Fabrication Lab

Basic Steps for CNC Milling and 3D Printing

Step 1: Prepare your CNC or 3D Print file

CNC FILES

  • Download the pre-configured CNC Rhino template available at \\juno\Public\DigitalFabrication\CNC-Template-Tutorials\ or in the Downloads section of this website.
  • Import your geometry and then assign components of your design to the appropriate layers for different CNC operations (e.g., place your topo surfaces on the “Topo Surface” layer).
  • Please use the provided template layers as the only layers in your file.  Do not add any other layers.
  • The black bounding box represents the maximum material size that the machine can accommodate.
  • Measure your material and create a new bounding box for the size of your material within the “Stock” layer.
  • Scale and place your geometry within the “Stock” bounding box you just created.
  • Save this file and submit it to the digital fabrication staff.
  • Further instruction on available CNC processes can be found in the “CNC Tutorial” document.
  • If you still have questions, please email either Toren Falck at falckt@design.upenn.edu or Dennis Pierattini at dennis2@design.upenn.edu.

3D PRINT FILES

  • Download the preconfigured 3D Print templates available at \\juno\Public\DigitalFabrication\3D-Printing-Templates-Tutorials\ or in the Downloads section of this website.
  • Import your geometry into the template.
  • The black bounding box represents the maximum build envelope/bed size for each 3D printer. You may print multiple objects within this box.
  • Save this file and submit it to the digital fabrication staff.
  • Further instruction on available 3D Print processes can be found in the “FDM Tutorial or Powder Print Tutorial” document.
  • If you still have questions, please email either Toren Falck at falckt@design.upenn.edu or Dennis Pierattini at dennis2@design.upenn.edu

Step 2: Schedule an appointment for a consultation with a CNC/3D print technician

  • Log in to the digital fabrication scheduling software at https://booking.appointy.com/dennis2. Choose “CNC Milling/3D Printing” and then choose either “CNC_3D Print Consultation 1” or “CNC_3D Print Consultation 2”.
  • Select a convenient day and time to meet in person with a FabLab staff technician to review your file.  
  • Please make only one hour-long appointment at a time.
  • If all available timeslots are booked, you may come to the Lab with your file as a walk-in and wait to be helped.

NOTE: If you have not already registered on the CNC_3D Print scheduling software, please see the “Register For Software Access” document below.

Step 3: File Review Meeting

  • Please arrive on time.  If you are more than five minutes late, your appointment may be reassigned to a walk-in student.  Please be patient and understand that if you are late we may have to reschedule your appointment.
  • Please arrive with your completed file (and your materials if you are CNC Milling).  You cannot be added to the CNC queue without your material.  The Lab staff can help with final material preparation after your appointment. 
  • During your appointment your file will be checked in Rhino and then processed in MasterCAM to verify operations.
  • If your file is successfully verified and you have submitted materials if CNC Milling, your file will be placed in a first-come first-served queue.  The staff technician can give you a rough estimated completion time at this point.
  • If there are problems with the file, you will be advised on any issues that need to be resolved and asked to make another appointment for file review.

Step 4: Make arrangements for materials

  • EPS foam (white expanded polystyrene foam) for CNC milling, in 24” x 48”  sheets at 2” thickness is available in limited quantities for cash sale directly from the Lab during your consultation.
  • All 3D Print materials are for sale in the Lab as well and will be billed directly through your Penn Bursar’s account.
  • For milling any other permissible CNC materials (high density foam, plywood, or solid wood), please see “Materials Resources” below, or discuss options with a staff technician.

 

CNC MATERIALS RESOURCES

CNC Materials

Deliverable to:
Meyerson Hall, Room G29
210 South 34th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104


Expanded Polystyrene Sheets (EPS)
(Low Density, white Polystyrene):


https://www.uline.com/BL_874/Polystyrene-Sheets
Website Keywords: polystyrene sheets


High Density Urethane Foam (HDU)
(Higher density & quality, yellow / off-white Urethane):

-For larger bulk orders, higher quality (15lb density recommended)
https://harborsales.net/Home/ProductList.aspx?ProductTypeId=168&FilterType=SignFoam+4
Website Keywords: sign foam

-For smaller orders, faster delivery (6lb or 10lb density recommended):
https://www.mcmaster.com/prototyping-foam/
Website Keywords: prototyping foam

Plywoods & Natural Solid Woods:

John Junius Taylor Woodworking
Please email inquiries regarding plywood in sizes: ¼”, ½” and ¾” as well as various domestic natural solid woods to:
3813pearl@gmail.com

Step 5: Pick up completed parts

  • You will receive an email from the staff technician when your job is completed and ready for pickup.

Register for access to the CNC/3D Print Consultation Software

1. Using your Penn email account, send an email to digifabaccess@design.upenn.edu requesting access to the digital fabrication scheduling software. You MUST send this request from your Penn email address and the email registered on this request must be your Penn email.

2. Requests for access to the scheduling software will be processed as quickly as possible, Monday through Friday, during normal business hours. Please note that NO requests will be processed during the weekend or evenings.

3. When your request is processed, you will receive an email with login details and a link to generate your password.

4. At the password link, create a password. DO NOT use your Pennkey password. This website is NOT secured by the university.

5. After setting your password, you will be able to access both the Laser Cutting appointment schedule as well as the CNC Milling/3D Printing appointment schedule.

Policies 

CNC Mills

  • The CNC mills are reserved for student academic work only.
  • The approved materials for CNC milling are: expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), high density urethane foam (HDU), plywood, and domestic natural / solid woods, (cherry, walnut, maple, etc). Requests to mill other materials must be submitted in advance to the Digital Fabrication Manager Toren Falck, and the Director of the Fabrication Lab Dennis Pierattini.  Requests must include material safety data sheets (MSDS) on the material in question. MSDS documents will be reviewed by the Lab staff, the Penn Enviromental Health and Safety office, and Penn Fire & Emergency Services.
  • Place your geometry in the CNC Template, available at \\juno\Public\DigitalFabrication\  or in the Downloads section of this website.  Only properly templated files can be accepted.
  • The template is formatted for 1:1 scale in inches. Please do not change this.
  • The maximum acceptable file size is 64MB. No files larger than 64MB can be accepted.
  • The maximum stock size per single-student submission for foam is 2300 cubic inches (LxWxH), approx. 24” x 48” x 2”. This is the size of the blank material prior to being milled, not the finished model size.
  • The maximum stock size for wood is 1000 cubic inches (LxWxH) per single-student submission.
  • The maximum bed size of the CNC Mills is 24" x 48" x 2"h
  • The minimum dimensions of stock size that can be submitted is 6" x 6" x .5" h (h = height, thickness).  No stock material under these dimensions will be accepted.
  • The maximum number of pieces of stock that may be submitted per single CNC submission is two (2) pieces of material.
  • Please use only the the layers preconfigured in the template.  Delete any extra layers and all unnecessary information from your file.
  • You may be required to modify your geometry to accommodate the cutting limitations of the CNC mill or if your design could potentially result in damage to the CNC mill.
  • Projects will be completed on a first-come, first-served basis. To be fair to everyone, there can be no exceptions.
  • The CNC technician will give you an estimate of the time when your file will be finished.
  • You may make changes to an already submitted file but your file will be moved to the end of the queue.
  • You will be notified by email when your project has been finished.
  • All scheduling conflicts will be resolved by Dennis Pierattini, not the faculty member or the CNC technician.

3D Printers

  • You may use the 3D printers for academic work only and not for personal projects, work for professional firms, or for academic work outside of Penn Design.
  • Place your geometry in the appropriate 3D printing template, available at \\juno\Public\DigitalFabrication\ or in the Downloads section of this website. Only properly templated files can be accepted. 
  • The template is formatted for 1:1 scale in inches. Please do not change this.
  • The maximum acceptable file size is 64MB. No files larger than 64MB can be accepted.
  • Please delete any extra layers and all unnecessary information.
  • The maximum build envelope for the F270 ABS Fused Deposition Printer is 12” x 10” x 12” height.  You may use the full build size for each submission. 
  • The maximum build envelope for the J55 Color Resin Printer is approx 5.5” x 7.8” 7.4” h for a rectangular object, however the build envelope is a large cylindrical shape with a restricted center (see template).  You may use the full build size for each submission.
  • Multiple objects can be placed within each printer’s build envelope per submission.
  • If you are in the queue for one 3D Printer, you may also submit work for the other 3D Printer.
  • Projects will be completed on a first-come first-served basis.  To be fair to everyone, there can be no exceptions.
  • Prior to committing to a print, the 3D print technician will give you an estimate of the cost to print your file and when it may be completed.
  • Due to the nature of the 3D print process, once a project is started it must be completed in its entirety.
  • You may make changes to an already submitted file in the queue, but your queue position for that file will be moved down to the end of the queue.
  • You will be notified by email when your project has been finished.
  • All scheduling conflicts will be resolved by Dennis Pierattini, not the faculty member or the 3D print technician.