L3 CNC Shop
!!New Information!! Training must be completed by all students interested including those who want to use drop-off service.
L3 CNC Shop is no longer DIY! Please note that this is the Interactive Production Shop! Any and all work (whether operated solely by technician or technician-assisted/student-operated) is part of the learning process. Whether you are a student just seeking advice on CNC machining or you wish to see the full machining process, technicians will be encouraging an active and participant environment.
The CNC Machine Shop at 2 West 13th Street (see map) supports both digital and manual machining with various equipment such as multiple ShopBot and Roland CNC routers, as well as manual vertical mills and machining lathes. With proper training and supervision, students can use this equipment to fabricate projects to high levels of precision out of foams, wood products, plastics, waxes and metals.
The CNC/Machine Shop also has a Casting and Epoxy Room (more info below) for plastic casting and rubber mold making, as well as a spray booth and airbrush room nearby. Students must use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and only work with materials from the Approved Materials List, unless given direct approval from the shop manager.
Before students can use the CNC Machine Shop, Training must be completed by all students interested including those who want to use drop-off service. If you only need access to the Casting Room, please check in with the Technician ahead of time if you have not had a previous orientation.
Trainings take place in the L3 CNC Shop on the 3rd floor Room 306 of the 2 W 13th St. building and last around 1 hour.
Click the “Mandatory Orientation” button at the top of the page to reserve a spot at one of the CNC Trainings.
If faculty members plan on assigning CNC specific projects, please reach out to CNC Shop to coordinate.
CONSULTATIONS AND RESERVATIONS
Once you have completed the training, you will need to plan for specific pre-CNC events before you may use the Shop. First are Consultations, in which you schedule a sit down with a technician to go over basic questions and file preparation. Basic consultation is located at E2 CNC Shop in 25 E 13th St. These do not require a scheduled visit, feel free to stop by any time the E2 shop is open. This would take up to 20 mins for open dialogue between technician and person(s) being assisted. During this time slot, advice on best machining approach and basic file correction will be given. If you need further assistance, Extended consultation is located at L3 CNC Shop in 2 W 13th St. These scheduled consultations may be reserved using Webcheckout Patron Portal. This would take up to 1 ½ hours for CAM file setup, precise stock measurement, and reservation signups.
Once your files have been approved, you must then schedule a reservation for cut time. With the assistance of a shop technician, you will schedule a reservation that equates to the time estimate of your specific project.
FILE PREPARATION CHECKLIST
Please use this checklist as reference when preparing your design files for milling:
- Do all my files have units in inches?
- Are my vectors closed curves? No overlapping segments? No duplicates?
- Have I saved my vectors as a .ai; .dwg; .dxf?
- (may choose any one of these options)
- Are my meshes solid?
- Does my model have undercuts?
- If so, acknowledge that those will not be cut
- Have I saved my mesh form as a .stl?
- Have I accurately measured my stock material?
- (length/width may be measured by ruler/tape measure; thickness must be measured by digital caliper to 0.001” tolerance)
In order to use the Casting Room, students must wear goggles, gloves, a tyvek suit and a respirator with appropriate cartridges. These items are all sold in the Making Center Material Store.
The following materials are approved for use in the Casting Room:
Bio Based Casting and Coating Epoxy
Entropy Resin SAP CCR
Two Part Epoxies
West System Epoxy
Smooth-On 300 Series
Smooth-On 320 Series
Casting and Mold Rubbers
Smooth-On Dragon Skin
Smooth-On Encapso K
Smooth-On Mold Star
Smooth-On Brush On
Smooth-On Flex Foam-it
For safety reasons and precautions, no other products or materials are allowed without direct approval from the shop manager. Talk to the CNC/Machine Shop staff if you have any questions
What is CNC machining?
- CNC machining is a manufacturing process in which pre-programmed computer software dictates the movement of factory tools and machinery. In other words, an automated process by which software informs the machinery on how to operate. Examples: drilling, carving, etching
Why would I use it?
- Precise, Robust, Consistent, Repeatable
- Wide range of materials
- Time saver
Who is allowed to use the shops?
- Students, Faculty, and Staff of The New School (once training has been completed)
What materials are allowed?
- Hardwoods, Softwoods, Plywoods, Foams, Plastics
What are the maximum dimensions I can cut on each machine?
- PRS Alpha Shopbot: 48” width x 96” length x 4” height
- Max cut depth 4”=FOAM ONLY
- Max cut depth 2.5”=WOOD
- Desktop Shopbot: 18” width x 24” length x 2” height
- Max cut depth 2”=FOAM ONLY
- Max cut depth 1.5”=WOOD
- Small Roland: 11” length (max cut length 5.5”) x 3.5” width
- Max cut depth 2”= cylinder stock
- Max cut depth 1.5”= square stock
- Large Roland: 12” length (max cut length 8”) x 5” width
- Max cut depth 4”= cylinder stock
- Max cut depth 2.5”= square stock
- PRS Alpha Shopbot: 48” width x 96” length x 4” height
What are the requirements for shop use?
- Have completed training
- Always wear eye protection
- Always use ear protection
- Always wear close toed shoes
- Always wear pants
- Always tie hair back
- Don’t wear loose clothing or jewelry
- Don’t operate machinery while tired or under the influence
How do I sign-up for orientation training?
- Go to – Parsons resources website – L3 CNC shop webpage – click icon on top right or click here.
What is the difference between consultation and reservation?
- Consultation is a timeslot where you will review your design intentions with a technician and program your design with CAM software
- Reservation is a timeslot where you will show up with your material and fully prepared CAM file for milling
What is the difference between basic and extended consultation?
- Basic consultation would take up to 20 mins for open dialogue between technician and person(s) being assisted. During this time slot, advice on best machining approach and basic file correction will be given.
- Extended consultation would take up to 1 ½ hours for CAM file setup, precise stock measurement, and reservation signups.
Where do I go for consultations?
- Basic consultations take place in E2
- Extended consultations take place in L3
What do I need to be prepared for extended consultation?
- CAD files (vector linework saved as .ai, .dwg, .dxf ; solid mesh saved as .stl)
- Stock material dimensions
How do I make a reservation?
- Go to – Parsons resources website – L3 CNC shop webpage – click icon on top right – be relocated to reservation sign-up
What do I need to be prepared for reservation?
- CAM files (.crvd or .spj)
- Post-processor files (.shopbot)
- Stock Material prepped for machining
Do I have to complete orientation training in order to use drop-off service?
- Yes! No If(s), And(s) or But(s)!!!
What is the turnover time for drop-off service?
- Minimum 48 hours wait time
Who do I contact if I have any further questions?