Topic outline

  • General

    Welcome to Digital Fabrication II!

    This course covers 2/3 of the topics from Fab Academy.

    As said on the Fab Academy website: "The Fab Academy is a fast paced, hands-on learning experience where students learn rapid-prototyping by planning and executing a new project each week, resulting in a personal portfolio of technical accomplishments."

    You should enroll the Digital Fabrication Studio DOM-E515801 if you plan to go for the Digital Fabrication II and III. It will ensure full compatibility with the Fab Academy.

    Each week consists of the following.

    • Global lecture
    • Local lecture
    • Assignment

    Global lectures

    Global lectures use Eastern Standard Time (think Boston time) and are happening on Wednesdays 9:00 EST which at the beginning of the course is 16:00 Helsinki time. Use tools such as the world clock to double-check. You can find the Zoom link on the bottom of the page.

    Local lectures

    Thursdays 15:00 online or hybrid mode depending on the topic and COVID-19 restrictions. Please find the Zoom link below. Hybrid mode meaning that you can join the lecture physically at the Aalto Fablab and via Zoom.


    Each topic has a basic set of skills that you will need to accomplish your assignment. Each week page contains a list of resources you can use to learn the basics.

    Sometimes the videos and tutorials do not explain everything. This is why you are encouraged to spend time at the lab, experiment on your own and ask instructors for guidance.

    Human resources are precious. Whenever possible, try robots first. Search engines are your friends in this course. A course like this would not be possible without the internet. Use it!


    Use the attendance sheet to mark your participation in the lectures. You can find the attendance sheet on the bottom of this page. You are required to participate 80% of the lectures to be able to pass the course.

    Independent work

    Lectures are there to guide you, but you are responsible for allocating enough time to complete the assignments yourself. Starting from week 05 (DF I, Computer-Controlled Cutting) you are supposed to plan your work to be able to spend time at the Aalto Fablab. That means being there not only during the lectures, but whenever possible to complete your assignments. Start early and add buffer time to accommodate failed attempts.

    The course is a full-time effort. It is recommended not to combine it with other courses (except Digital Fabrication Studio). You will fail and you will need time to recover. Keeping up with documentation takes time. It is in your best interest to make a good looking portfolio of accomplishments as a result.

    Machine booking

    Machines are pre-booked for the course participants for the specific weeks covering them. For example vinyl cutter and laser cutter are booked for course participants during week 5 (Computer-Controlled Cutting) and the machines are expected to be used on a first-come first-served basis, except when we are doing introductions. Introductions will happen on Thursdays and Fridays. We will try to record as much as possible for later viewing.

    Outside the weeks covering a specific topic you need to book the machines using the methods provided by Aalto Fablab. You can find the latest information about booking machines on the Aalto Fablab website.

    You can use the lab and the machines outside Fablab opening hours (after 16:00). Exceptions are the use of Recontech 1312 CNC milling machine and the Epilog Fusion 48 laser cutter. You can use them if members of staff or one of the student helpers are near.


    Every week you are supposed to do independent work and document it to complete an assignment. The first weeks of the course is the time where you learn the tools and the flow for documenting your assignments.

    You can find the assignments in each of the weekly topic sections. Since you will be using GitLab to document your work, you will need to submit a link to a page on your website covering a specific topic.


    Your work is going to be evaluated based on the documentation you produce. Invest time and energy during the first weeks of the course to master the flow of documenting on the go. Do not leave documentation to the very last minute of the course.

    Grading is based on the following criteria.

    1: The assignment has been submitted and a page about the topic is created.

    2: Basic concepts of the assignment week are described, but not all of the requirements are met.

    3: Minimum viable requirements of the assignment are met.

    4: Creativity in the execution of the assignment can be seen. The topic has been explored beyond basic concepts.

    5: The result is creative and technically impressive and the documentation page itself can be used as a resource by someone else. 

    Refer to the official Fab Academy Assessment Guide to learn more on what is expected for each assignment. This is a documentation website you should be aiming for: Fab Academy by Nadieh Bremer.

    • URL icon
      Zoom link for local lectures URL

      Use the passcode DFAB2022 to connect.

    • URL icon
      Zoom link for global lectures URL
      Use the passcode 1234 to connect.
    • URL icon
      Realtime communication URL
      Use this link to access the class real-time communication Telegram group.
    • URL icon
      File sharing URL
      Use this shared folder to access instruction videos and share files with your peers.
    • URL icon
      You can find the full list of student documentation repositories and websites here.