CMSC 498D - Spring'07
Prof Guimbretière

Introduction to Rapid Prototyping Techniques

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Recommended books:

All books will be available in the CS library (#3164 A. V. Williams)


  • Getting started
    • Understanding the problem at hand;
    • Finding possible solutions;
    • Selecting good solutions;
  • Rapid prototyping techniques
    • Building low fidelity prototypes;
    • Building medium fidelity prototypes with a laser cutter;
    • Building high fidelity prototypes with a 3D printer;
  • Using microcontrollers
    • Microcontroller basics
    • Sensors
    • Actuators
    • Producing a  printed circuit board (PCB)
  • Testing


A significant part of the course will involve your participation. Classes will frequently involve discussions and exercises in addition to lectures. Turned in material might be used (anonymously) as a starting point for discussion.

As part of their participation requirement, students will be asked to maintain a portfolio of the different Show and Tell they produced during the semester.

Students will be expected to give several presentations to the class during the semester. Presentation topics will include: bibliography search report, review of a selected paper, discussion of the assigned reading. 


This is a project class. Students will form small multi-disciplinary groups that will conduct one research project throughout the semester. There will be 3 project checkpoints during the semester. For each checkpoint, groups will present the current status of their project to the class. While feedback as well as "advisory" grades will be provided for each checkpoint, only the final version of the project will be graded.


Your final grade will be computed using the following contributions:

10% Participation
20% Show and tell
70% Final project

All project checkpoints and the final project are due at the beginning of the class on the day that they are due. Both the physical part (if any) and the digital part (if any) must be turned at this time. Late assignments will be strictly penalized. Exceptional circumstances will be considered only if discussed with me in advance. All late assignments will have points deducted as follows:

  • Project checkpoints

    -5% on the final project grade up to 24 hours late
    -10% on the final project grade up to 48 hours late
    -25% on the final project grade for more than 48 hours late


  • Final project

-20% Up to 24 hours late
-50% Up to 48 hours late
-100% More than 48 hours late

If you wish to contest a grade, please do so by sending me an e-mail explaining why you think the grading was inaccurate. Your work will then be graded again and a new grade issued. Please note that the new grade might be lower than the original grade.

Academic Honesty

The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity, administered by the Student Honor Council. This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all undergraduate and graduate students. As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for this course. It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information on the Code of Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit

The project is a group assignments, and each member of the group is expected to accurately represent their contribution. Homework and exam are individual works and a student may not look at another student's homework or exam, or share notes (unless exceptions are stated in advance), during homework preparation or the exam period. You may discuss homework in general way, but you may not consult any one else's written work, program drafts, computer files, etc. Similarly, groups may discuss about their project in general way but may not consult any one else's written work, program drafts, computer files, etc.  Any marked similarity in form or notation between submissions with different authors (or group in case of a project) will be regarded as evidence of academic dishonesty -- so protect your work.

You are free to use reference material to help you with assignments, but you must cite any reference you use and clearly mark any quotation or close paraphrase that you include (this includes material from the world wide web). Using appropriate citations will not lower your grade, although extensive quotation might.

Any student violating any of these or general University Academic Honesty Rules will be reported to judicial programs for a hearing.

Excused Absences

Students claiming a excused absence must apply in writing and furnish documentary support (such as from a health care professional who treated the student) for any assertion that the absence qualifies as an excused absence. The support should explicitly indicate the dates or times the student was incapacitated due to illness. Self-documentation of illness is not itself sufficient support to excuse the absence. An instructor is not under obligation to offer a substitute assignment or to give a student a make-up assessment unless the failure to perform was due to an excused absence. An excused absence for an individual typically does not translate into an extension for team deliverables on a project.

Network usage in class

Our classroom has Internet connectivity. Internet usage may be monitored for educational and/or research purposes as it relates to our class.


Web Accessibility