Digital Fabrication Lab

Routers & Mills

Photograph

Lab Equipment

  • The Lab houses a Techno Isel 3-axis CNC router with a tool changer
  • Prolight Metal Mill

Files Available for Download

  • RhinoCAM 2.0 Surfacing Template (available by request from staff)
  • VCarve Pro 6.5 Profiling and Pocketing Template (available by request from staff)
  • CNC Head Block Rhino file

CNC Operations

To use the CNC Router, first schedule an orientation with the Lab Manager or Mechanician and come with a digital model file for review. The CNC has a 4’ x 8’ bed size. Height limitations are more complicated and may vary depending upon project dimensions, tool choice, and tool path design; these are covered in detail during a special CNC orientation. A CNC job has five steps and may require separate appointments for each one.

  1. Propose a project and consult on materials and best practices.
  2. Have preliminary designs reviewed, and discuss file preparation.
  3. Purchase and process approved materials in the Shop according to instructions.
  4. Complete final preparation of files and schedule an appointment for the job. 
  5. With the Mechanician on hand, start the job.

CNC-Caution

  • At least one authorized person has to watch the machine at all times while it is running.
  • No laptop, mobile device, or ear-buds may be used or worn during the job.
  • Eye protection is required and ear protection is highly suggested for anyone in the room while the equipment is running.
  • Stay outside the room while the CNC is operating.
  • Users must clean the entire room after a job has been completed and put all tools back in their proper place. Shop Vacs are available for use.

CNC Approved Materials

Foam, mdf, plywood, and wood are okay. With Manager or Mechanician approval you may use plastics and cast plaster but no metal or glass allowed.

Benchtop Mill Operations

To use the Mill, first schedule an orientation with the Lab Manager at least two weeks in advance of use. A mill job has five steps and may require separate appointments for each one.

  1. Propose a project and consult on materials and best practices.
  2. Have preliminary designs reviewed, and discuss file preparation.
  3. Purchase and process approved materials in the Shop or Lab according to instructions.
  4. Complete final preparation of files and schedule an appointment for the job. 
  5. With the Mechanician on hand, start the job.

Mill-Caution

  • Do not wear loose fitting clothing, or jewelry (rings, bracelets, wristwatches) when operating the machine. Tie back loose hair and wear safety glasses.
  • Check the machine before using. Look for damaged tools or clamps, broken fixtures, non-working guards, and clear away debris. 
  • Power should be off before plugging in the cord.
  • Do not operate without the safety shield in place.  In an emergency always press the Emergency Stop button before opening the safety shield. Pull the Emergency Stop button out only after closing the safety shield.
  • The mill is a rotating cutter hazard, so always keep hands clear until all motion has stopped.
  • At least one qualified person has to watch the machine at all times while it is running.
  • Users must clean after each job and must put tools back in their proper place. Shop Vacs are available for use and there is special collection for metal shavings.
  • Only personnel familiar with the machine’s service instructions should be near or service the machine—contact the Lab Manager immediately.

Mill Approved Materials

Aluminum (6061 grade), plastics, and machinable wax are okay.