The word engineering has its roots in the Latin term for ‘to create’. Engineering education is fundamentally practice-oriented, but in resource-poor academic institutions access to hands-on laboratory instruction is constrained by the high cost of equipment and instruments. Many teachers have limited training with state-of-art equipment, and so resort to purchase and use of commercial black-box type kits which provide students only limited learning outcomes.

The Teaching Learning Centre (TLC) for Design and Manufacturing Education at IIITDM – Kancheepuram is funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) under the Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT) scheme. The TLC aims to design and develop e-learning materials and common Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and Build-YourOwn (BYO) low-cost laboratory instruction modules for adoption and use in engineering universities, colleges and polytechnics. The modules are mainly built using inexpensive commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) materials and components, open source hardware, and free open source software, making them extremely affordable. The knowledge and experience gained can facilitate innovative projects by students and teachers.