Interaction Design WikiDigital Fabrication

Digital Fabrication HS 2020

Image Source: Digital Fabrication Seminar HS2018 

Digital fabrication is a process that merges design and manufacture through the use of digital tools (software) and computer-controlled manufacturing processes. Such processes position "digital natives" in the forefront of craft and form generation. Today, engineers, designers and artists are leading the development of new sculpting, construction and manufacturing strategies. Methods such as CNC milling, laser cutting, robotic fabrication among others, allow us to materialise radical new forms inspired by biological processes, mathematics and computational geometry.

Lecturers: Luke Franzke, Clemens Winkler

Format: Hybrid

All inputs and mentoring will take place over Zoom. However, in order to use the 3D printers and to make a photo documentation of the final outcomes, students will be required to periodically work in the Atelier or the Workshop. 

Course Goals

In this course, students gain an insight into methods and techniques that blur the boundary between digital and analogue, virtual and physical. Students gain insights into principles from geometry and formation processes. The course provides a number of skills that are highly transferable to various aspects of prototyping for interaction designers.   



Image source:

In this year's Digital Fabrication module, we will attempt to give substance to the fantastic phenomena governed by quantum mechanics. Quantum theory describes the behaviour of particles and energy in their smallest form, where substances that make up our world appear to behave in a very unworldly way. Students will create lively physical representations of quantum phenomena at a macro scale, leading to scenes that completely disobey the conventions of classical physics. Do these substances exist simultaneously in one place and another? Do they behave vastly different when observed, and when not? Do they break the boundaries of space-time? What possibilities exist for interaction between people and such exotic substances?

Students will explore the topic with sketches, rendering and 3D printed objects and a short animation. This animation will be supported by a brief explanatory text situating it in the real world. 

Expectations and Grading

Grades will be based on group presentations, class participation, documentation and final work. An attendance of min. 80% is required to pass the course.

Individual Work (20%) 

  1. Workbook documentation of exercises and minor projects from week 1
  2. Presentation of Minor Exercises 

Group Work (80%) 

  1. Main Project: Animated rendering, 3D printed objects
  2. Presentation of process and outcomes
  3. Standard IAD Documentation 
    • Video
    • Image selection 
    • Documentation in pdf format. 

Final Presentation notes:

Tutorial Recordings

Time Plan

All inputs in Zoom

Workshop: 3.E07-A is available for work, as well as the use of 3D printers in the Project Room 

Week 1 

Mo., 11.1.  (zoom)

Tu. 12.1 (zoom)

We 13.1. (zoom)

Th. 14.1. (zoom/ miro)

Fr. 15.1. (zoom)


10:00 Kick-off Digital Fabrication (LF, CW)

11:00 Tinkercad intro (LF)

9:00 Rhino  II  (CW)

  • Loft 
  • Revolve 
  • Arrays 
  • Fillets 

10:30 3D printer Intro (LF)

Printer Instructions

9:00 Grasshopper input 2 (LF)

10:30 (Individual Work)

9:00 Kickoff main Project: Quantum Fabrication (CW, LF)

Group Ideation I
(CW, LF)

9:00 (Individual Work)


14:00 Input: Formation  Process (CW, LF)

15:00 Rhino Introduction (LF, CW)

  • 2D
  • Extrude
  • Primitives
  • Boolean

13:00 Grasshopper Intro (LF)

15:00 (Individual Work)

15:00 Presentation  of Grasshopper results (CW, LF)  

16:00 Input: Further CAD and 3D tools (CW, LF)  

13.10 Recap Morphological Table (CW)
13.20 Tutorial (LF)  

14:00 Individual Work (Task: Moodboard)

13:00 Exchange with all groups with sketches and background research in mood-board
(CW, LF)  

15:00 (Individual Work)

Week 2

Mo. 18.1. (zoom)

Tu. 19.1. (zoom)

We. 20.1. (zoom)

Th. 21.1. (zoom)Fr. 22.1. (zoom)

9:00 Mentorings on sketches, texts, and 3d modelling
(CW, LF)

(Individual Work)

(Individual Work)

09:00 Mentorings on final renderings and animations (LF, CW)

Photographing 3D prints in Atelier.

09:00 Final Presentation 
(LF, CW)


(Individual Work)

14:00 Mentoring
(CW, LF)

(Individual Work)

(Individual Work)

(Individual Work)

Clean up and Documentation