EFA | Resources

Course Books

Learn Electronics with Arduino: an Illustrated Beginners Guide to Physical Computing

Culkin, Jody, and Eric Hagan

The Critical Makers Reader: (Un)learning Technology

Loes Bogers, Letizia Chiappini (eds).

A decade ago many gushed at the possibilities of 3D printers and other DIY tech. Today makers are increasingly shaking off their initial blind enthusiasm to numerically control everything, rediscovering an interest in sociocultural histories and futures and waking up to the environmental and economic implications of digital machines that transform materials. An accumulation of critique has collectively registered that no tool, service, or software is good, bad, or neutral—or even free for that matter. We’ve arrived at a crossroads, where a reflective pause coincides with new critical initiatives emerging across disciplines.

What was making? What is making? What could making become? And what about unmaking? The Critical Makers Reader features an array of practitioners and scholars who address these questions. Together, they tackle issues of technological making and its intersections with (un)learning, art and design, institutionalization, social critique, community organizing, collaboration, activism, urban regeneration, social inequality, and the environmental crisis.


Tools for Coding

  • Arduino | As of now (2021), I recommend version 1.8.16. There is a new 2.0 beta version, but it’s lacking some features we need so let’s not use it for now.
  • PlatformIO | An extension for Microsoft Visual Studio Code and many other text editors. This gives you more advanced features that professional developers are looking for. I would recommend only for more experienced programmers. Might be a bit overwhelming for beginners.
  • Teensyduino | Some of you might want to work with the Teensy boards. Support for those boards requires some adjustments to the Arduino IDE.

Online Videos

Electronic Circuit Simulation Tools

Schematic Drawing and PCB Design Tools

  • Circuit Diagram | Free online tool for drawing schematics.
  • Fritzing | Many of the examples on this site are created with Fritzing. €8, free if you compile it yourself from the source code.
  • Eagle | Professional PCB design software. Has been used in the industry for decades. Free educational license for Aalto students.
  • Fusion 360 | The latest Fusion 360 has incorporated many of the features from Eagle, works nicely together with the CAD workflow in Fusion. Free educational license for Aalto students.
  • KiCad | Free and open-source PCB design software. Used extensively in the Digital Fabrication courses at Aalto.

Mechanics, Robotics

  • Design With Movement by Eunyoung Park | New Media graduate and current PhD candidate at the Aalto Media Lab created this reference site for designing things that move.