Topic outline

  • General

    Welcome to Digital Fabrication I!

    This course covers 1/3 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."

    Each week consists of the following.

    • Global lecture
    • Local lecture
    • Assignment

    Global lectures

    Global lectures use Eastern Standard Time (think New York 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 24 Time Zones to double-check. You can find the Zoom link at the bottom of the page.

    Local lectures

    Thursdays 13:15 online or hybrid mode depending on the topic. Please find the Zoom link below. Hybrid mode means 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's 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. ChatGPT, Copilot? Why not. Use it!


    Use the attendance sheet to mark your participation in the lectures. You can find the attendance sheet at the bottom of this page. You are required to participate in 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 (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. 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.

    Individual Tutoring

    Time is precious for everyone. In the case you need one-to-one guidance from the teacher, please schedule a meeting by contacting teachers via email.

    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. Check the assignment pages to find links to specific booking options.

    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.


    Every week you are supposed to do independent work and document it to complete an assignment. The first weeks of the course are the time when 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 must 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 has been 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 about 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

      Passcode: DFAB2024

    • URL icon
      Zoom link for global lectures URL

      Use password 1234

    • URL icon
      Realtime communication URL

      Use this link to access the class real-time communication Telegram group. 

    • URL icon
      File sharing URL

      You will be able to find lecture recordings and other relevant information in this shared folder.
      Password: DigitalFabrication2024

    • URL icon
      Global Lecture Video Recordings URL

      Here you can find the recorded global lecture videos.

    • URL icon
      Global Lecture Schedule URL

      Fab Academy global lecture schedule.

    • URL icon
      List of student documentation pages URL

      You can find the full list of student documentation repositories and websites here.

    • URL icon
      1 to 1 Troubleshooting Booking URL

      Pick a 30 minute face-to-face troubleshooting session at the Fablab.