects of laser cutting
- Learn about the design processes and best practices of working with plywood to build a chair and an end table
- 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.
- Access to paper printer
- Digital caliper
- Exacto knife
- 2 button mouse with scroll wheel to equipment
- 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 college fablab) you will be able to explore deeper.
- Repositionable spray adhesive
- A verified Specialist Certificate that prove you completed the Program and mastered the subject.*
- A verified course Certificate for each individual course you complete in the program.*
* Each certificate earned is endorsed by Kadenze and the offering institution(s).
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Why join a Program?
Becoming a specialist in a subject requires a highly tuned learning experience connecting multiple related courses. Programs unlock exclusive content that helps you develop a deep understanding of your subject. From your first course to your final summative assessment, our thoughtfully curated curriculum enables you to demonstrate your newly acquired skills.