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IAT 106 (Spring 2021)
Spatial Thinking and Communicating

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Instructor: Naghmi Shireen, PhD | nshireen@sfu.ca

Teaching Assistants: Parastoo Piray and AliAsger Rasheed

All lectures and labs are coordinated, with lectures occurring before their respective labs. Each block of course content applies to the lecture and the following labs.

N.B. (Nota Bene)

The content of this website will be updated throughout the term. We will advise you via a Canvas notice when a change has been made.

Interesting Things To Check Out

We've collected some Interesting and fun stuff that relates to spatial thinking and communicating ... we encourage you to have a look.


The Syllabus [ [pdf] ] has essential info about the course and you should read it carefully. It has course organization, required textbook, how you are evaluated, brief outline, materials and tools you will need to acquire and course policies.

Important Dates



Jan 11
Jan 15
Jan 18
Feb 15
Feb 19
March 15
April 02
April 05
April 09
April 16

Classes Start
First Lecture
First Lab
Family Day Holiday (No Labs)
Reading Break (No lecture)
OnShape Quiz during the labs
Good Friday (No Lecture)
Easter Monday (No Labs)
Last IAT106 lecture
Project Presentations
Final Exam

Lecture and Lab Sections


D100: Fri 12:30-14:20 | on Zoom. D100 Main Room link
D101: Mon 9:30-12:20; | On Zoom. (Parastoo) D101 Room link
D102: Mon 14:30-17:20; | On Zoom. (Parastoo) D102 Room link
D103: Mon 9:30-12:20; | On Zoom. (Ali) D103 Room link
D104: Mon 14:30-17:20; | On Zoom. (Ali) D104 Room link

Office Hours



Tuesday 10:30am - 11:30am | Zoom (link here) / By Appointment
Friday 9:00 - 10:00am | Zoom (link here) / By Appointment
Friday (10:30am - 11:30am) | Zoom (link here) /By Appointment

Tutorial Videos

This page has links to short video tutorials (some of these were made by the previous IAT 106 instructors and others I've found on the internet) that are similar to demos and examples I and the TAs will be performing in the class. If you missed some part of the in-class version, or just want to review a particular procedure, these tutorials should help. They explain things like HowToMakePolyhedronA, HowToDoAnAuxiliaryView and so on. The link also include other resources like short docs and tips and tricks to help you with learning SolidWorks and getting around in it. Please note that most of these tutorials are in Solidworks, however soon you will notice that Solidworks and Onshape are very similar in their interface as well as their operations.

The Course Project

Many of the labs involve designing physical things, ranging from conceiving something interesting with Legos in the very first lab, through sketching and digital modelling (and some not-so-simple objects), to the final project involving a Beautiful Machine. Most of the labs in which physical objects were made, are updated with new content and material to accommodate the online education limitations. These refurbished 'making' labs are designed to help you develop your spatial thinking skills.

The final project extends over several of these making labs and we have put together some helpful information and links to help you brainstorm mechanisms for a beautiful machine.

Final Exam

Please note that currently I am in the process of finalizing if we need a Final Exam for this course or not. Once finalized you will be notified via email. Stay tuned for updates!
April Date:TBA
Room: Online (TBA)

Information in the above table should be correct, but you should check the OFFICIAL SFU source. As definitive it is, SFU has not published this info yet. A link will be provided when it is published.

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IAT106 Weekly Schedule



Lecture Lab Due at start of next Lab Reminders

Week 1

Nature of Spatial Thinking; Space, Objects & Operations

Week 2

Technical Sketching & Dimensioning

Week 3

Projections, Multi-Views & Isometrics;

Week 4

Pictorial Projections + Intro to OnShape

Week 5

Perspective views and simple model-making

Week 6

Auxiliary Views, Cross-sections, Degrees of Freedom and SW Mates, Midterm prep;

Week 7

Making Things Move

Week 8

Midterm Exam; Introduction to Course Project

Week 9

Solid Modelling Theory; Lab: First set of ABM Sketches

Week 10

Solid Modelling Theory; Digital Model Making in OnShape

Week 11

Physical Model Making (optional slide deck)

Week 12

Final Course Review + Fun