FabLab

The fabrications laboratory supports students and faculty in the exploration and investigation of material research including wood, metals, plastics and concrete. The 2400-square-foot fabrications laboratory plays an integral role in student work and faculty research, supporting experimentation with materials and fabrication.

The school is equipped with state of the art computer controlled (CNC) machines, including two laser cutters, a 3-axis CNC router, 3-D scanner and an ABS plastic 3D printer. The lab is overseen by the Director, and is staffed by the Coordinator and Graduate Assistants, who instruct and guide students in the use of the equipment.

For information about the Center for Research in Advanced Fabrication and Technology (CRAF+T) click here. 


FABRICATIONS LABORATORY HOURS

Monday - Thursday: 9:00am - 9:00pm // Friday 9:00am - 4:00 pm // Saturday + Sunday 10:00 am - 4:00pm

FABRICATIONS LABORATORY EQUIPMENT

  • SawStop® Table Saw [SawStop® saws are equipped with a safety system to stop the blade within
  • 5 milliseconds of detecting contact with skin.]
  • Powermatic 22" Helical CutterHead Planer
  • Powermatic 18" Variable Speed Drill Press
  • Agazanni 24" Bandsaw
  • Grizzly 14" Bandsaw
  • 10" Hitachi Sliding Compound Miter Saw
  • Bench Dog Router Lift
  • 12" Combination Disk and Belt Sander
  • 6" Combination Belt and Disk Sander
  • Grizzly Oscillating Spindle Sander
  • Dewalt 20" Variable Speed Scroll Saw
  • 8" Model Making Band Saw
  • Rockwell 8" Joiner
  • Lathe
  • Portable: Table Saw + Air Compressor
  • AC/DC Arc and Tig Welder
  • 12" Diamond Tipped Metal Chop + Miter Saw
  • Grizzly Sandblaster
  • Dimension 3-D Printer
  • Lincoln Electric 140c Power Mig Welder
  • Thermal Dynamics Plasma Cutter
  • Pneumatic Pipe Bender
  • Jet 40" Shear/Brake/Roll Combo

PROCEDURES AND POLICIES

Contacts

Fab Lab Phone: (505) 277-6186

Fabrications Laboratory Director/Lecturer: Matthew Gines

CNC Router Lab

The Fabrications Lab hosts an AXYZ 5' X 8' CNC [Computer Numerically Controlled]


CNC RouterThe AXYZ 4008 Series CNC Router offers a processing width of 60” and processing length of 96”. The 4008 Series is capable of handling the widest range of tooling and application options in the industry.

Well suited for a wide range of industry applications, the 4008 Series presents the opportunity to easily process materials in excess of 4’ wide, and virtually any length you may work with. The 12” gantry clearance and allows for thicker substrates to easily be loaded and unloaded from the working area. The convenient operator console provides the machine level interaction with the AXYZ A2MC Advanced Control system. The A2MC is the heart of the AXYZ control network, providing high speed data processing capability, and motion control that is second to none.

Use of the CNC router must be scheduled at least 3 business days prior to use.

CNC Operating Instructions

Contact Matthew Gines to Schedule a time.

COST

The cost for Student CNC routing is $15.00 per hour.

The minimum time charge for CNC routing is 30 minutes.

HOURS

CNC router hours of operation: Monday - Thursday: 9:00am - 9:00pm // Friday: 9:00am - 4:00pm // Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 4:00pm

Contacts

Fab Lab Phone: (505) 277-6186

Fabrications Laboratory Director/Lecturer: Matthew Gines

Laser Lab

The laser lab hosts two laser cutters; a 60 and a 75 watt C02 Laser Cutter both with Air-Assist. The laser lab room 105 is located inside of the fabrications lab room 106.

HOURS

The laser lab is open Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm // Friday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm // Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm // Sunday 10:00 - 4:00

Each Student may only sign up for a 1 hour session on the laser cutter. Once this session is complete and the student has paid they may sign up for another 1 hour session when time is available. There is no limit to the number of sessions a student can sign up for in a given week. Any abuse of this system will result in the immediate loss of privileges of the use of the fabrications lab.

To reserve time on the laser cutter students and faculty must use the online sign-up.

PROCEDURES

There are 3 procedures that must be done prior to laser cutting.

  1. Turn on the laser exhaust system. 
  2. Turn on the air-valve connected to the lasers. 
  3. Properly "Z" the laser.

SOFTWARE

For use of the laser cutter, the UNM SA•P supplies students with the latest Adobe Suite and Autodesk programs available in the laser lab and the computer lab. The laser cutter will accept Adobe Illustrator and AutoCad files, and must be on the appropriate template and layers or graphic styles.

Acceptable Materials:

  • Chipboard up to 4-Ply. 
  • Museum board up to 1/8” thick 
  • Basswood and Hobby Plywood up to 1/8” thick 
  • Limited Acrylics up to 1/4” thick (Absolutely no PVC material, such as Lexan, or other Polycarbonates) 
  • Styrene up to 1/4" thick

ACRYLICS, STYRENE AND BASSWOOD ARE STOCKED PRODUCTS. NO OUTSIDE ACRYLICS OR STYRENE WILL BE ALLOWED.

Important:
If cutting acrylic, the material must have some type of label stating that it is in fact acrylic. If the material does not have this, it will not be cut or engraved. The appropriate acrylic material is stocked in the FabLab.

Cardboard is prohibited from the laser unless prior consent from a FabLab supervisor is given. Single ply chipboard can be cut on the knife plotter located outside the laser lab.

Illustrator Basic Vector Cutting/Scoring

  • Open the Illustrator template (there are 3 versions for CS, CS2, and CS3)  The template is sized to the bed of the laser cutter (32” x 18”) 
  • Go to FILE > PLACE your work into the template. 
  • Make sure all lines are inside bounding box and are as close as possible to maximize the material. 
  • Ungroup everything go to OBJECT > UNGROUP and repeat at least 3 times. 
  • Release any clipping masks go to OBJECT > CLIPPING MASK > RELEASE CLIPPING MASK repeat a few times 
  • Select and place all cut lines in the cutting layer and assign them a “MAGENTA CUT” style from the graphic styles menu. There is also a CYAN Perimeter cut as well. This is for cuts that make up a perimeter around other cuts or scores, and is meant to be the last cut performed. 

Illustrator Raster Fills/Engraving

 Follow the same instructions as above. When setting graphic styles, black will be the deepest, 50% gray will be half and white would be no engraving You can use the preset raster fills, or just a grayscale. Your file may be rejected if there is too much raster fills to be engraved for this is a very time intensive way to score with the Laser Cutter.

AUTOCAD Cutting/Scoring:

Initial Setup

  • Open the laser template. The year (2000, 2004, 2007) should correspond to whichever version of AutoCad you are using. 
  • The template is sized to the bed of the laser cutter (32” x 18”) Copy and paste your work into the template in model space. 
  • In PAPER SPACE, zoom extends to view your work. 
  • Using the VIEWPORTS toolbar, scale your work so that it fits inside the bounding box. 
  • Arrange the pieces to be cut so that you use the least amount of material. 

Drawing Prep

  • Set all the line weights to 0.00 mm or make sure they are all by layer and set to the layers provided. 
  • Erase all overlapping lines. Overlapping lines can cause your file to be cut incorrectly. 
  • Procedure: type EXPLODE > select all > type OVERKILL (make sure the “ignore” options are unchecked) > select all Any text in the file needing cut should be one of the following fonts: ISCOP, ISOCT, MONOTXT, PROXY, SIMPLEX, TXT.

Layers

The template already has the necessary layers and corresponding line styles set up but you must assign your work (lines circles, etc) to the appropriate layer.

Laser Cutter Templates

Contacts

Fab Lab Phone: (505) 277-6186

Fabrications Laboratory Director/Lecturer: Matthew Gines

Plasma Cage

The Fabrication Lab hosts a TorchMate-2 4' X 8' CNC [Computer Numerically Controlled] Plasma Cutter. The CNC Plasma cutter can handle production runs with full sheets of steel up to 1/2" thick. The CNC Cage is located outside to the West of the Fab Lab. The CNC plasma cutter is scheduled by appointment only.

Contacts

Fab Lab Phone: (505) 277-6186

Fabrications Laboratory Director/Lecturer: Matthew Gines