This course is about digital manufacturing, a new paradigm in which a digital description guides the direct formation of products from raw materials. We start with a broad review of processes for making things, from nature to industrial manufacturing. Then we study in detail the basic underlying concepts of digital manufacturing: computer-aided design (CAD), digital fabrication (fabbers), shape digitization (scanners), and materials. We learn about currently available fabricators and how they are being used now, in these early days of the technology. We also study concepts for proposed future technologies in this field and we look at the potential impacts of the technology on society.
This course is offered in two versions, one for undergraduates (ISE 232L) and one for graduate students (ISE 511L). The graduate-level version presents the same subject at a higher level of technical sophistication. The course schedule indicates the number of lectures allocated to each topic. You may compare the two versions of the course by opening two browser windows side-by-side and displaying the schedule for one version in each window. This is the syllabus for the grad-level version. Click here to switch to the undergrad version.
Official description: Computer Aided Manufacturing. Modern industrial automation, numerical control concepts, programmable controllers, robotics, computer-process interfacing, automated process and quality control, flexible manufacturing systems, introduction to computer-integrated manufacturing systems.
Divergence: We will cover all the subject mentioned there, but current industrial processes are treated only briefly. Our emphasis and our focus are on the more modern digital technologies, as described in the paragraph at the top of this page.
Objectives: You will become familiar with the most cutting-edge concepts in modern manufacturing. This can prepare you for advanced research in digital manufacturing or related fields, such as CAD software or materials science. It can also lay the groundwork for investigating entrepreneurial opportunities in fabbers or related technologies.
USC class number, name: ISE 511L, Computer Aided Manufacturing
Section numbers, class times and locations:
Current and upcoming sections of this course are:
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Textbook: d-fab A New Course on Fabricator Science by Marshall Burns. This book is under development and is accessed online.
Instructor: Marshall Burns, Ph.D.
Office hours: 11:00 am until 1:30 pm on Tuesdays or Thursdays (the time in between the two versions of the course). Meeting by prior appointment or just come and see me at the end of the morning class to see if Im available.
Teaching assistant: Mahdi Yoozbashizadeh
When this course Web site refers to the instructors or the course instructors, in plural, that means the instructor and the teaching assistant working together. When this syllabus uses the first person (such as I or me), that means the instructor, Marshall Burns.
Class Rules and Grades
I consider you, my student, as my intellectual partner in exploring the field of digital manufacturing. As such, I leave the majority of the responsiblity for your learning up to you. I dont take attendance in class unless required to do so by the university. If you miss class, I expect you are learning the material on your own. However, please note that this may be difficult because the textbook is under development and significant material may be covered in class that may not yet be in the book.
E-mails to me of the form, I was not able to attend class today because I was in the hospital and nearly died. What did I miss? will not be answered. If you miss class inadvertently, please work with your fellow students to catch up on what you missed. I recommend and encourage you to get to know other students in the class and to collaborate with each other in learning the material and completing assignments.
Please turn cell phones and pagers off or put them in vibrate mode before coming to class.
Homework. Homework will be assigned on an occassional basis. Stay tuned for details.
Design and fab project. We are making arrangements for students to have access to CAD and fabber systems for this course. Details will appear here soon. In the meantime, we expect the Design and fab project to work like this:
Your designs will be graded on the quality of your CAD work.
- You will use the CAD system of your choice to input the design of something very simple: a pencil. It should have a hexagonal shaft with a tapered point at one end and an eraser wrapped in a band at the other. You will then go in groups of approximately six students to the Rapid Prototyping Lab, where one of your designs will be set up and run on the Stratasys FDM fabber.
- Next, you will design something of your own choosing. It can be as simple or as complicated as you like, as long as it is capable of being fabbed within the parameters of the fabbers available in this course (to be described soon).
Course project. There is a substantial project component in the graduate version of the course. Please see the Course Project page for the details.
Testing. There will be frequent five-minute tests, possibly at the beginning of every class, which will test your understanding of the material assigned for that day. In addition, there will be a mid-term test and a final exam. These tests will be a combination of (a) questions that test recollection of factual material, (b) problems requiring some calculation or logical deduction, and (c) brief essay questions seeking creative thinking and expression of ideas. Books and notes are not allowed during the tests, unless you are instructed otherwise, but calculators are. There are no make-up tests. If missing a major test due to a medical condition or emergency hurts your grade badly, we will follow whatever procedure the school provides for dropping the class or issuing a grade of incomplete. Please check the course schedule to ensure that you do not have a schedule conflict with the test times and do not take the class if you do.
Intellectual honesty. I expect the utmost integrity in your work. Primarily, this means that work you turn in is your own and not someone elses, whether on homework, a test, or a project. When you include material in your work that is from a particular source, you credit that source. If the material is taken verbatim, you credit that source and you either put it in quotation marks or typographically set it off to indicate it is quoted. Check out the helpful Trojan Integrity: A Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism (PDF, 120k) and other publications of the USC Office of Student Judicial Affairs. If you have questions about how to handle some kind of material, please talk to one of the course instructors about it. If you think you know, but youre not sure, talk to us. Dont take any chances with your integrity.
The university has asked me, and I agree, to adhere to the USC policies and procedures governing academic integrity as described in SCampus. Basically, the policy for cheating or plagiary is to assign a failing grade for the entire course, not just for the test or project involved. You are expected to be aware of and to observe the academic integrity standards described in SCampus, and you can expect those standards to be enforced in this course.
In Spring 2005, my first semester at USC, one of my students was caught looking at notes during a test. With great personal difficulty and against the students vigorous pleadings, I decided the only action that was fair to his fellow students was for him to fail the course, and a report was filed with the university administration. This is serious, folks. Do not cheat!
Grades. The grading scheme for the grad-level version of the course is as follows:
- 65% and 35% for the higher and the lower, respectively, of the following two elements:
- Your course project
- The total of the following:
- Homework. 10%
- Design and fab project. 15%
- Five-minute tests. 20%
- Midterm test. 25%
- Final exam. 30%. The exam will be comprehensive, covering material from the entire term.
- Students participation and initiative. Bonus points are available for enthusiastic participation in class and initiative taken in providing substantive and helpful feedback on the textbook. This includes asking probing questions, finding typographical and technical errors, complaining about hard-to-understand explanations, and suggestions for improving the words, graphics, or layout of the online book. A student who is reasonably active in class may expect to receive one or two bonus percentage points. Very active and constructive contribution may earn as much as five or more points. USC policy limits participation points to a maximum of ten percent.
Grading of homework and tests, as well as the design and fab project, will primarily be performed by the teaching assistant, in consultation with and under final approval by the course instructor. Grading of the course project will be done by the course instructor.
Students with disabilities. Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Bring that to me no later than the second class of the semester (January 13). DSP is located in STU 301, (213) 740-0776, and is open 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
The schedule of the course is shown in the following table. When you first pull up this page, it lists the chapters of the textbook along with the dates that we will begin discussing them in class and the number of lectures devoted to each one. To see the schedule in more detail, click where it says Change to 2 levels near the top of the table. This will expand the schedule to show all the section of the book along with the same information about dates and number of lectures.
The following are other important dates for this course.
Grad-level version. Switch to undergrad version.
|Class photo||Thurs., Oct. 20||14:05|
|Midterm test in room WPH 107|
Late arrivals get test ten minutes after arrival.
|Thurs., Oct. 20||14:15 .. 15:15|
|Thanksgiving||Nov. 24 .. 27|
|Final exam in room WPH 107||Thurs., Dec. 8||14:00 .. 16:00|
Group photos of the students and instructors in this course are available here.