Digital Design and Fabrication 3D > Sant Cugat del Vallès > Postgraduate course > UPC School > Imprimir -

Digital Design and Fabrication 3D

Postgraduate course. Face-to-face.


UPC School

This postgraduate course can be attended as part of the master's degree Parametric Design in Architecture.

he design process in general, and in architecture in particular, is a complex process that involves the combination of a range of knowledge, skills, experiences, practices, etc. In recent decades, digital design has emerged as a clearly unstoppable force, which adds the use of digital tools to all the factors mentioned above.

Using these tools is not in itself design. But using computers, parametric software, numerical controlled machines, etc. is sine qua non for producing what we call Digital Design and Fabrication.

First came CAD (Computer Aided Drawing or Computer Aided Design) - a tool that led to more efficient drawing and transformed design. Computers were also applied to manufacturing (CAM or Computer Aided Manufacturing) and the CAD-CAM binomial emerged strongly at the turn of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Other new acronyms subsequently appeared in the field of design and manufacture: CNC (Computer Numerical Control) as a step beyond CAM.

All this came together in parametric design (which had been present in the automobile industry since the early twentieth century), in geometric design and therefore in an architectural design which is a step forward that has led to a new type of Architecture.

This postgraduate course covers the theoretical advance of this design in the subject "Architecture in the 21st Century. From Sing to Algorithm?" It is not a question of new tools creating design, but instead of design using new tools.

And as has been said before, geometry is the first step in this new adventure. And parametric geometry in particular, which has also given its name to what we call parametric design. We need to return to the roots of this change, and we will do this in the subject "Parametric Geometry".

The third subject on this postgraduate course is "Digital fabrication". It is impossible to imagine a course in digital design and fabrication that does not cover new digital fabrication tools. But it is necessary to learn how to use them from a conceptual as well as an instrumental perspective. Both approaches will give students the competences offered by the postgraduate course.

Finally, when we talk about architecture, we are talking about an integrated design workshop. The course provides the space and time for all the theoretical and practical learning in the subjects to take shape in an architect's typical work: the project. "Studio 1_ Information and Systems" involves not only carrying out architectural projects, but also closed and integrated micro-workshops, which will give students concrete and specific tools which clearly expand the course's overall competences.


To train students in the use of parametric design software and hardware, which is now widely accepted as part of a new way of presenting architecture.

To provide students with the necessary knowledge to be able to apply parametric design judiciously.

Who is it for

Graduates in architecture, building engineers, quantity surveyors and/or surveyors, industrial engineers in various fields, civil engineers, and technical engineers of public works.

Professionals including consultants, planners and interior designers who have skills in the field of architectural design, building or urban planning, and other professionals wishing to refocus or supplement their skills or begin their own business project.



Parametric Geometry
6 ECTS. 42 teaching hours.
  • Coordinate systems and their application to CAD.
  • Analytical Geometry (Part 1): vectors, lines and planes. Solids. Examples of art, design and architecture.
  • Analytical Geometry (Part 2): the geometry of transformation. Iconic buildings that can be explained as transformations of simple solids.
  • Introduction to Differential Geometry: parametrization of curves and surfaces. A mathematical vision in CAD: free form tools. Simply constructible surfaces.
  • Introduction to resistance through form. Analysis of iconic buildings.
  • Putting knowledge into practice based on simple geometric CAD models, using visual programming and abstract algorithms, which are described mathematically as complex parametric models.
Digital Fabrication
6 ECTS. 42 teaching hours.
  • Linear works, describes flat cuts or engravings  with planar tools such as laser cutters or vynil cutters.
  • Superficial works, focuses in subtractive techniques with Z capacity, such as milling machines. General milling theory will be covered as well as toolpathing experimentation. We will mainly work on 3 and 4 axis, but 5 and more axis will be carefully studied.
  • Volumetric works, covers all additive techniques, focusing specifically on delta fused deposition modelling printers.
Architecture in the 21st Century. From Sing to Algorithm?
6 ECTS. 42 teaching hours.
  • The theoretical and historical basis of this type of architecture should help to distinguish between a mere digital design and fabrication course from what we mean by architecture - which in this case is parametric. The method used is the one used in teaching disciplines in the projects, theory and history departments.
Workshop I: Studio 1. Information and Systems
9 ECTS. 63 teaching hours.
  • Talking about architecture means talking about the projects workshop. In this area, we will not only put into practice the knowledge gained in the theoretical subjects, but the atmosphere of the workshop itself also shows how to convey specific knowledge that may not be part of the corpus of the other subjects.

Management & Faculty

Academic management

  • Sastre Sastre, Ramon
    PhD in Architecture. PhD Thesis: Design and analysis of structures of bars, completely articulated, with great deformations. Professor at the Dept. of Architectural Technology I from UPC. Research member of LITA, CODA and SMIA, has developed his work and research on different subjects: Analysis and programming on architectural Technology, Computational Design Affair, Structural morphology in Architecture, Tensile structures, membranes, cables, Stereographics studies of solar radiation and illumination. He was Director of the Barcelona Metropolitan School of Architecture (2002-2005), Council membre (2004-2010) of EAAE, European Association for Architectural Education. Coordinator of the Architecture & Civil Engineering of CLUSTER (European Consortium linking Universities of Science and Technology for Education and Research). He's lecture at abroad universities in: United Kingdom, Belgium, Turkey, Brasil, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica,

Teaching staff

  • Avila Casademont, Genis
    Has a degree in architecture from the Vallés Higher Technical School of Architecture (ETSAV), UPC 1998. Associate lecturer in the Department of Graphic Expression I at the UPC-BarcelonaTech. A member of the AR&M-Architectura: Representation and Modelling research group and co-founder member of CAIRAT, focusing particularly on specialized training in the representation of architecture and territory. An expert in 3D modelling and digital architectural representation. In 2000, he founded the professional office *.gif arquitectura.
  • Rull Bertran, Rosa Maria
    Architect. Lecturer in Projects at the Alicante Higher Polytechnic School (EPS-UA), the ESARQ-UIC, and the BAU - University of Vic. Founding partner of the studio Bailo+Rull - ADD + ARQUITECTURA
  • Santacana Juncosa, Amadeu
    Architect and lecturer at the Vallés Higher Technical School of Architecture (ETSAV) of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC).

General information

27 ECTS (189 teaching hours)
Start date
Start date:17/10/2016End date:23/02/2017
Monday  16:00 to 20:00Wednesday  16:00 to 20:00Thursday  16:00 to 20:00
Taught at
ETSAV - Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura del Vallès
C. Pere Serra, 1-15
Barcelona - Sant Cugat del Vallès
Telephone: (34) 93 114 68 05
Postgraduate diplomas issued by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. To obtain this degree it is necessary to have an official or recognized university degree equivalent to a bachelor's degree or diploma. Otherwise, the Fundació Politècnica de Catalunya will only award them a a certificate of completion.

In the case of having a foreign degree check here.
Virtual Campus
The students on this Postgraduate course will have access to the My_Tech_Space virtual campus, an effective work and communication platform for students, lecturers and course directors and coordinators. My_Tech_Space allows students to find background material for their classes, to work in teams, ask their lecturers questions, consult their marks, etc.
Employment service
Students can access job offers in their field of specialisation on the My_Tech_Space virtual campus. Applications made from this site will be treated confidentially. Hundreds of offers appear annually of the UPC School of Professional & Executive Development Employment service .The offers range from formal contracts to work placement agreements.
Registration fee
3.800 €
The registration fee must be paid before the beginning of this Postgraduate course.
See the section Discounts, loans and financial aid for possibilities of advantageous financing conditions.

Applicants are given the option of making a voluntary €5 contribution when formalising their enrolment. As part of the UPC's 0.7% Campaign, this donation will go towards meeting charitable needs in developing countries.


Language of instruction

Related entities