Digital Fab Lab / CNC Router
1. Have an Idea
The first step is to have a good grasp of what you would like to do. What material are you considering? What size is your project? What end-product do you want? What machine would you like to use?
2. Talk with a Coordinating TA
Think of the Coordinating TA as an advisor for your CNC project. The Coordinating TAs hold regular office-hours in the 3D Print Lab (rm 1219) to meet with anyone seeking to use the CNC machines. To speak with the Coordinating TA, first look at their office-hours posted on the Scheduling TA Calendar. You can reach the Coordinating TAs by emailing either TCAUPRouter@umich.edu or TCAUPwatjet@umich.edu (depending upon machine) and request an appointment during an available time slot. The Coordinating TA will reply to confirm the appointment. If the calendar is full, you may also stop by the 3D-Print Lab during scheduled office-hours as stand-by.
Bring your file(s) to the appointment with the Coordinating TA. He or she will review your geometry, discuss material choices and answer all your questions. At the end of the appointment, the Coordinating TA will work with you to schedule a cut time with a Lab Assistant on the CNC Calendar. Note that both Calendars (CNC and Scheduling) are available at the top menu bar.
3. Prepare Materials
Bring your file(s) to the appointment with the Coordinating TA. He or she will review your geometry, discuss material choices and answer all your questions. At the end of the appointment, the Coordinating TA will work with you to schedule a cut time with a Lab Assistant on the CNC Calendar. Appointments to cut must be made at least 48 hours in advance. Note that both Calendars (CNC and Scheduling) are available at the top menu bar.
The FABLab sells limited supplies of MDF, LDF, Baltic Birch Plywood, and Polystyrene Foam.
If you are laminating material for a CNC cut, apply glue evenly and thoroughly upon a clean surface before placing it in the vacuum-press table for no less than 6 hours. The total drying time should be a minimum of 24 hours before the scheduled cut time. Use Gorilla glue if you are laminating foam. Verify that material dimensions do not exceed the table size (4' x 8'). Full instructions for the vacuum-press table can be provided by the Coordinating TAs or the Lab Assistants.
4. Cut with a Lab Assistant
Arrive to your scheduled shift with your prepared file(s) and material. Upon arrival, a Lab Assistant will prepare your Mastercam or Flowpath file and cut your project. If you have prepared your Mastercam or Flowpath file already, the Lab Assistant will review it before cutting. It is required for the student to be present for the duration of the cut.
5. Clean Up and Pay
It is the student's responsibility to clean up after the cut is complete. All scrap material must be taken to the outside dumpster and all debris/dust must be swept and discarded.
Once cleanup is complete, the Lab Assistant will give you a pay-ticket for the cut. Pay for all materials and CNC cutting at the Media Center. Be sure to attach the receipt to the pay-ticket. Return both items to the box labeled "PAID receipts" in the Fab Lab. Students who have outstanding charges or do not clean their scrap will not be able to schedule future appointments.