DIYmakerspaceDo-It-Yourself Engineering is a unique 24-lecture video learning experience offered by The Great Courses.  In this course, Professor Ressler guides you through 17 challenging hands-on projects, designed to enhance your understanding of basic math, science, and engineering concepts.

This web page provides the following supplemental DIY Engineering resources, organized by project number:

  • Sketchup 3D computer models (.skp format) for all projects
  • 3D computer models for 3D-printing (.dae format)  for Projects 12 and 13
  • Full-size layouts for laser-cutting (.svg and .eps formats) for Projects 14 and 15
  • Full-size layout drawings and cutting patterns (.pdf format) for Projects 1, 2, 5-9, 11-13, and 16
  • Excel spreadsheets (.xlsx format) used to perform advanced computations for Projects 5 and 12

PLEASE NOTE: These resources are provided solely for the use of Great Courses customers who have purchased DIY Engineering.  These resources are intended as a supplement to the course, not as a substitute for it. To understand how the 17 DIY projects are designed, built, and tested, you’ll need to view the course! And by purchasing DIY Engineering, you will also be supporting the development of future courses.

If you have any questions about these resources, please check our FAQ page first. If the FAQs don’t answer your question, please contact Professor Ressler.

Project #1 (Lecture 1) – Golf Ball Launcher

Design, build, and test a mechanical device capable of launching a golf ball and hitting a target placed exactly 10 feet away from the launcher.


Project #2 (Lectures 2 & 3) – Cardboard Tower

Design, build, and test a 3-foot-tall tower with a structural system made entirely of cardboard and capable of supporting a 100-pound gravity load and a 10-pound lateral load applied at its top level.


Project #3 (Lecture 4) – Beam Bridge

Design, build, and test a beam bridge with a span of 8 feet to carry pedestrians safely across a small stream.


Project #4 (Lecture 5) – Suspension Bridge

Design, build, and test a suspension bridge with a span of 8 feet to carry pedestrians safely across a small stream.


Project #5 (Lectures 6 & 7) – Concrete Sailboat

Design, build, and test a sailboat with a concrete hull, cast in a mold made from a 2-liter beverage bottle.


Project #6 (Lecture 8) – Radio-Controlled Blimp

Design, build, and test a radio-controlled electric-powered blimp, using a helium-filled latex balloon.


Project #7 (Lectures 9, 10, & 11) – Rubber-Powered Airplane

Design, build, and test a rubber-powered free-flight model airplane.


Project #8 (Lecture 12) – Rubber-Powered Helicopter

Build and test a rubber-powered free-flight model helicopter.


Project #9 (Lectures 13, 14, & 16) – Camera-Equipped Rocket

Design, build, and test a a model rocket capable of carrying a mini-video camera to an altitude of at least 500 feet.


Project #10 (Lecture 15) – Electric Launch Controller

Design, build, and test an electric launch controller to fire a model rocket igniter.


Project #11 (Lectures 17 & 18) – Ballista, Onager, and Trebuchet

Design, build, and test working models of three historically important catapults: the ballista, the onager, and the trebuchet.


Project #12 (Lecture 19) – Hydraulic Arm

Design, build, and test a hydraulically powered mechanical arm capable of lifting and manipulating a 1/2-pound concrete block.


Project #13 (Lecture 20) – Water Turbine

Design, build, and test a water turbine capable of lifting a 2.2-pound weight at the turbine’s optimum power output.

  • 3D model of penstock nozzle for 3D printing (.dae format) nozzle.zip (27 KB)
  • Full-size cutting patterns (for printing on 8 1/2″ x 14″ paper) – Proj13-CuttingPatterns.pdf (2,313 KB)

Project #14 (Lecture 21) – Water Turbine with Gear Train

Design, build, and test a gear train that will enable the water turbine from Project #13 to lift a 6-pound load optimally.


Project #15 (Lecture 22) – Wooden Pendulum Clock

Design, build, and test a wooden pendulum clock.


Project #16 (Lecture 23) – Electric-Powered Crane

Design, build, and test an electric motor-driven crane capable of lifting 100 pounds.


Project #17 (Lecture 24) – A Tribute to Rube Goldberg

In the spirit of Rube Goldberg’s cartoons, design, build, and test a machine that will click a mouse button, while also demonstrating 20 major engineering concepts from previous “DIY Engineering” projects.


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