Digital Design and Fabrication Studio

Project Title: Digital Design + Fabrication Studio

Project Lead: Geoff Riggle


Phone: (513) 529-7394

Affiliation: CCA

Names: Peg Faimon, Ron Stevens

Project Details: This project's aim is to create a studio space in 103L Phillips Hall (former Art Center woodshop) that houses digital design & fabrication (DDF) equipment in support of an introductory curriculum geared toward all Miami students of all majors. Additionally, this studio will provide support for special fabrication needs beyond the capacity of Departments' and Libraries' resources through the utilization of a dedicated staff person and student assistants while remaining budget neutral. Staffing and maintenance costs will be offset through course revenue as outlined in the CCA 2016-17 staffing plan while also consolidating costs borne by the Departments of Architecture + Interior Design and Art. (SEE ATTACHED: DDFS_Supporting_Doc.pdf, Item E - BUDGET) Therefore, this proposal requests monetary support for the purchase and installation of equipment (3D printers, laser cutters/engravers, and a CNC Milling Machine) and appropriate renovations in support of this curricular expansion. A studio of this nature necessitates a streamlined curricular approach and accordingly must utilize equipment that is easy to use, efficient to maintain, and capable of quickly processing a large number of jobs. Each of the items requested has this in mind. With cross-collaboration and small group work the logical pedagogical approach, a series of small workstations with the following equipment and a dedicated pc for each is ideal. (SEE ATTACHED: DDFS_Supporting_Doc.pdf, Item F - FLOORPLAN) ITEM: Universal Laser Systems - VLS 4.60 QTY: 2 A free-standing laser cutting/engraving platform offers a spacious work area and the ability to quickly adjust laser power with its patented Rapid Reconfiguration. Designed and engineered for light manufacturing and prototyping, the VLS4.60 is a single laser platform that offers a choice of six laser cartridges ranging in power from 10-60 watts. ITEM: Ultimaker 2+ QTY: 4 An FDM 3D-printer that features fast print speeds (30-300mm/s) and superior precision (20 microns, .002mm max-resolution) to craft impressively detailed creations. Perfect for any skill level, this machine boasts a 223 × 223 × 205 mm build while optimized for PLA, ABS, and CPE plastic filaments with high-quality results. ITEM: Pocket NC QTY: 1 The world's first 5-axis CNC that can fit on a desktop for the subtractive processing of organic material and alloys the PocketNC can reach millions of angles with a variety of tools to achieve the finest of detail in materials up to the hardness of aircraft aluminum. (SEE ATTACHED: DDFS_Supporting_Doc.pdf, Item A - EQUIPMENT SPECS)

Problem Project Attempts to Solve: Currently, Individual Departments (Department of Arch + ID, Dept. of Art, IMS, Engineering) and program areas maintain and staff laser cutters, 3D printers, and CNC routers for student, faculty, and staff use. Because existing fabrication equipment is sparse and decentralized among these departments, staffing and equipment demands are pushing the limits of CCA facilities and personnel. As demands increase through the integration of digital fabrication in more program areas and budget plus space constraints limit the ability to duplicate equipment and personnel in multiple facilities, a centralized studio and curriculum with dedicated staff becomes more fiscally efficient. Furthermore, no longer does the contemporary application and utilization of DDF equipment rest solely on the shoulders of designbased disciplines (Architecture + Interior Design, Art, Interactive Media Studies, Theatre, Fashion, Mechanical Engineering). Today, limited use of this technology is occurring at Miami within the larger student body. Evidence of this is presented in the BEST Library log which includes student and faculty use in Physics, Anthropology, and Computing & Engineering. Current trends predict these types of material processing will increase significantly in the coming years.* As Miami's programs strive to remain competitive while producing graduates well versed in a broad array of contemporary skillsets, a consolidated cross-disciplinary approach aligns well with this trajectory. To solve issues related to efficiency, staffing limits, and to better prepare Miami students for 21st Century success, this initiative will: 1.) Centralize some of the specialized CCA resources (3D Printer - Architecture+ ID, 5-Axis CNC MillDepartment of Art) (SEE ATTACHED: DDFS_Supporting_Doc.pdf, Item G - CONSOLIDATED EQUIPMENT) 2.) Supplement items in '1.)' above with additional 3d printers, laser cutter/engravers, and desktop CNC milling machines which are easy to use, cost-effective, and allow for rapid throughput for the purposes of supporting introductory-level sprint studio courses in DDF 3.) Offset the ongoing personnel and maintenance costs of such a studio with a revenue-generating curriculum to be developed through the 2018-19 academic year. Pilot offerings (ART 130 - Digital Fabrication, ART 131 - 3D Printing) are to be offered in Fall 2016. (SEE ATTACHED: DDFS_Supporting_Doc.pdf, Item B - COURSE DESCRIPTIONS) *SOURCE: The Wohler's Report 2014 (SEE ATTACHED: DDFS_Supporting_Doc.pdf, Item D - FUTURE OF DIGITAL DESIGN & FABRICATION)

Does this project focus on Graduate Studies?: Yes

If yes, explain: Because this equipment and studio will be utilized by the broadest spectrum of users possible (current Miami undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty performing scholarly research) graduate student education and experience is central to the implementation, utilization, staffing plan, and maintenance of this lab. Not only will Graduate Students make use of this equipment as they too can enroll in introductory courses but they also may use the equipment in their research. Additionally, experienced Graduate Assistants will be utilized to schedule student use, supervise, and troubleshoot the use of the equipment and possibly teach in some cases as part of their Assistantship Service Hours.

Does it meet tech fee criteria?: Digital fabrication technology is today's printing press, putting rapid prototyping, machined, and digitally produced goods in reach of the general public. Literacy in basic 3D modeling and manufacturing is an essential skill for future STEM success in this country. In this studio students will learn how to be "designer-makers" by using 3D modeling software plus hardware to design and create physical objects physical objects. These skills will carry forward resulting in educational outreach in the university community and beyond as this technology becomes integrated into natural workflows. As a central campus location,103L Phillips Hall is a logical space for this studio. As an Art Center entity it makes sense to parallel the Art Center curricular structure through the design and offering of sprint courses for non-majors that focuses on utilization of DDF technologies. Furthermore, a fabrication lab with dedicated administrative and technical oversight can: serve as a support facility for CCA majors and other Miami students performing independent research service and maintain equipment within individual units as demand necessitates be used on a fee-for-service basis by outside individuals and companies looking to the university for cost effective solutions for specific DDF needs. Instruction in this area is also largely untapped. Few, if any, course offerings exist for students so high demand is expected. Our competitor schools support these types of digital fabrication facilities and are typically staffed by full-time individuals with specialized knowledge in fabrication, and are likewise typically sustainable. (SEE ATTACHED: DDFS_Supporting_Doc.pdf, Item C - FACILITIES BENCHMARKS) As a consolidated facility, this space would require full-time, 12-month staff supervision by a qualified technician. Investment in both the facility and staff support is justified by the potential for positive revenue based on new course offerings and external fee-for-service use, and the fact that digital fabrication equipment is pushing the resources of the departments and can more efficiently be centralized, as evidenced by peer institutions. The proposed location for this studio is 103L Phillips Hall. This area formerly occupied by the woodshop is now available and is uniquely suitable to provide space for digital design and fabrication courses. The space has ample electricity, lighting, necessary security features and is centrally located on campus. Transforming the former woodshop into a digital fabrication lab aligns with the mission of the Art Center, and will provide cutting edge technology and educational opportunities to a broad range of students.

How will you assess the project?: 1.) While we're confident that past use of the DDF assets in CCA and the Libraries is a good predictor of high demand for a focused curriculum and dedicated studio, tracking enrollment and monitoring the use of this studio beyond curricular endeavors can assess this. 2.) Similarly, integration of digital fabrication technology can be monitored in independent research initiatives (for example, Summer Scholars proposals or independent undergraduate capstone proposals). 3.) The acquired skills from this technology will positively impact students' marketability with employers, graduate schools, and Ph.D programs. It is critical that Miami students are as technically competitive as possible in the workplace and as they compete for positions beyond Miami. 4.) This initiative will include the development and offering of studio courses open to all students regardless of major focused on the introduction of digital design software and practical application of hardware assets (plotters, laser cutters, 3d printer, CNC mill) for multidisciplinary design and fabrication purposes within the CCA and University Libraries. (SEE ATTACHED: DDFS_Supporting_Doc.pdf, Item H - COURSE DESCRIPTIONS)

Have you received tech fee funding in the past?: Yes

What results were achieved?: In 2008, Mr. Geoffrey Riggle, stemming from his research in Rapid Prototyping technologies, initiated a reciprocal agreement of shared resources between the Departments of Art, Architecture + Interior Design, Engineering, and Interactive Media. Since 2009, Riggle has authored, and served as a faculty sponsor for several Tech Fee awards resulting in the acquisition and implementation of a Laser Cutter, a 3D printer, and a 5-axis CNC mill in Hiestand Hall. As a result of these acquisitions and the overarching agreement between departments, the Hiestand Hall Digital Fabrication Studio has become a hub of activity by facilitating division-wide interactions and collaborations among students and faculty alike. Under Riggle's supervision, this studio serves all of the CCA students, faculty, and beyond by employing studio monitors and graduate assistants during scheduled times to facilitate and assist with Digital Fabrication needs. Reports for this are performed annually within the Department of Art.

Did you submit a final report?: Yes

What happens to this project in year two?: Precedent for students to bear the costs of consumables and supplies for their projects is already established in current Art Center studio practices. Lab fees are based on, and in many cases equal to, the established fees for comparable Art Center courses. Course revenue and lab fees will cover staffing, hardware maintenance, and supplies sustainably.

Hardware: Ultimaker 2+ (MCM Electronics), VLS 6.60 (Universal Laser Systems), The Pocket NC Desktop Mill (PocketNC), iMac (Apple), $43,696

Contracts: Ventilation-Phillips 103L, $12,100

Other, please explain: Shipping, $800

Total Budget: $56,596