Exploratory 9

All grade 9s will have a selection of ‘Exploratory’ courses added to their schedules. This is part of the new curriculum requirements and will include courses from ADST (Applied Skills, Design and Technology), Arts Education and Additional Offerings. Career Ed is required for all. 

In this ADST exploratory course, students will gain exposure to the many course offerings open to them in grade 10.  Students will complete projects involving technical drawing (CAD), woodworking, electronics and robotics.  These projects will incorporate a mixture of traditional tools and techniques as well as new technologies such as Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) machinery.  

Course Outline Explorations 9 – Maker Space

Laminated Project

Autodesk Fusion 360 is industry standard 3D Modelling software.  Students will uses the software to create a three dimensional models of a cutting board.  Once created, 2 dimensional ‘working drawings’, or plans,  are generated which serve as a guide to the machining and assembling of the cutting board.  Cutting boards will also incorporate the programming and operation of CNC machinery . 

Cutting Board Design

As with any project, there are some ‘constraints’, or rules, that need to be observed when designing. 

Design Constraints:

  • Your project will be modeled in 3D using Fusion 360
  • Maximum size of cutting board, if a rectangle were to be placed around it, is 12” x 16”.
  • Thickness of your cutting board will be ¾”
  • You must use a minimum of 3 pieces of wood to demonstrate your ability to laminate
  • Your design will incorporate the use of both the CNC router and the Laser engraver in an effort to enhance the finished product and demonstrate the ability to operate these tools.
  • From your completed model, a dimensioned working drawing will be produced that will be used during construction of your project.

Build Procedure – Laminated project 2020

Setting Up an Autodesk Account and Obtaining A Free Education License

You will need to setup an Autodesk account and apply for a Fusion 360 free education license.  This is a two step process.  

  1. Create an Autodesk Account (follow above link).  Once created you will either be directed to the next step, or you can revisit the above link and it should take you to it.
  2. Verify your student status (will need to be done once a year)

Getting Started With Fusion

Work through the following tutorials to learn how to model your cutting board using Fusion 360.

Keep in mind the useful features built in to YouTube when working through the tutorials (something you will be doing often). — Pause, rewind, slow down & speed up

The Basics:  do these first or you will be lost!

  1. Fusion 360 Basics  – Software Walkthrough
  2. Fusion 360 Basics – Stuff to know before you draw anything
  3. Fusion 360 Basics – Browser, timeline, bodies, sketches and components

Tutorial Series – Designing a Cutting Board

The following tutorials are graded.  As you complete each one you must show your teacher to receive a mark.  Failure to do this will result in no mark awarded for the given tutorial (ie a student that does not show their teacher any tutorial until complete will only receive a grade for the last tutorial in the series)

Modelling a basic cutting board:

Modifications to make the cutting board your own:

Even if you want to keep the oval shaped cutting board, you are still to complete the following tutorials as they will grow your fusion knowledge.  Prior to moving forward, do a ‘save as’ under file menu and give the next tutorials different names.  This will keep your oval cutting board as is and a new file will be generated for current work.

Creating plans to work from:

Once you have completed the tutorials and dimensioned your plan you will print it out and submit it for marking and approval to proceed.

Versalaser 4.60

 Using the laser to enhance your project

Laser Cut Ornament Using Inkscape

This project will have you create a Christmas tree ornament.  Not everyone celebrates Christmas, and if this is the case for you, consider this an oppotunity to create a gift for someone other than yourself.  In any event, this exercise will help us to become more familiar with Inkscape and the use of the Laser.


The following machines will be covered in a tradition demo/safety test manor to ensure the safe and proper use of the machine.  Students will not be able to use a machine until the safety test/demo is complete. 

Breaking Out Stock

Below  a list of tools that involve students moving through a safety process which involves a demonstration, quiz, first use observation and ongoing supervision.  The included links lead to documents that highlight the safety knowledge that all students must exhibit understanding of in order to use the tool.

Smoothing & Shaping

The following machines will be used to shape and smooth projects:

  • Router 
  • Random Orbital Sanders

Getting Started with VexIQ


Device Setup & Program Downloading

Programming Environment (VEXcode IQ Blocks)

Drivetrain Turns

Reference Material
Control System User Guide (As reference)
Armbot IQ Build Instructions(as reference)