Nancy's Digital Frabrication Journey

A STEAM teacher, a curriculum developer, a project manager, a teacher trainer, a swing dancer, a life-long learner and a fun lover.

I am working in STEAM education as a project manager, STEAM curriculum developer and teacher.I joined Fab Aacademy to explore the journey of "make almost anything". I have worked in Education field for about ten years. I have taught students from 3 years old to over 50 years old. STEAM education is something I really enjoy to work on, it requires life-long learning spirit. I have seen a lot of school teachers are lack of enought engineer and technology background, mean while a lot of engineers are interested to become a school STEAM teacher but lack of teaching skills. That's why I joined this class, to learn more about technology, deveopment product design skill and creativity.

Final Project

These are some project milestones. So we can see how this project been designed and developed.

Project idea development

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At begining I want to make a board game machine for fianl project , then I realize I can focus more on a device that can helps formative assement in the classroom, so I changed it to "smart paw" that can be used for board-game but more like a mouse.


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I made my electronic board called "Gino" to control this device.

Digital Fabrication

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I designed a shell for my project and printed it out.


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I used processing to make my interface of final project.

Acknowledgement and More Reflection of This Journey

  1. Learn GIT well at the very beginning, I made thousands mistakes about git and failed to push when I did my documentation. I spend a lot of time on git in the end and loose some files because I didn't understand git well.
  2. Practise 3D design every week, at least design one or two models every week, you really need long time practice to get this skill, and this skill will be used all over the whole semaster. Digital frabrication, the key word is "digital design".
  3. Read previous student's assignment before you watch Neil's online class, then you will know what you should focus on the live class.
  4. Digital frabrication is not STEAM education. Fab academy is just a start of learn how to design a product, there are so much things you need to learn after the semaster is over. Each skill requires years of practice!
  5. Local reviews are very important, even you will feel bored when you didn't do your assignements. You will see genious classmates in local review, they might have strong tech background before they joined fab academy , you might lose confidence when you see someone else assignment is so great... Be brave, talk to them and use their wisdom for your final project. Fab academy's community is the best part of this program.
  6. The first 3 months when our classmates are doing group work I was working for Fablab O shanghai, teaching students online. So I was behind the schedule at the very beginning. Then I started to catch up on those basic skills like fusion 360 or git, I spent a lot of time study alone with low efficiency. So I was planned to do it again next year, but with Saverio’s encouragement and classmates' help, I still finished the final project. And somehow Neil likes it and nominated it in the Fab Conference. So I have to finish all documentations and assignements this year. lol.
  7. During this journey I want to acknowlege my local instructor Saverio, coworker Marcello, global evaluators, local review instructors and all my classmates. This year we have some really good classmates like a professional programmar Elfe, a mechanical engineer Pancheng, a designer Liuheng and so on. Everyone has something they are good at, because of Covid 19 we didn't spend enough time together work as a group, but they all helped me a lot in different point. Very grateful for everyone's hard work and make it happened.