Policies

We work hard to make the lab a safe, welcoming, and productive space for all users. The policies we have are meant to help us achieve that together, so please read through them carefully and reach out if you have questions. Always follow staff members’ instructions, as they are always looking to preserve the lab’s safety and productivity.

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Access

Our lab is open to everyone officially affiliated with the College of Engineering. This includes students enrolled in CoE classes, CoE faculty/staff, CoE RSO members, and all collaborators with those groups/individuals. We welcome entrepreneurial work as long as it does not detract from our work supporting research, courses, and RSOs. Please contact us to clarify if your project may fall into this category!

In some rare cases, we may need to suspend individuals from the lab for a period of time. This is to preserve the lab’s safety, productivity, and welcoming environment for all users.

Lab Membership Fee

Undergraduate students in the College of Engineering (CoE) are longer required to pay a $50 materials fee to access the Makerspace and TEAM Lab.

Graduate students in CoE will be required to pay a $100/semester starting November 1st. From September 1, 2023 through November 1, 2023 CoE graduate students are not required to pay a fee to access the Makerspace and TEAM Lab.

Here is a summary of fees for each semester (fall, spring and summer):

CoE Non-CoE*
Undergraduate Students $0 $150
Graduate Students $100 $150
Faculty/Staff $0 $150

*Non-CoE users can access the Makerspace but not TEAM-Lab. More info on the M-Pass here.

All users must pay for certain consumables they use such as 3D printing material, stock material for the laser cutter, etc.

For any questions related to lab membership fees, please contact us.

General Policies

  1. Please keep food in clean, designated areas, and avoid eating or drinking in carpeted spaces or fabrication spaces, like the machine shop.
  2. During particularly busy times in the shop (you’ll know when all the reservations are booked!) we may temporarily ask lab users to refrain from working on personal projects. Please check with lab staff if you are unsure.
  3. Adjustments or repairs to machines (e.g. changing bandsaw blades) should only be done by staff.
  4. If you see something broken/dull/otherwise defective, please let staff know! We can’t replace or repair something if we don’t know it’s missing or broken. Don’t attempt to use broken/defective tools or equipment.
  5. Cleanup is a critical part of lab usage, so always build in time for cleaning up. Never leave the lab without cleaning up after yourself. A good rule of thumb is that the next user shouldn’t be able to tell what material you were using.
  6. Ask questions if anything is ever unclear! Our staff are always willing to help.

Safety Policies

  1. Always have at least one other lab user present when using any lab facility. Never work alone!
  2. Any injury, accident, or unsafe circumstances, no matter how minor, should be reported to lab staff right away.
  3. Come to the lab ready to work safely and effectively – ensure you are not too tired, distracted, or otherwise impaired. Headphones/earbuds are a distraction and are never allowed in fabrication spaces. Please do not distract other lab users.
  4. Phones are allowed in the shop, but never use one while operating a machine, and always ensure their usage does not distract others. Step outside of the lab to take calls!
  5. Our hands-on training sessions cover safe usage of each piece of equipment in the lab. If you haven’t been trained on a piece of equipment, check with staff before using it. You may need to complete a formal training session first.
  6. Never try to touch a moving object (like a lathe or a drill press) with your hands or a shop rag. Wait until your machine has come to a complete stop before touching anything or walking away from the machine.
  7. Machines may be operated by only one person at a time. If you’re working in pairs/teams, all non-operator members should keep their hands off of the machine.
  8. Preserve easy access to exits, safety equipment like fire extinguishers or eye wash stations, and other important safety-related equipment by keeping all aisles clear. Never block a walkway!
  9. To keep floors free from tripping or slipping hazards, keep tools, scrap material, and oil/grease/other liquids off of the floor. Spills should be cleaned up right away to keep others from slipping. Ask staff for help if you’re not sure how to do it properly.
  10. Check with staff before using compressed air in the lab. In general, it’s hazardous to use compressed air to clean off parts and equipment.
  11. If you notice blood or other hazardous fluids, please notify staff.

Clothing and Personal Protective Equipment

  1. Be aware of the activities/hazards you’ll be near while you’re in the lab and make reasonable clothing choices. Always keep your torso and legs completely covered (preferably with cut-resistant fabrics!) while in the lab – and remember that certain activities (like welding) will have additional PPE requirements.
  2. Headphone cords, jewelry (rings/bracelets/necklaces/dangly earrings), watches, hoodie drawstrings, long sleeves, and other dangly items may pose an entanglement risk in the lab and thus are not allowed. Usually, these items can be either removed or tucked in when you come to the lab. Long sleeves must be rolled up. Items like medical bracelets that cannot be removed may be taped in place.
  3. Hearing protection (e.g. earplugs or earmuffs, provided in the lab) is required when the decibel level in the lab reaches 90 or more. You’re always welcome to use hearing protection, but never use headphones/earbuds as they can be a distraction and/or entanglement risk.
  4. Close-toed shoes are always required in the lab.
  5. Long hair, long facial hair, and head coverings may be entanglement risks. Tie hair back appropriately and check in with lab staff before using the equipment to ensure your safety.
  6. Do not wear gloves while operating equipment, as they pose an entanglement risk. Exceptions may be made in certain circumstances (e.g. welding or material handling), so check with lab staff.
  7. Safety glasses are provided and always required while in any fabrication area, regardless of what activity you’ll be doing. Prescription glasses do not qualify as safety glasses, and you’ll need to wear safety glasses over your regular pair. You’ll be glad for the added protection! You’re welcome to bring your own pair of glasses if they meet or exceed the ANSI Z87+ standard.

Material Safety

At times, our lab users need to work with unusual materials for functional or investigative purposes. We have experience with a wide range of materials and are eager to help with these projects, but we only allow users to work with materials known to be safe for the people and machines in the lab.

Planning to use a new material? Do your research first by reading the MSDS and checking Machinery’s Handbook. Once you’ve done that and it looks promising, come talk to us to make sure it’s OK. Some materials require special tooling/training to machine or are otherwise dangerous and are not allowed in the lab, for the safety of our users and our equipment. Carcinogenic, toxic, hardened, glass-filled, abrasive, corrosive, flammable, aerosol-producing, or special-tool-requiring materials are not allowed. We would be happy to help you find a suitable alternative or connect you with the resources you need to complete your project. 

Some unapproved materials include:

  • Magnesium & Alloys (highly flammable)
  • Beryllium & Alloys (carcinogenic dust)
  • G10/Fiberglass (toxic, special tooling required, dusty)
  • Titanium (special tooling required)
  • Ceramics (special tooling required)
  • Phenolic (Toxic)
  • Graphite (dusty)
  • Hardened Steels (special tooling required)
  • Higher Alloys (e.g. Hastelloy/Niobium, special tooling required)

Reservations

Some equipment in our labs is first-come first-served, but some pieces of equipment – most commonly, the lathes, mills, and laser cutter – require reservations. Machine reservations (also called Bookings) help us organize staff around user needs and generally help the lab run more efficiently. Please review these basic policies and reach out with any questions.

  • Reservations can be made up to 14 days in advance.
  • If at all possible, cancel reservations you plan not to use at least 12 hours in advance so that others can sign up in your place.
  • If you’re more than 15 minutes late for your reservation, your reservation will be canceled. If you’re more than 30 minutes late, we’ll assume you aren’t coming at all, and the rest of your reservations for that day will be canceled.
  • Don’t reserve a machine for your friend/teammate – the person who uses the machine must be the one with the reservation.
  • Within reason, don’t reserve more time than you think you’ll need.
  • Remember to build cleanup time into your reservation! The next user shouldn’t be able to tell what material you were working with.

Personal Projects

Our lab’s mission is to support project work by our CoE community, and this necessarily includes personal projects. Personal projects are opportunities to pursue passions, learn new skills, and build confidence and community. However, when personal projects begin to crowd out projects for research, classes, or CoE student organizations, we may need to limit lab use for personal projects. As always, please reach out to us if you’d like to discuss your project.

Tools and Hardware

*This is new as of Fall 2023, so please read carefully*

Who May Use TEAM Lab & Makerspace Tools?

Any CoE community member may use TEAM Lab’s tools – just check in with us at the window first. Some tools (like those covered in our Woodworking or Welding Training) may require users to complete further training before use; some more specialized tools may only be accessible upon request. If you don’t see what you need, please ask us.

Where Am I Allowed to Use TEAM Lab & Makerspace Tools?

Our tools can only be used in our Labs (the basement of ECB/Wendt Commons). No tools should leave our lab unless specific permission is granted by full-time staff. We are much better able to assist users with tool usage and project completion if work is done in our space. The community benefits from project work being completed in a centralized area instead of in separate labs.

When Am I Allowed to Use TEAM Lab & Makerspace Tools?

Our tools are available for use during our open lab hours, which are available on our website. We also have a limited set of tools available in the Discovery Area of TEAM Lab for use by any community member during our off hours. We expect that any tools used during off hours be used safely and responsibly. These tools should be returned to their proper location in good condition and, like all other tools, should not leave the basement work area.

How Do I Find Hardware?

We stock an extensive assortment of fasteners and other useful items in the lab. Any CoE community member can purchase hardware from us.

This is now self-serve! Go back to our tool & hardware room and select what you need, note the type and quantity, then bring it up to the front to pay for it.

*TEAM Lab: Until our POS system is in place, purchases under $5 will not be charged. Anything over $5 can be handled easily with our web-based payment system.

What is Available In the Tool and Hardware Room?

Most hardware is self-serve and available in the tool & hardware room. Many hand tools, power tools, and consumables (e.g. adhesives) are available for self-service. All items should be returned to the place where they were found – we will rely on our community to keep the space orderly for all users.

What is NOT available in the tool and hardware room: less common specialty tools, high-precision tools/equipment that need to be more closely monitored, CNC/Welding/Woodworking-specific equipment (which will be located in those areas), and any frequently-needed items for use in the machine shop.

Common machine shop tools – such as end mills, lathe cutting tools, collets, drill bits, edgefinders, and anything needed for training sessions – can now be found in the yellow toolbox located next to each individual machine. We hope this change increases users’ efficiency!

What if My Lab/Class Depends on Your Tooling?

Please reach out to us with your specific needs and we’ll see what we can work out. Our tools and equipment are intended for use under our guidance in our space, but we recognize that some classes and labs have historically depended on us for some equipment.