Carnegie Mellon

24-672: DIY Design and Fabrication

  Fall 2016   

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Basic 3D CAD usage (for example 24-688: Introduction to CAD/CAD Tools)



The traditional principles of mass production are being challenged by concepts of highly customized and personalized goods. A growing number of do-it-yourself (DIY) inventors, designers, makers, and entrepreneurs is accelerating this trend.

This class offers students hands-on experiences of DIY product design and fabrication processes. Over the course of a semester, students work individually or in small groups to design a customized and personalized product of their own and build it using various DIY fabrication methods, including 3D laser scanning, 3D printing, laser cutting, vacuum forming, etc. Students develop multiple prototypes throughout the semester, iterating and refining their design.

Students are expected to spend 6 ~ 7 hours a week for hands-on design, prototyping, and report generation. The hands-on work is complemented by two 100 min lectures a week, reading assignments on design and manufacturing as well as guest talks on DIY design and manufacturing. Students are expected to document and share their work online for feedback and suggestions from other students (potential customers).


 1. Engineering Drawing / Design Sketching
 2. Product Ideation and Conceptual Design
 3. Prototyping
 4. Mass Customization / Personalization
 5. 3D Photo / Laser Metrology
 6. Material Selection for DIY Design and Fabrication
 7. Personal Fabrication Methods
 8. 3D printing
 9. Graphic design
10. Color selection


There is no designated textbook for this course.  Reading assignments will be posted in the schedule section of the class web.


Problem Sets: 8 problem sets are given to help you better understand the course material and learn the software usage skills.   Problem sets are posted on the "Schedule" section of the class web.

Individual Effort: The solutions to all the problem sets that you hand in should be generated by your individual effort.  It is okay to discuss the approach to problems with other students, but the submitted work must be your own and should not be copied from someone else. 
Late Policy for Problem Sets
:  30% off for one day, 60% off for two days, and no credit afterward.  For example, suppose that the due date is 5:00 pm Tue afternoon; you will lose 30% by handing it in Wed afternoon and 60% Thu afternoon.
Note: Everyone is given two no-penalty late days. You may submit two Problem Sets one day late with no late penalty, or one Problem Set two days late with with no penalty.

Presentations There will be two class presentations.

Late Policy for Project Reports:  No credit for late Project Reports. 

Hand-in Directory:  Hand in your solutions to the problem sets by the beginning of the class on the due date.  For some problem sets your work should be uploaded to one of the following AFS directories by the same due date and time:

Grade Correction: Please review your graded work right after it is returned to you to make sure that there is no error in grading.  If you find a grading error, you need to let the instructor know as soon as possible but no later than a week from the date your paper is ready to be picked up.  The grade will not be corrected after one week.

Textbook Reading: Reading assignments are given occasionally.  Check the schedule section regularly for each week's reading assignment.  

Class Participation: During the lecture time, short (5-10min) in-class assignments will be given.  This allows you to reflect on what has been covered in the recent lectures and reading assignments and to check your understanding of the material.  It also gives the instructor a chance to detect and point out typical mistakes so you will be better prepared for quizzes.  The class participation credit (10% of the total grade) will be given partly based on how many in-class assignments you submit. 

Policy on Missed Quizzes

A missed quiz counts as zero credit unless you get permission in advance from the instructor.  If you are sick a note from the student health center is required.  A make-up quiz may not be of the same difficulty as the in-class quiz.   The instructor can also give an oral make-up quiz instead. 


Time management is a critical factor to your academic success, as to any professional environment.  Being a 12-unit course, it is expected that each student will devote at least 12 hours a week to: (1) attending lectures, (2) completing problem sets, (3) reviewing lecture materials and reading assignments, and (4) preparing for quizzes.

Your Grade

Your final grade will be determined by an absolute method of grading.   This is to allow you to obtain a grade based on your individual performance without having to compete with others.  It is thus possible for the whole class to get an A grade or in the other case for the whole class to get a C grade.  (Of course we hope that you all will work hard and get an A!)  The final letter grade ranges are:  

A: 100-90%    B: 90-80%   C: 80-70%    D: 70-60%

The evaluation of your work in the course will be based on the following distribution:

24-672 Grading


Total Points

Problem Sets and Final Project






Web page



Class Participation



Quizzes / Exams






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Send email to Professor Kenji Shimada ( shimada @
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