Prototype & Design Associate Degree

Prototype students work on a model together

Program Code: 106142

As a graduate of the Prototype and Design program, you will be skilled in 3D printing or Additive Manufacturing, hand fabrication, high quality painting and finishing, 3D drawing software, CNC machining, and RTV model making. You can build a variety of three-dimensional prototypes and models for use in manufacturing, consumer products, and other fields of product development. You will also be able to construct three-dimensional models for use in props, architectural design, and mechanical design. Your skills will emphasize problem solving and critical thinking across all aspects from design to model completion. Career opportunities include product development, prototype model builder, engineering design, architectural model builder, RTV mold maker, rapid prototype technician, and pattern maker.


Employment Potential

A graduate of this program will have the potential for employment in the following areas:

Product Development: develops and designs new products through the use of prototypes.

Prototype Model Builder: provides research and development on new products, works with molding, and makes models for all types of industries, such as toy and automobile manufacturers, so that the prototype will look like the finished product before production begins.

Engineering Design: translates engineering data and vendor information into scale prototypes or CAD models for use with Rapid Prototyping Processes. Usually employed in design and development of new products or systems.

Architectural Model Builder: translates, to scale, all architectural drawings using plot plans, elevations, sections, and details to construct three dimensional models using a wide variety of materials and processes.

Rapid Prototype Technician: Creates models with the use of rapid prototype technologies.

Pattern and Mold Maker: fabricates wood, plastic, or metal patterns and molds for casting parts.

With additional education and/or work experience, graduates may find other opportunities for employment.

• Mechanical Prototype Designer
• Model Shop Supervisor
• Computer Numerical Control Machinery Programmer/Operator
• Rapid Prototyping Operator
• Architectural Designer/Model Builder
• Freelance Model Builder


Requirements for Program Entry

• Completed application.
• High school transcript or equivalent. (For a list of equivalents, go to
• High school background in mathematics and science.
• High school algebra or equivalent.
• To be admitted to this program, learners must achieve a prior cumulative high school or college grade point average of 2.6 or higher OR a satisfactory academic skills assessment score. College grade point average must be based on 15 credits or more. To learn more about starting this program, please contact an academic advisor at (920) 498-5444 or (888) 385-6982.
• Familiar with Microsoft Word and File Management.

Program Availability

FULL TIME Spring 2021 Summer 2021 Fall 2021
Green Bay
Sturgeon Bay
Students following the study plan below will compete the Prototype and Design Technician associate degree in the number of semesters shown.
10-890-101 COLLEGE 101 ...Students will utilize digital tools and resources to assess, explore, practice, apply, and evaluate both employability and learning skills. By establishing NWTC cultural values as hallmarks of success in academic, career, and personal settings the course encourages reflective, personalized development of a growth mindset and emphasizes the importance of making wise choices. To maximize the return on investment, students should take this course in their first semester as it identifies key expectations (hidden rules) of higher learning and professional employment.
10-614-152 PROTOTYPING-INTRODUCTION TO ...introduction to the prototype & design industry using a variety of shop tools and equipment, machine processes, and fabrication techniques with an emphasis on shop safety, hand skills, accuracy, professionalism, and working within specified tolerances to build three dimensional models.
10-420-151 PROTOTYPE MACHINE TOOL ...introduction to machine shop fundamentals using precision measuring instruments; performing machine tool operations on a metal lathe, vertical and horizontal milling machines and surface grinders; and basic foundry applications.
10-614-113 2D ESSENTIALS ... an introduction to technical communication, annotation, geometric construction, model, orthographic and pictorial, section and auxiliary views and dimensioning.
10-606-113 CAD (COMPUTER AIDED DRAFTING) aided drafting using AutoCAD software focusing on template settings; creating and manipulating layers; basic drawing, editing, and inquiry commands; blocks and attributes; and plotting. (Corequisites: 10-607-119, Intro to Civil Engineering Technology OR 10-606-119, Technical Sketching OR 10-614-113, 2D Essentials)
10-801-196 ORAL/INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION ...the communication process, perception and self-concept, language, listening, nonverbal communication, interpersonal relationships, communication in groups and public communication; prepare and deliver an oral presentation. (Prerequisite: Next Gen Rdg score greater/equal to 250 AND Writing score greater/equal to 237; OR ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16 AND English score greater/equal to 16; OR preparatory course-contact an academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
10-804-113 COLLEGE TECHNICAL MATH 1A ...topics include solving linear equations; graphing; percent; proportions; measurement systems; computational geometry; and right triangle trigonometry. Emphasis will be on the application of skills to technical problems. (Prerequisite: Next Gen Arithmetic score greater/equal to 250 AND Rdg score greater/equal to 250; OR TABE A 9/10 Math greater/equal to 12.7 AND Rdg greater/equal to 8.8; OR TABE 11/12 Math greater/equal to 780 AND Rdg greater/equal to 573; OR ACT Math score greater/equal to 15 AND ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16; OR preparatory courses-contact an academic advisor 920-498-5444)
10-614-235 CNC MACH/2D PROGRAM-INTRODUCTION TO ...introduction to CNC machining and programming using computer drawing software such as AutoCAD and SurfCAM, to produce three dimensional models from 2D geometry with an emphasis on machining materials used in the prototype & design industry. (Prerequisites: 10-606-113, CAD; 10-614-152, Prototyping-Introduction to, 10-420-151 Prototype Machine Tool)
10-614-238 INTRO TO SOLIDWORKS MODELING... terminology, software operation, creating and manipulating SolidWorks models from blue prints to reverse engineering, utilizing basic modeling functions. (Prerequisite: 10-606-119, Sketching Technical)
10-614-276 MODEL FINISHING ...using a variety of spray guns and air brushes to apply paint products to a number of different surfaces. Proper preparation, sanding, masking, and vinyl stenciling procedures will be covered as well as correct clear coat buffing and polishing.
10-804-114 COLLEGE TECHNICAL MATH 1B ...topics include: performing operations on polynomials; solving quadratic and rational equations; formula rearrangement; solving systems of equations; and oblique triangle trigonometry. Emphasis will be on the application of skills to technical problems. (Prerequisite: 10-804-113, Tech Math 1A with grade C or better)
10-442-153 PROTOTYPE METAL FABRICATION...ferrous and non-ferrous metals, oxyacetylene gas, tungsten arc, gas metal arc, and metal fabrication.
10-801-136 ENGLISH COMPOSITION 1 ...learners develop knowledge/skills in planning, organizing, writing, editing. Students will also analyze audience/purpose, use elements of research, format documents using standard guidelines, and develop critical reading skills. (Prerequisite: High school GPA greater/equal to 2.6; OR ACT Reading score greater/equal to 16 AND English greater/equal to 18; OR Next Gen Reading score greater/equal to 250 AND Writing score greater/equal to 260; OR "preparatory course(s)", contact academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
10-614-234 MOLDING PROCESS & TECHNIQUES ...utilizing proper RTV, plaster, and rigid molding techniques and procedures in the creation of detail replicas; estimating costs and time of projects. (Prerequisite: 10-614-152, Prototyping-Introduction to; 10-614-238, Prototype Solidworks Modeling)
10-614-138 CNC MACHINING-ADVANCED ...create three-dimensional prototypes on the CNC machining center using SolidWorks and SurfCAM software with a focus on 3 axis surface machining and multiple part setups and an emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking. (Prerequisites: 10-614-235, Intro to CNC Mach/2D Prog; 10-614-238, Prototype Solidworks Modeling)
10-614-233 ARCHITECTURAL MODEL DESIGN ...planning and construction of architectural models focusing on layout, fabrication, material selection, painting, attention to details, project planning, portfolio creation and presentation. (Prerequisites: 10-614-152, Prototype Introduction to; 10-606-113, CAD)
10-614-236 INTRO TO RAPID PROTOTYPE ...utilizes 3D Printing technologies to create visual parts and engineering samples from SolidWorks & other sources. General use of machines and STL editing software is also covered. SME Fundamentals certification to accompany completion of class. (Prerequisite: 10-614-152 Prototyping-Introduction to; 10-614-238, Intro to Solidworks Modeling)
10-809-172 INTRO TO DIVERSITY STUDIES...basic American values of justice and equality by teaching vocabulary, history of immigration/conquest, transcultural communication, legal liability, multicultural majority/minority relations, ageism, sexism, gender, sexual orientation, the disabled/ADA. (Prerequisite: Next Gen Rdg score greater/equal to 250 AND Writing score greater/equal to 237; OR ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16 AND English greater/equal to 15; OR 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing with a B or better)
10-614-143 PROTOTYPING SOLUTIONS ADVANCED ...comprehensive overview of the design and development process using the skills acquired throughout the program to build a team focused project with an emphasis on project management, critical thinking, problem solving, time management and collaboration. (Prerequisite: completion of semesters 1, 2, 3)
10-614-139 PROTOTYPE & DESIGN INTERNSHIP introduction to model building, safety, tools, materials, flexible mold making, casting, limited run production, techniques and practices as on-the-job training.
10-614-239 PROTOTYPE CAREER PREP ...create professional employment portfolio, resume and cover letter, learn how to prepare for interviews, understand different interviewing techniques, and participate in a mock interview. (Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of semesters 1, 2, and 3; Corequisite: 10-614-143, Prototyping Solutions Advanced OR 10-614-139, Prototype & Design Internship)
10-614-237 ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING PROCESSES introduction into the manufacturing & production environment, illustrating the basic concepts of machine setup and fixture design, pattern making, material selection, thermoforming, die making, short run production molds. (Prerequisite: 10-614-234, Molding Process/Tech; 10-614-138, CNC Machining-Advanced)
10-614-195 MODEL BUILDING INTERNSHIP ...the application of theory, skills, and techniques in model building.
10-614-174 MODELS-MACHINE ...moving models, preliminary through final prototype; plastic mechanisms, motions, characteristics, combinations, mechanical advantages, fits, clearances, threads, gears, levers, cams, motors, fasteners, and methods. (Prerequisite: 10-614-234, Molding Process/Tech; 10-614-138, CNC Machining-Advanced)
10-809-166 INTRO TO ETHICS: THEORY & APP ...basic understanding of theoretical foundations of ethical thought; analyze/compare relevant issues using diverse ethical perspectives; critically evaluate individual, social/professional standards of behavior--applying a systematic decision-making process. (Prerequisite: Next Gen Rdg score greater/equal to 250 AND Writing score greater/equal to 237; OR ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16 AND English greater/equal to 15; OR 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing with a B or better)
10-809-198 INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY ...survey of theoretical foundations of human behavior such as sensation and perception, motivation, emotions, learning, personality, psychological disorders, therapy, stress, and human diversity in personal, social and vocational settings. (Prerequisite: Cumulative GPA of 2.6 or greater OR satisfactory reading and writing assessment scores OR 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing 1 with "B" or better OR Corequisite: 10-831-102, English Comp Prep)
Curriculum Note
. The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an institutional Requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program requirements, but must be passed with a C or better.
. It is acceptable for students to take 10-804-118, Interm Algebra w Apps and 10-804-196, Trigonometry w Apps as alternatives to 10-804-113, College Technical Math 1A and 10-804-114, College Technical Math 1B.

Program Outcomes

• Develop planning strategies necessary to translate two-dimensional information into a three- dimensional prototype.
• Use critical thinking and problem solving techniques in the construction of a prototype.
• Create a variety of computer aided drawings using AutoCAD and SolidWorks.
• Create programs to be used on CNC (computer numerical control) milling machines using Surf CAM software.
• Construct 3D models using a variety of rapid prototyping processes.
• Produce highly detailed and accurate parts using the laser machining center.
• Fabricate silicone rubber molds and rigid molds suitable for casting.
• Build patterns and molds to be used for vacuum forming.
• Create jigs and fixtures necessary for special machining operations.
• Select and apply a variety of industrial finishes on various materials.
• Effectively estimate the time and cost to design and fabricate a prototype.
• Manage computer files and utilize a variety of technically related software.
• Work efficiently as a part of a team, or independently.
• Safely operate all hand tools, metalworking, and woodworking equipment typically used in a professional model shop.
• Effectively select appropriate materials and adhesives and understand their properties.
• Use proper sanding and finishing techniques on various materials.
• Understand various design and engineering processes as they relate to the Prototype & Design Industry.


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The Prototype & Design Technology program at NWTC is accredited by the APMM, Association of Profession Modelmakers.

Study Abroad Opportunities

The International Programs staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses. To find out more about which of your program courses may offer an opportunity during this academic year, contact your academic advisor or visit