Professional Course

Fundamentals of Manufacturing Processes

edX, Online
14 weeks
149 USD
Next course start
Inquire for more information See details
Virtual Classroom
14 weeks
149 USD
Next course start
Inquire for more information See details
Virtual Classroom
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Course description

Fundamentals of Manufacturing Processes

Have you wondered how something was manufactured? Do you want to learn what it takes to turn your design into a finished product at scale? This course introduces a wide range of manufacturing processes including machining, injection molding, casing, and 3D printing; and explains the fundamental and practical aspects of manufacturing at scale.

For each process, 2.008x explains the underlying physical principles, provides several examples and demonstrations, and summarizes design for manufacturing principles. Modules are also included on cost estimation, quality and variation, and sustainability. New content added in 2020 and 2021 includes 360 degree high-fidelity views of products, augmented reality product disassembly, and select updated lecture videos. Together, the content will enable you to design a manufacturing process for a multi-part product, make quantitative estimates of cost and throughput, and recognize important constraints and tradeoffs in manufacturing processes and systems. The course concludes with a perspective on sustainability, digitization, and the worldwide trajectory of manufacturing.

Upcoming start dates

1 start date available

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  • Virtual Classroom
  • Online
  • English

Who should attend?


  • secondary school (high school) math and physics
  • Calculus I
  • knowledge or willingness to simultaneously study basic principles of mechanics of material, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and heat transfer

Training content

Week 1: Introduction and Process Planning

An introduction to the scope and significance of manufacturing worldwide, followed by an overview of the structure of 2.008x and highlights of key topics. Then, a framework is presented for planning manufacturing processes, and for evaluating process performance based on four key attributes.

Week 2: Machining

This module describes machining, the most common process of material removal. Chapters address the mechanics of material deformation, estimates of material removal rate and cutting forces, practical aspects of turning and milling operations, and methods of machining advanced materials and complex parts.

Week 3: Injection Molding

Injection molding is the most widely used plastics manufacturing process. Chapters of this module describe the process physics, rate-limiting steps, process parameters, thermoplastic materials, mold tooling design, and guidelines for defect prevention. Examples include molding of toy bricks, cups, and plastic furniture.

Week 4: Thermoforming and Sheet Metal Forming

These modules address sheet forming of plastics and metals. Chapters describe the materials and process considerations, rate- and geometry-limiting aspects including springback and tearing, and explain various uses including manufacturing of plastic packaging and aluminum beverage cans. A supplement to the thermoforming module introduces other polymer forming processes including those for plastic bottles, bags, and large containers.

Week 5: Casting

This module introduces casting, whereby a metal part is made by solidification within a mold. Modules describe sand casting, die casting, and investment casting processes; rate-limiting steps and factors governing part microstructure, quality, and cost are also analyzed.

Week 6: Additive Manufacturing

We first introduce the spectrum of additive manufacturing (AM) technologies, its key applications, and reasons for its rapid growth and significance. Next, we focus in-depth on the three most prevalent AM processes: extrusion of polymers and composites (i.e., FFF/FDM), photopolymerization (i.e., stereolithography or SLA), and selective laser melting (SLM) of metals.

Week 7: Quality and Variation

This module explains basic statistical methods for analyzing, monitoring, and controlling process variation, including the use of control charts. The critical differences between variation, tolerances, and quality are explained; and principles of precision metrology are introduced.

Week 8: Manufacturing System

We will introduce probability theory and queuing theory, give analytical examples of simple manufacturing systems through the lens of critical concepts such as production rate, capacity, buffers, and offer simulations representative to the current state of the industry and case study examples.

Week 9: Manufacturing Cost

Understanding the cost of manufacturing a part or product, and its relationship to the process details and production volume, is essential to effective scale-up. This module presents a methodology for estimating manufacturing cost, and examples discuss the cost of making toy bricks, window glass, and smartphones.

Week 10: Sustainability and Robotics

First, we discuss the implications of the energy consumption of manufacturing, and of the product life cycle life cycle. Second, the robotics module introduces several types of robots used in manufacturing, compares their performance, and illustrates how robotics can improve production efficiency and quality.

Week 11: Electronics

This module will explain the process physics of microelectronics fabrication, and PCB manufacturing. We will explain techniques for assembling electronic components on to PCBs and discuss Cost, Rate, Quality, and Flexibility of different assembly techniques.

Week 12: The Future of Manufacturing and Conclusion

To conclude, this module provides a brief summary of 2.008x, highlights important emerging manufacturing technologies, and presents the perspectives of instructors and guests on the exciting future of manufacturing.

Course delivery details

This course is offered through Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a partner institute of EdX.

4-6 hours per week


  • Verified Track -$149
  • Audit Track - Free

Certification / Credits

What you'll learn

  • Manufacturing processes in detail: machining, injection molding, casting, thermoforming, sheet metal forming, 3D printing, electronics assembly, and more.
  • Overarching principles: rate, quality, cost, flexibility, sustainability.
  • Design for manufacturing principles, how to plan a multi-step manufacturing process, and important life-cycle considerations of mass-produced products.

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