This website is not and cannot be a comprehensive guide to every situation that you may encounter while working in the Labs. You are expected to exercise caution, better judgment, and respect for your colleagues at all times. Unacceptable behavior could result in revocation of Lab access for the duration of your Design Media Art career.

Eligible students who have taken the required orientation, signed the affidavit, and paid required fees may use the Fabrication Lab during daytime hours. Only students currently enrolled in the Design Media Arts MFA program are automatically eligible for Lab access. Undergrad Design Media Art students can sign up for open lab access as outlined on this page: Undergrad Access. Safety information on this page is applicable for both grad and undergraduate students.

Basic orientation confers access privileges and basic tool use only. Specialized equipment, including the table saw, miter saw, and bandsaw, require machine-specific training.

MFA candidates will also have 24-hour BruinCard access to the Labs, but the availability of equipment is restricted after hours. Students must always work in pairs after hours. Using “the buddy system” will ensure that there is always someone to help in case of emergency or injury.

Lab spaces are for working on projects. Works in progress may be stored in the designated areas only. Larger, or inactive, projects can occasionally be accommodated by special arrangement only.

It is highly recommended that you purchase a toolbox or storage bin that is clearly labelled for your personal tools and odds and ends. These may be kept in the Labs on the designated shelves.

Raw materials, such as wood, may be stored in the shared storage areas provided it is clearly labelled with your name. Items NOT labelled belong to the Fabrication Lab and are not available for student use. Components, computers, and other devices may be stored in the Electronics Lab shelving provided it is clearly labelled and arranged in an orderly fashion.

IMPORTANT: At the end of each quarter, the Fabrication Lab is cleaned out. All class projects must be removed before the end of Finals week. Students in the MFA program can make special arrangements to store items between quarters. At the end of the year all projects, regardless of their origin, must be removed BEFORE GRADUATION.

Basic lab orientation is required for any individual to use the shop. Orientation covers safety and lab ground rules.

Training is required to use all the large power tools in the shop, and each tool requires separate training to use. Training sessions with the lab supervisor happen in groups or individually on an as needed basis.

To accommodate multiple levels of proficiency, two levels of required supervision are recorded in the training records: direct and general. Most users start with direct supervision required for a tool, meaning that the lab supervisor needs to oversee the operation of the tool by the trained individual. General supervision privileges are granted when the user consistently shows proficient and safe use of the tool.

Training records are kept in the tool room in a binder labelled “Orientation and Training Records”.

Training and orientation is good for one single academic year. All students are required to retake orientation after the beginning of the Fall quarter.

General Rules & Policies
■  Closed-toed shoes are required in the lab, even for orientation.
■  Common sense reigns supreme.
■  Never work alone.
■  Wear proper attire:

  • closed-toed shoes are required (no sandals, ever)
  • eye protection or face shield should be worn at all times
  • hearing protection required for tool use
  • long hair tied back
  • no dangling jewelry or clothing
  • long pants are required in the lab at all times.

■  Never work when you are tired or impaired.
■  You must complete the appropriate training before using equipment.
■  CLEAN UP your area before leaving so that others may use it.
■  Respect the sign-up sheets, others’ projects, and Lab equipment at all times.
■  Any tool or equipment that leaves the Lab must be checked out.
■  DO NOT leave soldering irons, power sources, or exposed wires plugged in.
■  Make sure all equipment, is turned OFF when you are finished working.
■  DO NOT overload the trash bins. Custodians will not empty the trash if it is too heavy.
■  No eating in the Labs at any time.
■  DO NOT attempt to fix any equipment. Notify the Lab Supervisor immediately.
■  Friends, relatives, or spouses are NOT ALLOWED to operate machinery in the labs.
■  Go slowly to prevent injuries and for best results.

Access privileges will be revoked if any student is found to be flagrantly or repeatedly disregarding Lab policies!

The Labs are for everyone’s use:
■ Do not work in such a way that prevents others from using the space.
■ Return things to where they came, so that it is available for everyone.
■ Clean up your work area when you are finished.
■ Return equipment in the good condition you found it:

  • free of dust
  • bits removed
  • blades/guards returned to 0º position.

■ Put only USABLE scrap pieces in the scrap bins.