What Is Small Object Design?

Small Object Design: Virtual to Reality One and Two are a series of courses offered to all of OCAD U’s art and design programs focused on the advantages, limitations and implications of computer-aided design and manufacturing technologies. These technologies include virtual modeling and rendering; rapid prototyping; laser cutting, 3-D printing and other forms of additive manufacturing; and computer numeric control machine tools; and contemporary open-source computational tools for parametric and generative design. These courses are intended to foster a culture of formal, procedural, and constructional innovation within the institution.

Small Object Design: Virtual to Reality One introduces students to the fundamentals of designing, prototyping and fabricating small-scale products using three dimensional computer modelling and associated manufacturing technologies. Students become familiar with the Computer Aided Design (CAD) operations required to generate simple three-dimensional computer models and output basic two-dimensional representations. These virtual objects are then translated into prototypes and finished objects using Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) processes (e.g. laser cutting, additive manufacturing, and computer numeric control) as well as conventional fabrication processes. Students begin to understand some of the advantages and limitations of CAD/CAM technologies, and begin to consider the implications these technologies have on the future of design practice.

Small Object Design: Virtual to Reality Two build on these skills and knowledge by introducing advanced CAD/CAM topics in the context of further small-scale product design and production. Students become familiar with the CAD operations required to create complex three-dimensional parametric computer models, and output sophisticated two-dimensional representations including realistic renderings. Students also become familiar with advanced CAM issues, such as parametric and generative design, process integration, optimization for manufacture, mass customization, material experimentation, and aesthetic considerations. Students achieve a substantial understanding of the advantages, limitations and implications of CAD/CAM technologies, and consider how their own emerging practices might best incorporate these technologies.