family-ascender

MIT graduates started Atlas Devices, which makes a powered winch

This summer, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will begin offering a rapid prototyping continuing education course. During the course, which is suitable for a general audience, students will learn about a number of prototyping techniques, design components in a group setting, and then fabricate those parts during lab time.

“With rapid prototyping you can fail fast, and then try and fail until you succeed,” instructor Martin L. Culpepper told ZDNet of the curriculum. “That’s where the innovation comes in.”

Culpepper used the example of a group of MIT students that founded Atlas Devices after successfully building a motorized winch that allows for speedy rope ascents. The students quickly ran through a number of failed prototypes until they arrived at a working device that would eventually evolve into Atlas Devices’ flagship APA-5 ascender.

Last year, Make: highlighted the growing popularity of inexpensive rapid prototyping in a story on SurfEars, an earplug for water sports from Swedish company Frankly Development that keeps water out but lets sound in. Frankly Development called their 3D printer a “priceless tool for concept verification” enabling “countless iterations of prototypes.”

Culpepper’s intensive curriculum will run all day for one week in July, and will cover 3D printing, laser cutting, waterjet cutting, CNC milling, and other popular prototyping technologies. Tuition will be $5,000.