Mechanical Automation Systems Engineering
This is an in-person course at the WATR Center
Course Info | Technical Docs

Mechanical Automation Systems Engineering
This is an in-person course at the WATR Center
2 hours per session
20 Sessions
Entry Level - No prerequisite

Course Overview
This course teaches students the mechanical principles and software configuration of modern electromechanical automation otherwise known as mechatronics.

Mechatronics is a fairly broad term encompassing many areas, yet the overarching idea is that there are mechanical and electrical systems being controlled by way of software to perform tasks. This is essentially an easier way to say "electromechanical systems" and wraps up related disciplines such as robotics and automation. Nearly every class we do is in support of this concept.

Parallel to all of these topics we'll continually discuss how you can apply this to any custom machine you may want to build in the future. This will include all the costs, vendors, and websites associated with CNC design and what to consider while making your choices. It's a tough challenge to try hold all the various options in your head, with each specific combination of parts, where each piece you change can have a significant effect on the whole of the device. This is the "Systems Engineering" portion of the course's original name and key topic. It's easy enough to identify a part that could be replaced with one better, but how that decision will affect the totality of the system and it's longevity is where the difficulty lies.

About the Machines We Build
This course focuses on the mechanical principles of electromechanical automation (mechatronics) and each student builds computer controlled milling machines (CNC) to learn how to apply these concepts. Our ultimate intent in our automation series of courses is to have students not only be proficient in the obvious electronic component of robotics but the mechanical fabrication process as well.

Nearly ever part of these machines has been created by us using 3D design software (Fusion 360 / CATIA) and cut on our own CNC machines in class. These are not kits and students will gain an intimate understanding of all elements in this system. These skills can translate into many areas such as robotic/mechatronic technicians and maintenance, automation design, and tool fabrication.


Lecture and Study
  • What is CNC and how to operate
  • Stepper motors
  • Breakout boards and controllers
  • Hardware drivers and motor control
  • Wiring
  • Motor torque requirements
  • Various controller software
  • Framework assembly
  • Drive mechanics (Gearing, chain drives, cabling, etc)
  • Electrical systems (wiring, cable management, motor polarity)
  • Controller software configuration and calibration
  • Basic CNC mill operation
  • Basic Measurement (Tape Measure, scale)
  • Basic Precision Measuring Tools (Calipers, Micrometers)
  • Tolerance design for fit and function

Shop Skills and Tools
  • Basic CNC mill operation
  • De-burring parts
  • Sanding and Polishing various materials
  • Die Grinder
  • Drill Press
  • Hand Drills
  • Dremel Tools
  • Tapping Threads
  • Basic Measurement (Tape Measure, scale)
  • Metric Measurement and Conversions
  • Basic Precision Measuring Tools (Calipers, Micrometers)
  • Advanced Precision Measuring Tools (123 Blocks, Depths Gauge, Angle Measurement, Parallels)
  • Basic Mathematics (Addition, Subtraction, Fractions, Decimals)
  • Tolerance design for fit and function

* This is a very unique course that covers a broad range of skills so be prepared for several different areas of study. Computer hardware, electrical, mechanical motion, software, 3D design and machining are all a potential part of this process of automation.

Mailing List Signup - Click here to get notified of upcoming classes

Class Dates and Times:


You can register by phone between 9am and 4pm PDT

Important - You will need a CTCLink ID number in order for us to help you over the phone or in person. You can follow the steps below to get one.

Fill out an application to Edmonds College:
Online Admissions Application

A few notes for your application:
Enroll as: "First Year"
Program: "Professional Technical"
Term: "_____" (Season plus year, such as: Spring 2023)
Degree or Certificate: "Undecided - Professional Technical"

Once you have received your CTC Link ID number please let us know and we can get you registered for your class.

Registering Online

Washington State colleges are now using CTCLink for all student services.
  • Follow the link below - login in or create an account
  • Go to "Student Homepage"
  • Choose "Manage Classes"
  • "Class Search and Enroll"
  • Choose Edmonds College and the quater (Control + F to search page)
  • Search for class name or number (Class Number will get you to where you want faster)
Online Registration Login Page - CTCLInk

NOTE - All our classes fall under "Special Topics: Manufacturing".

Contact Damian Cianci at if you have any questions.