Mechanical Automation Online

Prerequisites: None, other than a strong interest in multi-disciplined mechanical and electrical/electronic systems
* Webcam and microphone are needed

Software Needed:
You can install if you like but at least check the system requirements.

Online Course Information
A few days prior to the course you will receive an email invite to the video class meetings. Typically this is Webex. We'd also recommend using the webex client install rather than the just the webpage video. Other items such as the class website and materials pick will also be discussed after class start. No materials are required for the first class sessions. All you need to do is log into the video meeting.

Course Overview
This course teaches students the mechanical principles and software configuration of modern electromechanical automation otherwise known as mechatronics.

Mechatronics is a fairly broad term encompassing many areas, yet the overarching idea is that there are mechanical and electrical systems being controlled by way of software to perform tasks. This is essentially an easier way to say "electromechanical systems" and wraps up related disciplines such as robotics and automation. Nearly every class we do is in support of this concept.

First and probably foremost, we do not build the same machines as we do in the face to face, Mechanical Automation Systems Engineering course. There was no way we could get that into an online program. What we will be doing is building simple kits that aren't really anything that you could use for major production but it will allow us to use it as a working analog that we can use to test, upgrade and mill parts all together as regular class lessons.

Which then brings up the next portion of the course. We will be upgrading these machines to use the same professional CNC controller board and drivers that we use on our larger machines. These are actually 4 axis controller boards so if you want to upgrade further in the future you have that ability. The motor drivers are the same type used on the larger machines but lower rated for the smaller stepper motors. This still allows us to go through the typical configuration so if you do build your own custom machine, you'll know the process.

These reductions in build complexity will now give us the chance to incorporate Fusion 360 CAD/CAM design into the course which will allow us to go from digital model to physical part right on your own machine, during class. We've been wanting to do this for a long time and it will really help tie the whole process together.

Parallel to all of these topics we'll continually discuss how you can apply this to any custom machine you may want to build in the future. This will include all the costs, vendors, and websites associated with CNC design and what to consider while making your choices. It's a tough challenge to try hold all the various options in your head, with each specific combination of parts, where each piece you change can have a significant effect on the whole of the device. This is the "Systems Engineering" portion of the course's original name and key topic. It's easy enough to identify a part that could be replaced with one better, but how that decision will affect the totality of the system and it's longevity is where the difficulty lies.

Distance Learning Specifics
The class website will contain device documentation, vendor information, technology concepts and videos.

Currently we will we using Webex as our video conferencing software. You do not need to make an account to join the live sessions. An email will be sent out to all students including the time and dates, web link to the meeting and password. You will need to have a webcam and microphone for this class.


* This is a very unique course that covers a broad range of skills so be prepared for several different areas of study. Computer hardware, electrical, mechanical motion, software, 3D design and machining are all a potential part of this process of automation.

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Class Dates and Times:

Mechanical Automation Online
Class Number 10865
August 16 - Sept 27
3:45pm - 4:45
12 Sessions
Instructor: Damian Cianci

Registering Online

The college has recently moved to a new system and the process is a bit different Online Registration Login Page - CTCLInk

NOTE - All our classes fall under "Special Topics: Manufacturing". This means if you search for UAV for example you may still find all our classes listed

If you have troubles with the online registrationr:

Contact Damian Cianci at if you have any questions.

The Business Training Center of Edmonds College has been "off-campus" in the heart of the community providing practical industry focused education since 1998