2 secondary school students following Principles of Digital Fabrication

Principles of Digital Fabrication is a bachelor level's course offered to any University of Oulu student and offered by ITEE Oulu

This year was the second implementation of the course and we have had a total of 25 students, from different background: educational technology, computer engineering, biochmestry ... For the first time, this year we also had two upper secondary school students that follow the course in the same conditions as any of the university students. They both manage to pass the course. If they come to our University they will automatically have 5ECTS in their records.

This course is about creating interactive physical prototypes that combine mechanical, electrical and software components. It teaches students to design mechanical parts with solid modeling tools, and to combine those parts together with sensors and actuators (mainly motors and servos) in order to create a physical gadget that interacts with the world around it.

There are three primary activities in the course: designing and building mechanical parts, designing and building electronics and implementing software to a microcontroller. The course also introduces the students to the use of Fab Lab facilities at the University of Oulu.

The course focuses on project work and students are required to design and produce a simple electronic device. The project work is a group activity consisting of prototype’s design and implementation, and the project documentation. Other activities in the course besides the project work are: lectures, workshops or hands-on training, and students groups’ presentations. The optimal student group consists of 3 people. This ensures that each group will have enough working hours available to make an interesting project (5 credits equals 135 hours of work per student).

Our two pupils form a group by themselves. They fabricated a follow the line robot including external case made of 2D laser cut and 3D printed pieces, electronics and software controlling Arduino Uno.

They did a really nice job documenting their progress. You can have a look to their blog in following this link.


NOTE: Following pictures copyright belong to Leevi Loikkanen and Ramanya Donmaya