Using prototyping to teach digital fabrication techniques

Timothy L. Hemsath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The use of digital fabrication in the production and making of architecture is becoming a prevalent vehicle for the design process. As a result, there is a growing demand for computer-aided design (CAD) skills, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) logic, parametric modelling and digital fabrication in student education. This paper will highlight a case study project that sought to ingrate computational prototyping with digital fabrication techniques in the production of architecture. The goal is to use virtual and physical prototyping to educate students in CAD, CAM, parametric modelling and digital fabrication. Rather than repeating conventional approaches or recreating from precedent, iterative prototyping challenges students to understand the CAD technique or parameters for modelling and translate intentions for CAM production. Students engage real world constraints of materials, time and tectonics. In the end, these projects are critical of the digital and speculate on the architectural detail in an age of digital ubiquity. COPYRIGHT:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-307
Number of pages8
JournalElectronic Journal of Information Technology in Construction
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • CAD/.CAM
  • Digital fabrication
  • Prototyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Computer Science Applications


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