Innovate to Educate Entry

University of Cincinnati

Ming Tang, Associate Professor

What innovative technology initiative or project are you most proud of, and how has it improved teaching and learning in your school/district?

We applied various computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) in the studio course to teach topics from 3D modeling, performance analysis, and digital fabrication with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling. We also taught scripting and use algorithm methods to generate design solutions. As educators, we must encourage economic considerations of material during the fabricating and assembling process.

What were some of the biggest challenges to your initiative, and how did you meet those challenges?

The essential challenges of the architectural practice, including but not limited to material properties, constrains of fabrication, assembling process, and economic constraints, need to be prevalent during the conceptual design phase of all beginning design students. The ITSC renovation project provided an optimal place where consideration of fabrication processes created a feedback loop to the conceptual design. The precaution to the manufacturing process and material issues such as tolerance, strength, flexibility, and cost encouraged students to create design iterations that were derived with CAD and CAM tools.

What are the three biggest components that need to be in place for tech innovation to succeed are:

In our project, CAD and CAM tools revealed the sequence of subtraction or addition by which form is realized. Simulated modeling quickly estimated the amount of material usage and cutting process. As the new CAM tools are becoming more accessible and integrated into the design process, it is essential for beginning design students to take on a new role as fabricator and put economy and material in the highest priority. With the ability to visually and numerically quantify the efficacy of fabrication, the results are valued for the process of building, the integration of fabrication, material parameters, and the engagement to the tangible world.

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