Open Course Content

Last Updated on 4 May 2024
(This whole section is very much under construction)

I’m an assistant teaching professor at Michigan Technological University, so most of the content shared here is linked to that in some way, shape or form. However there may be some odds and ends. Click a class to learn more:

Here are some of my latest teaching-related posts:

  • G-Code Basics
    An important piece of 3D Printing technology is the instructions that make them replicate a desired model – those instructions are G-Code!
  • 3D Printing Mechanisms
    Each 3D Printer is slightly different, but in terms of FDM printers, most of the core components are the same. Of course once we get into different or Novel deposition methods, things can get different. Let’s take a look at some of the core mechanisms for the big 3 of 3D Printing (FDM, SLA, SLS).
  • Common 3D Printer Electronics
    In this section I discuss some of the common components found in 3D Printers
  • FDM Considerations
    In this section I go over some of the key mechanical considerations you should take into account when conceiving of a part you’d like to 3D Print.
  • General design procedure for free and open-source hardware for scientific equipment
    A discussion of the key points you should consider when creating a piece of open source hardware.
  • FreeCAD Resources
    I’m not a FreeCAD Expert – but I realize that OpenSCAD isn’t for everyone. So I’ve put together a collection of some decent FreeCAD resources.
  • Getting Started with OpenSCAD
    The concept behind OpenSCAD is that your 3D model is defined as a script. That’s actually what the S stands for in OpenSCAD: Open Scriptable Computer Aided Design. By using basic shapes and transformations, you can design all sorts of neat stuff.
  • Key Events in Open-Source Additive Manufacturing
    Introduction The RepRap Project In 2009, Dr. Adrian Bowyer and his students published “RepRap – The Replicating Rapid Prototyper.” which detailed an Open Source, unpatended, FDM 3D Printer with plans made freely available. By no coincidence, Scott Crump’s patent on FDM expired in 2009. The manuscript is an interesting read, especially some of the backing… Read more: Key Events in Open-Source Additive Manufacturing
  • Key Events of Closed-Source Additive Manufacturing
    Introduction Additive Manufacturing Before 3D Printers According to Wikipedia – 3D Printing and additive manufacturing (AM) are synonymous (Two words for the same thing). But I contest that point – given the name, additive manufacturing means to create something by adding material. If we stick with that interpretation, the concept of adding materials to make… Read more: Key Events of Closed-Source Additive Manufacturing
  • 3D Printing Introduced
    This page is just going to serve as a very basic primer as to what 3D Printing is (I’ll use this term interchangeably with Additive Manufacturing, and sometimes abbreviate it as 3DP). Almost every sentence in this page will be extrapolated to an entire lecture later.
  • Manufacturing Methods
    3D-Printing has quickly become a ubiquitous means of prototyping and manufacturing. But it is wise to understand what other means of manufacturing are out there in order to understand where 3D-Printing fits in and what makes it so powerful.
  • Creating Music With a Lava Lamp
    I use an Arduino nano paired with a photoresistor to capture light signals from the lava lamp. Those signals create midi packets that my computer uses to generate the audio. In this video I’ll show you all of the software packages that I used to make this happen.
  • Video: What Happens When You Unplug a Stepper Motor?
    Here’s my first attempt at making an educational short! A quick experiment where I highlight why it’s typically a bad idea to unplug a stepper motor while it’s still powered on.
  • Video: Why Play-Doh Is Invisible on 3D Scanners
    In this video I get curious about why 2 materials, that are similar in everything but color, react so differently when scanned with a 3D Scanner. I also briefly discuss the way my 3D Scanner works with a video demonstration.
  • Video: How NOT-Gates Turn Paradoxes Into Heat
    This is a follow up to last week’s video – If you connect inverters inputs to their own outputs – will they get hot? I use a FLIR thermal camera to check the temperatures as well as measure the current for comparison. Finally I take a look at the data sheets to help explain what might be going on.
  • Video: The Infinitely Inverting Signal
    If you take a NOT gate and connect it’s output to it’s input, what will happen? I explore this very question in today’s video, where I use an an Arduino as a basic oscilloscope, and then a higher end oscilloscope to verify my findings.
  • Video: The Weird World of Floating Wires
    In this video I demonstrate an odd effect – I’m able to squeeze a wire, and cause the voltage on it to decrease. What could cause this to happen? To understand this, we’re going to have to understand both capacitors, and the concept of floating voltages.
  • Video: AC Power as a Time Reference
    I was wondering if AC Power could be used as a timing reference in an embedded system. I realized that there were some things that likely used AC Power for timing – the example that came to my head was an outlet timer!
  • Video: The Zero Ohm Resistor
    In this video I delve into the zero ohm resistor. Why would a resistor with no resistance be useful? Well – there are 3 reasons.
  • Video: Looking at I2C with an Oscilloscope
    In this video I demonstrate two Arduino Nanos communicating with one another via an I2C bus. I use a digital storage oscilloscope to look at the data and clock signals, and then dissect the information present in the signal.
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