The Cuyamaca College Prototyping Laboratory
The Cuyamaca College Prototyping Laboratory is a place for you to make things and to take fun classes. The lab features a variety of prototyping tools including a 3D printer, machine tools, and a full-featured microcontroller facility. List of lab capabilities.
First developed as a way for freshman engineering students at Cuyamaca College to gain experience with real design projects, the Prototyping Lab has grown into a resource for all residents of San Diego's East County, operating a bit like TechShop in San Jose.
We meet Saturdays between 9 am and noon in room F301 at Cuyamaca College. Feel free to drop in and grab a cup of coffee. Bring a project to work on.
During Summer 2012 there will be some Saturdays when we DON'T meet. If you want to get on the emailing list for updates, please contact Duncan McGehee at email@example.com
Starting Fall 2012 we will continue to run the Prototyping Lab Saturday with a suggested donation of 30 dollars for the semester (15 dollars for 8 weeks), paid to the Cuyamaca College Engineering Trust Fund. If you are used to either the 3-unit "for credit" microcontroller and robotics classes (ENGR 170, 171, 172, and 173), or the fee-based community learning classes we have held in the past, you'll be delighted to hear that this approach is much less expensive. The reason for doing it this way is (a) the state budget does not allow us to offer the "for credit" classes at this time, and (b) a communication failure has led to our not offering the classes through community learning. The way we can do this legally is for me (Duncan) to offer office hours in the lab during this time which permits us to keep the doors open. The donations will be used for lab improvements and (I think) are tax deductible.
We currently offer 4 courses in microcontrollers and robotics. They are mostly self-study, with periodic lectures. Each course is nominally 8 weeks long if you do some work at home, or 16 weeks if you do all your work here. If you haven't done this kind of work before, we strongly recommend you start with Introduction to Microcontrollers. Note: All the courses listed below require equipment. You can either use ours, for free (but you'll be limited to using it in the lab), or you can buy your own, which we recommend. Estimated costs are provided in each course description.
You are also welcome to design your own course of study. For example you may want to learn to program PIC microcontrollers using C. We don't have a course on this yet, although Bob Christiansen is developing one. We can work with you on this.
Questions? Feel free to contact Duncan McGehee at firstname.lastname@example.org