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, a 40W laser cutter, 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. 

Spring 2014 Classes in Microcontrollers and Robotics
We currently offer 4 courses in microcontrollers and robotics (plus, this spring, Robotics Laboratory (see below)).  These are "project-based" courses, meaning that each lesson starts with a brief lecture, then the rest of the time is spent working through projects that exemplify the principles featured in that lesson.  The courses are nominally 8 or 10 weeks long, including some work at home.  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.
Introduction to Microcontrollers - An 8 week introduction to microcontrollers using the popular Arduino microcontroller.  Kit is $60, or you can build your own.
We are not running the Intro to Microcontrollers class this spring.  However it's largely self-taught anyway, and there are plenty of us here who can help you out when you need it.  If you want to take the class, please come by the lab starting 25 January 2014, and we'll get you going on it.
Introduction to Robotics - Study of autonomous robotics using a behavioral robotics approach.  Intro to Microcontrollers is strongly recommended before taking this class.  Robot is about $80, ordered from Parallax.
We are not running the Intro to Robotics class this spring.  Instead we'll be running a Robotics Laboratory (see below).  If you want to do Intro to Robotics, please come by and talk with us.  We should be able to set you up.  If enough people (2 or more) are interested, we'll set up a class, and that's more fun than doing it alone.
Intermediate Microcontrollers  A 10-week course in microcontrollers featuring PIC microcontrollers, and programming in both Assembly and C.  Intro to Microcontrollers strongly recommended before taking this class.  Plan on spending around $70 for the PicKit2 programmer and other supplies.  Also bring a flash drive (or your own laptop).
1 February - 5 April 2014
Intermediate Robotics  - Intro to Robotics strongly recommended before taking this class
We are not running the Intermediate Robotics class this spring.  Instead we'll be running a Robotics Laboratory (see below).
Robotics Laboratory -Starts 25 January 2014.  This will be an open laboratory.  We'll be building Arduino robots, making robot bodies and parts, going deeper into behavioral robotics studies, and possibly developing neural networks.  Obviously it will be very open-ended, so pease come and contribute your expertise, or just play (like we're going to do).  This is your opportunity to make parts with a 3D printer and/or laser cutter.  If enough people are interested, we may run the Intro to Robotics course. 
Photos and movies from previous ENGR 170 - 173 classes

Questions?  Feel free to contact Duncan McGehee at