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Course Overview

Goal: Teach you what you need to know in order to be able to rapidly prototype an intelligent appliance.

You will learn about:

  • 3d design (solidworks, inventor, sketchup)
  • 3d physical production (glue, laser cutting, 3d printing0
  • Embedded computing (arduino, basic stamp)
  • Embedded sensors
  • Embedded actuators

How we're going to do it:

  • Building physical things:
    • Wood bridge
    • Rubber band car
  • Embedded computing with sensors and actuators
    • Arduino (via spark fun tinker kit)
  • Build and race a robot:
    • Boebot
  • Final project

Course Logistics

  • Self-driven course.
  • We are your coach.
  • First phase of course is oriented around forcing you to learn about a number of technologies/skills.
    • Physical: Wood cutting, 3D printing, glueing
    • Computing
    • Sensing
    • Actuating
  • Final phase
    • You use those skills to build a project that blows us away!
  • Required milestones: Skill Demos.

We will normal meet in CCB 337. That room only accommodates 30 people. Accordingly, the course will meet as follows:

  • Section A: Tuesdays 12-1:30
  • Section B: Thursdays 12-1:30
  • Occasionally meet in CCB 102, will be announced.
  • TAs will also hold separate office hours to be posted later.

Required Items

  • You must purchase: Plastic box for keeping your stuff 14.2 x 9 x 7 inches: at amazon
  • Provided by the class: spark fun tinker kit (required $20 deposit, check payable to Georgia Tech, or cash).


Clay's Links for SOLIDWORKS: SOLIDWORKS_help

The GVU prototyping lab:

Remote desktop (SolidWorks and Adobe Suites are pre-installed):

SolidWorks Tutorials for beginners:

Export and adjust layout for laser cutting from SolidWorks:

GaTech's laser cutter quick tutorial:

ECE virtual lab:

Great free online PDF for some electronics basics and sensory integration.


The following skill demos are based on the SparkFun Tinker Kit.

The following skill demos are based on the BoeBot robot:

The following skill demos relate to the Plywood Bridge project:

The following skill demos relate to the Final Project:

  • Final Project Proposal: 2.5%
  • Final Project Milestone #1: 2.5%
  • Final Project Demo: 20%


Final grade is calculated as follows:

  • Arduino skill demos: 20%
  • BoeBot skill demos: 35%
  • Plywood bridge: 20%
  • Final project: 25%

See detailed breakdown above.

Using 3D Design Software

Using Laser Cutter


The following skill demos are from 2015. They are here for reference as we update for 2016.

The following skill demos are based on the BoeBot kit:

The following skill demos relate to the Rubber Band Car project:

  • Overall project information: Rubber Band Car
  • Skill Demo #7: Submit one or more images of your initial design for the rubber band/egg car. Plan to describe your design to the class in less than 3 minutes.
  • Skill Demo #8: Submit DXF file for cutting your plywood for the car.
  • Skill Demo #9: Submit STL file for 3D printing.
  • Rubber Band Race Off

The following relates to the Final Project: