Practical Digital Fabrication, QQI Level 5

Course Schedule
7 Day Course

Cost €500

A QQI Level 5 course in practical digital fabrication, learn a range of design approaches using computer controlled machines and work on a guided project.

Why Take this Course?

Our changing economy seeks innovators and entrepreneurs with an understanding of how scientific and technical advances are reshaping the design and manufacturing process. Digital fabrication is central to this new economy being effective for developing products that combine hardware, software and style elements at low cost. Many business opportunities exist in this emerging field including designing products for the ‘Internet of Things’ and customised products that are tailored to consumers needs. Knowing how best to choose a fabrication process and the potential of integrating various types of processes to create a finished product is becoming a valuable skill.

Sustainable manufacturing and design is another growing trend addressed by this course. Students will learn about appropriate technology, renewable and embodied energy, and green materials. The course location at the fabrication lab in Cloughjordan Ecovillage provides a unique example of sustainable design at work.

Course participants will learn design and digital fabrication principles while gaining practical experience using digital fabrication equipment. Participants will work on prototypes and examples of their own designs or work from a brief provided. The participant will be enabled to advance their own business, work in the area of digital fabrication or create a new livelihood.

On completion of the programme participants should have acquired the skills to

  • Utilise the standard set of digital fabrication machines used in Fab Labs throughout the world
  • Use creative methodologies to solve problems
  • Design a project to address a particular need
  • Create a working prototype of a technical solution
  • Decide on the best processes to develop a product or service using digital fabrication.
  • Analyse the proposed solution highlighting the advantages and disadvantages, making reference to the costs and future developments


The course will be taught by experts in the fields of digital fabrication, design principles and techniques, CAD, Electronics and Business Development.

Unique Location

The Digital Fabrication course will be delivered at WeCreate Workspace, Ireland’s first Fab Lab. WeCreate is a member of the Fab Lab network developed by MIT, a worldwide network of over 150 digital fabrication labs.

WeCreate is situated in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary, home to Ireland’s first Ecovillage and winner of Ireland’s national Green Community award. The Ecovillage includes over 50 high energy performance houses on a 67-acre estate.  The land is zoned for food growing, community woodlands and renewable energy production. It features a district heating system, wood-fired bakery, research gardens and Cloughjordan Community Farm.

The venue has meeting rooms, classrooms and a co-working space along with the fabrication laboratory. This setting provides participants with an opportunity to see many key sustainable systems in working practice.

How much will this cost?

The course fee is €500.00 per person. Enquire about concessions. Price includes lunch.

Deposit of €75 secures your place. Technical employment support grant may be available. Please contact your local employment office. Places will be allocated strictly on a first come first served basis.

How long is the course?

The course will run on 3 weekends, with two weeks break between each delivery. There are 7 units, comprising 42 contact hours. Course days run from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm.

Please inquire about course dates.


The Practical Digital Fabrication Course leads to a QQI Level 5 component certificate in Design (A20209), Level 5 Minor award, Link to the QQI Component Specification (pdf). NICER Training is the QQI registered training provider working in partnership with WeCreate. (This award was formally the FETAC level 5 Minor Award)

Course Overview

Unit 1: Design Introduction

  • Design Theory and Practice
  • Digital Fabrication: Evolution, Materials, Equipment, Outputs and Impact
  • Legal Issues and Licensing

Unit 2: Design Application

  • CAD
  • Embedded Computing
  • Product/Concept Development

Unit 3: Fab Lab Equipment Introduction

Understanding CNC

Practical use of Lab equipment

  • Laser Cutting
  • 3D Printing
  • CNC Routing and Milling
  • Vinyl Cutting

Unit 4: Design Theory

  • Sustainable Design
  • Upcycling and Reuse
  • Appropriate Technology

Unit 5: Fab Lab practical day – with staff assistance

Unit 6: Fab Lab practical day – project/ concept development

Unit 7: Product/ Concept pitch, Presentation and Demonstration


Django’s Hostel has single rooms from €35 per night and shared accommodation from €20 per night. Book early at +353 (0)87 256 9348.


Non-Refundable Deposit of €75 paid to secure your place.

Course Fee Options