Equipment access policy

We utilize a safety control banding approach to equipment access, grouping equipment by relative risk level. Each level of access is paired with appropriate instruction using hands-on training and online tutorials. Levels 1+2 provide access to the Prototyping and Assembly Lab. Levels 3+4 provide access to a range of equipment in the Fabrication Lab. Certain equipment, such as CNC machining centers and the waterjet cutter are operated only by trained staff. The levels of access are not necessarily linear; users are encouraged to seek the training that is most relevant to them. For example, one can acquire access to Level 1 and Level 3 tools, without completing training on Level 2 tools. To view your active certifications, login to the member portal, navigate to your user profile, and select Memberships.

Access Level

Equipment Example

Risk Level

 Training   Certification   Required

Operated By


Hand tools, limited battery operated power tools





Prototyping equipment (laser cutters, vacuum former, etc.





Industrial woodworking and metal working equipment



 Member   with staff   supervision


Industrial CNC equipment (CNC router, waterjet, etc.)



  Staff Only

Equipment access levels

All members of the UC community that consent to our usage policy are granted access to the prototyping lab and are permitted to use level 1 equipment including CAD computer workstations, large format inkjet printers, vinyl cutter, desktop 3d printers, electronics workstations, hand tools, and limited battery powered tools.

Procedural training is required to gain access to more advanced level 2 prototyping equipment, such as Epilog laser cutters, Artec Eva 3d scanner, and Formech vacuum former.

Industrial woodshop and metal shop tools require hands-on safety training before use. Woodshop tools include table saw, jointer, planer, band saw, miter saw, drill press, lathe, track saw, domino joiner, and production sander. Metal shop tools include cold saw, metal cutting band saw, grinders, MIG and TIG welders, plasma cutter, drill press, manual mill, manual lathe, iron worker, slip roller, shear, brake, hydraulic bender, and sand blaster.

Includes access to industrial CNC equipment, including CNC router, water jet cutter, CNC mills, and CNC lathe. Operation of CNC equipment is only performed by dedicated members of the Ground Floor staff.

  • Files to be processed using these pieces of equipment must be submitted and reviewed by staff before being scheduled. All machining projects require a project consultation prior to production.
  • We regularly machine metals, wood, plastics, and composites. Materials that present health and safety hazards may not be appropriate for processing at the Ground Floor. Please discuss material selection with our staff during your consultation.

3d printers


The prototyping lab offers access to laser cutting; low-cost, basic FDM 3d printing; SLA 3d printing; solvent-based archival quality graphics printing; vinyl cutting, sewing with garment weight and industrial straight stitch machines, and basic electronics workstations.

Prototyping Equipment List

Laser cutters

laser cutter machine static


Use to cut or engrave a variety of material

3D Printers

ultimaker 3d printer static

Use to rapidly prototype parts and models in PLA.


3D Scanners

hand held 3d scanner static


Use to scan real world objects into 3D mesh models

Vinyl Cutter

graphtec vinyl cutter machine static


Use cutting vinyl for decals, lettering, stickers

Large Format Printer

large format printer static


Use for large format outputs of various materials

Sewing Machines

juki heavy duty sewing machine static


Use for joining leather, heavy fabrics. Heavy duty.

Electronics Bench

bench full of electronic testing devises


Use for test and working on all things eletronic

Spray Booth

section of paint booth with paper and overspray


Use for applying paint, and any airbourne materials

Computer Stations

desk with a few computers sitting on top


Use for designing, concepting and controlling machines

3d printers


The fabrication lab offers members access to fully stocked wood and metal shops, as well as manual and CNC machining in wood, plastics, and metals. Hand and power tools are available for use in the Ground Floor only.

Fabrication Equipment List

CNC: mills, router and lathe

CNC machine static


Use to accurately perform various types of CNC operations on metal.

Materials: soft plastics, hard plastics, soft metals, hard metals


Waterjet Machine static

Use to 2D cut a large variety of materials.

Materials: Cutting, 2 Axix contour, soft plastics, hard plastics, soft metals, hard metals

TIG/MIG Welders

close up of person welding


Use to join various metal

Materials: soft metals, hard metals

Plasma cutter

close up of plasma cutter cutting metal


Use to join various metal

Materials: soft metals, hard metals

Drill press

drill press static


Use for drilling holes in various types of woods

Materials: soft plastics, hard plastics, soft metals, hard metals

Metal shear and brake

hand holding metal in front of metal shear and brake


Use for cutting and folding sheet metal

Cold Saw

cold saw static


Use to cut down metal into stock. Capable of beveling and swiveling.

Materials: soft metals, hard metals

Wood lathe

Wood lathe static with carving tools


Use to turn various types of woods into cylindrical shapes

Materials: soft wood, hard wood

Jointer & Planer

jointer and Planer static


Use for facing or edging various types of woods

Materials: soft wood, hard wood

Saws: miter, band and table

band saw static


Use for rip cuts with wood or cut out shapes

Materials: soft plastics, hard plastics, soft wood, hard wood