MakerSpace

Tools and Resources

Tools and Resources

Laser cutting allows making very accurate two-dimensional cuts and engravings on materials such as woods and plastics.

Please reference our list of approved and banned materials. If you would like to cut a material not on this list, please submit to staff an MSDS with an approval form for consideration.

We have two Universal Laser Systems (ULS) laser cutters. One is a 40W laser with a 18″ by 24″ bed, and the other is 150W dual laser with a 24″ by 48″ bed. Our larger laser cutter can accommodate a rotary fixture that allows engraving cylindrical objects such as pint glasses.

3D printing is additive manufacturing: a printer gradually adds plastic to create a useful part.

3D printers can make plastic parts with decent accuracy. Our printers print with PLA, a popular plastic that is also biodegradable. Printers are relatively cheap to use, and are super easy to get started with!

We have three models of printers. Our four Flashforge Finders are easy to use and have a build volume of 5.5″ by 5.5″ by 5.5″. Our eight Flashforge Creator Pros have a build volume of 8.9″ 5.8″ by 5.9″ and have a heated bed that helps larger prints adhere to the bed while printing. Our Flashforge printers print with 1.75 mm nominal filament, and prints can be prepared in Flashprint.

We have two Ultimaker 2+‘s, one regular and one Extended+. Ultimaker printers can print with finer resolution but this may take longer. Ultimaker printers print with 3 mm nominal filament, and prints can be prepared in Cura.

Don’t have enough time to model but want to print? Check out Thingiverse for a gallery of thousands of free files that you can download and print.

Milling is subtractive manufacturing: a cutting tool called an end mill gradually removes material from your starting stock material.

Compared with 3D printing, milling is more precise and you can mill more materials including some woods, plastics, and metals. However, milling is often slower and there are some limitations to the geometries that can be created. This article goes into more detail on the differences. If you’re unsure which to use, you may ask staff for their opinion.

The process of learning to mill is more involved than 3D printing. If you think you may need milling in the future, look ahead on our calendar for workshops planned each quarter. Milling workshops are typically a two-part workshop, one for setting up your files and another for running the equipment.

We have many models of mills available for use. We have two Othermill V2‘s and one Othermill Pro. We recommend users start with these mills; they are smaller and have a more user-friendly interface. The links above include operating specifications and allowed materials.

We also have one Roland MDX-540. This mill has similar capabilities as the Othermills, but with automatic tool changing and a different interface. The Roland mill can also accommodate a fourth axis (rotation, in addition to x, y, and z).

Our newest addition is a Tormach PCNC 440 mill.

Our electronics workstation includes everything from soldering irons and fume extractors, to a PCB mill and oscilloscopes.

We can assist you in fabricating everything from soldering connections to simple Arduino-based projects to a space-ready CubeSats.

Here's a list of equipment in our electronics station.

  • HAKKO FX888D digitally-controlled soldering stations with HAKKO FA-400 desktop smoke absorbers
  • Aoyue 968A+ SMT digitally-controlled rework station (hot air wand with interchangeable nozzles and soldering iron + tip smoke absorber)
  • LPKF ProtoMat S63 circuit board plotter
  • LPKF ProtoFlow E SMT reflow oven
  • LPKF ProtoPrint E SMT solder paste
  • LPKF ProtoPlace E pick & place
  • LPKF Contac S4 through hole plating
  • Keysight MSO2024A 200 MHz 4-channel oscilloscopes
  • Fluke 179 handheld multimeters
  • Fluke 117 electrician’s handheld multimeters with non-contact voltage
  • Fluke 287 handheld logging multimeters
  • 8808A precision benchtop digital multimeter
  • Tektronix TDS420 200 MHz oscilloscope
  • Tektronix AFG310 and 320 function generators
  • Tektronix DG2030 Data Generator
  • Tektronix PS280 and Tenma 72-7245 dual output power supplies
  • Tektronix CPS250 and BK1660 triple output power supplies
  • HP 4140B pA meter and programmable voltage source

The sewing area has a number of easy-to-use machines ready to go at any time, as well as more advanced machines like our Bernina sewing machines or our Brother serger.

The equipment we have is capable of making things as complex as cosplay and dresses, or as durable as coats and backpacks.

Sewing machines in our sewing area include: five Janome Sewist 500, five Janome HD1000, two Bernina 215, one Brother 1034D Serger Machine, and one Sailrite Big-N-Tall Sewing Machine (industrial sewing machine).

We also have equipment such as: 3 adjustable dress forms, a large flat cutting surface for laying out and preparing fabric, marking equipment, hand sewing needles, and more.

Vinyl cutting can be used for making custom decals or t-shirts.

Our TITAN 3 vinyl cutter can cut vinyl up to 28″ wide. We have both exhibition vinyl (ORACAL 631) in a variety of colors and white heat transfer vinyl for sale.

Our Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) equipment can take you to new virtual realms, or help you with a project in the real world. We have demo sets ready to go all the time, as well as lots of other equipment upon request like OSVR HDK2’s or the Microsoft Hololens.

AR/VR headsets we supply include HTC Vive, Microsoft HoloLensOculus RiftRazer OSVR, Google Daydream with Pixel phone, and Google Cardboard. Some HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets are available for checkout through out Tool Lending Library.

360 cameras we supply include Ricoh Theta SSphericam, and 360fly.

Our woodshop is equipped with some of the best tools from brands including Festool, JET, Laguna, Makita, Lie-Nielsen, and ShopBot. Using the best tools helps projects go more smoothly.

To use the woodshop, you’ll have to first join our space as a member. Then, attend an in-person woodshop safety training listed on our calendar. At this training, we’ll cover safety for the woodshop, walk you through using most of the equipment, and give you a chance to practice yourself. Then you’re ready to start your own projects using the woodshop!

Note the lathe and ShopBot are not covered in the woodshop safety training, and an additional training is required before using them. There are more steps to using them and including them in the safety training would make it 2-3 hours long! Check our calendar for scheduled lathe or ShopBot workshops, which are usually once a quarter.

Compound Miter Saw

Track Saw

Orbital Sander

Jig Saw

Domino Joiner

Router Table/ Handheld Router

Band Saw

Drill Press & Cordless Drills

Disk Sander

Spindle Sander

Lathe

ShopBot CNC Mill

Many of our workstations are Apple iMacs. These workstations are efficient and contain the software you need to start and finish your projects.

Microsoft Surface Studio is a hands-on digital workstation that allows visualizing your ideas on a 28″ touch screen that can be controlled with mouse/keyboard, your fingertips, or a stylus. The screen can be lowered for use as a canvas.

Our computers are equipped with software you can use to create projects on our equipment.

Autodesk Fusion 360 is popular for 3D modeling and creating toolpaths for use on our mills. Rhino 3D is popular for both 2D and 3D modeling, for preparing laser cutting files and 3D printing geometries. Adobe Creative Suite includes Illustrator and Photoshop. Illustrator is great for designing graphics for vinyl decals or laser cutting.

Flashprint and Cura are used to prepare STL files by applying desired settings and so that our printers can read your files. Otherplan is used to read toolpath files so our Othermill mills know how to move as they remove material.

Autodesk Fusion 360

Rhino 3D

Adobe Creative Suite

Flashprint

Cura

Otherplan