The buildLab provides students and faculty of the College of Architecture and Design with the expertise, training and equipment necessary to experiment with materials and execute creative work.
The buildLab offers the following dedicated spaces:
- 2600 ft2 shop space focused on the processing and assembly of wood and plastics; it including both traditional wood shop and digital fabrication tools
- 250 ft2 Spray Room for the safe and proper application of paints, adhesives, and stains
- 630 ft2 Casting Room for the use of plaster, concrete, and hydrocal
The buildLab offers training in shop safety and etiquette, safe use of hand tools and small equipment, and instruction regarding file setup for digital fabrication.
A partial list of shop equipment available:
- Bench tools including table saw, band saws, drill press, circular miter saw, disk & belt sander, panel saw, planer, jointer, jigsaw, and bench-mounted router
- Electric hand tools including drills, sanders, routers
- Pneumatic hand tools including brad nailer
- Hot wire cutter for cutting foam for formwork
Digital fabrication equipment available:
- 60W CO2 laser, 32”x18” work area
- 3-axis CNC router, 48”x96” table surface
- 6-axis industrial robots with custom tooling
buildLab Fall 2022 Hours
Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The buildLab will give priority to CoAD classes at the following times:
Tuesday and Thursday 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Wednesday 11 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Occupancy is limited 18 students.
buildLab Contact Information
Manager, CoAD buildLab
Laser cutting and etching services can be accessed in the CoAD buildLab. We have two CO2 lasers capable of cutting or marking combustible materials like acrylic plastics, wood, paper, chipboard, and most natural materials, up to 18 x 32 inches. Cutting is generally successful up to about 1/8” thickness, beyond which there may be an unwanted amount of extra burning. There are some exceptions to the materials that can be used; vinyl, PVC, or certain chemically-treated materials must not be used due to the fumes that may result from burning. Please inquire at the buildLab if there is an uncommon material that you would like to work with.
Please review the setup guidelines listed on the laser cutting info sheets and carefully review your work. The lasers are available during buildLab open hours, and files must be completed and checked by a staff member before accessing the laser cutters.
The CoAD buildLab has a 3-axis CNC router with a 4’ x 8’ work table, 5” stroke, and can be fitted with bits having shank sizes .5”, .375”, .25”, and .125”. It Common applications include 2.5-Axis profiling and drilling operations using plywood or other sheet materials, and also for 3-axis carving operations using foam up to 2 inches thick. When setting up work, there is a required margin of 2” between the edge of your cutting path and the edge of the material to allow for anchors to be safely attached. Please reach out to email@example.com to discuss project inquiries and schedule a time to use the machine.
There are six 6-axis robots located in and around the CoAD buildLab. The robots can be fitted with various end attachments and are primarily used to program complex movements between target points using parametric design software. Generally speaking, they are only accessible to students who are in or have taken one of our digital fabrication classes, or participate in a University-sponsored robotics club.
Clay Mill Machine
The Wenzel DesignTec DT Mill combines high-speed milling, precise surface quality, and the efficiency of overnight milling. It adeptly handles tasks traditionally associated with gantry mills while introducing a practical approach to hardboard machining and intricate material milling. Designed for versatility, the DT Mill excels in processing materials commonly used in car design studios, including soft foam for subconstruction, clay for form finding, and hard-board (PU-foam) and design-paste for crafting mockups for presentations. It seamlessly integrates these capabilities into a design workflow, making high-quality milling an accessible and integral part of a creative process.