Build Stuff

Stretch your creativity by learning how to build new things.

Practical Electronics (SP.764/5, Fall 2004)

Printed circuit board.Description:You can build a wide range of practical electronic devices if you understand a few basic electronics concepts and follow some simple rules. These devices include light-activated and sound-activated toys and appliances, remote controls, timers and clocks, and motorized devices.

The subject begins with an overview of the fundamental concepts, followed by a series of laboratory exercises that demonstrate the basic rules, and a final project. A basic understanding of logic operations is helpful when viewing this course.

Instructor: Dr. James Bales
Start with: Image gallery and project video
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Furniture Making (4.296, Spring 2005)

A wood-bending demonstration.Description:This course is an introduction to methods of wooden furniture making, and features images and videos demonstrating woodworking techniques, as well as images of the furniture designed and built by students for their final projects. Find photos and video of techniques from the class on the Lecture Notes page.

Instructor: Professor Christopher Dewart
Start with: Lecture Notes page for picture and video demonstrations of some woodworking techniques
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Rockport quarry.Description:This subject introduces skills needed to build within a landscape establishing continuities between the built and natural world. Students learn to build appropriately through analysis of landscape and climate for a chosen site, and to conceptualize design decisions through drawings and models. Check out the Lecture Notes page for video of sites and class review sessions.

Instructor: Professor Jan Wampler
Start with: Video lecture notes and location photos
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Introduction to Robotics (2.12 Fall 2005)

Wheeled robot carrying doll in its arm.Description:This course provides an overview of robot mechanisms, dynamics, and intelligent controls. Topics include planar and spatial kinematics, and motion planning; mechanism design for manipulators and mobile robots, multi-rigid-body dynamics, 3D graphic simulation; control design, actuators, and sensors; wireless networking, task modeling, human-machine interface, and embedded software. Features descriptions and videos of the two main student projects: building a robot capable of searching for land mines, and building a robot capable of rescuing trapped or injured people after a natural disaster.

Instructors: Professor Harry Asada, Professor John Leonard
Start with: Projects page for videos of student-built robots
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Mechanical Engineering Tools (2.670, January (IAP) 2004)

Student Stirling engines lined up for the spin-off.Description:In this course students build their own Stirling engines, which compete in a spin-off at the end of the course. The course is designed to introduce the fundamentals of machine tool and computer tool use by having students work with a variety of machine tools including the bandsaw, milling machine, and lathe. Instruction is also given on MATLAB®, MAPLE®, XESS™, and CAD. The emphasis is on problem solving, not programming or algorithmic development. Included is a full description of the Stirling engine on the Study Materials page, pictures of finished engines on the Projects page, and tutorials on how to use MATLAB® and the many tools used to construct the Stirling engines.

Instructors: Professor Douglas Hart, Professor David Wallace
Start with: Projects page for pictures of students' engines from the 2004 competition
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MIT Production of the 'Company of Angels.Description:This class looks at the special structural and practical needs of theatrical scenery and effects and how they can be constructed. The technical design process is mapped from initial meetings to realization on stage. The class emphasizes safety, budgeting, and problem solving. Included is a large collection of student work on the Assignments page, and a huge list of resources related to theater and technical design.

Instructor: Professor Michael Katz
Start with: Assignments page for student work
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Water Jet Technologies (SP.777, Spring 2005)

Students working in the shop.Description:In this Public Service Design Seminar (PSDS), students design and build products with developmentally disabled students at the Protestant Guild Learning Center in Waltham, MA. The class works closely with community clients to make sure that what is developed is helpful and functional. These products are built using the Hobby Shop equipment, the water jet machine in particular. The product development process is also detailed in depth: determining customer needs, concept development, prototyping, design, and manufacturing. Included are pictures and presentations describing the final student projects, as well as all the assignments in the course with examples of student work.

Instructors: Mr. Kenneth Stone, Alea Teeters
Start with: Projects page for pictures and presentations of student projects
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Toy Product Design (2.00B, Spring 2008)

MIT Toy Lab.Description:This course is an introduction to the product design process with an emphasis on designing for children and entertainment. Students will work in small teams to develop a working prototype of a toy, taking the minds of young children into account. Includes pictures and descriptions of student projects.

Instructors: Barry Kudrowitz, Professor David Wallace
Start with: The Projects page to see completed student projects
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