As an asset of the FIT Library, FabLab is a professional digital fabrication lab that handles 3D printing, laser cutting and vinyl cutting services for students, staff and faculty of FIT. It is currently equipped with two Stratasys uPrint Plus 3D printers, one FormLabs Form 2, one Universal Laser System ILS 12.75 laser cutter (new larger model) and one Roland GS-24 vinyl cutter. The self service area has two MakerBot Replicator+ 3D printers, one Ultimaker 2+ Extended 3D printer, one NextEngine Ultra HD 3D scanner, one Touch 3D Stylus and two 22HD Wacom Cintiqs. Class projects will need to be discussed by FabLab management before being accepted. All submitted work must be properly setup before we start any work. Files that are not setup properly will not be corrected and will be returned to the customer for correction which may change the turnaround time. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact FabLab staff in Pomerantz D529A.
Full-Service Vinyl Cutter
The Roland GS-24 vinyl cutter is capable of making quick and accurate cuts onto vinyl using vector based design files. Applications include signage, packaging, book, laptops, walls and basically any other surface where you would like to promote your identity. The FabLab currently offers 8 colors of durable self-adhesive vinyl for making single colored die cut stickers as well as two types of printable self-adhesive vinyl capable of making custom ‘print-and-cut’ stickers. The cutter has a maximum cutting width of 22.5” (3/4” margins).
Acceptable Files: Only vector based Adobe Illustrator files will be accepted for vinyl cutting.
Procedures & Policies
- Convert all fonts to outlines
- A 'print & cut' job must be dropped off at the same time
- Very small & overly complex artwork may not cut properly. Letters must have a minimum height of 1/2". Cutout shapes should be a minimum 1/16"
- Application tape (transfer tape) which aids in aligning artwork when pressing into place is optional
- Cutting vectors and artwork should be on separate layers with a 3/4" uncuttable margin on both sides
- Lines that you would like to be cut on the vinyl should be vector paths in your Illustrator file. The vinyl cutter uses these vectors as tool paths to trace along with a blade
- Single color vinyl cutting: $.50/linear inch
- High quality ink jet printed clear or white vinyl cutting: $2/linear inch
- Application tape: additional $.25/linear inch
|Vinyl cutting print & cut examples||Vinyl die cut example||Vinyl die cut application tape example|
Full-Service 3D Printers
The Stratasys uPrint Plus prints durable and accurate 3D models out of ABS plastic. It builds your model by
extruding melted plastic layer by later in a process known as Fused-Deposition Modeling
(FDM)printing (see video) and utilizes dissolvable support material that is washed away automatically in a
Self-Service 3D Lab
For students interested in gaining hands-on experience with new 3D technology, PrintFX and FabLab's self-service 3D Lab (D529A) is now equipped with two MakerBot Replicator + 3D printers, one Ultimaker 2+ Extended 3D printer, one NextEngine 3Dscanner, one Touch 3D Stylus and two 22HD Wacom Cintiqs. The lab closes 30 minutes prior to PrintFX closing and the equipment is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Only STL files will be accepted for 3D printing
- Most 3D CAD platforms (e.g. AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Rhino, etc.) can natively export 3D files as STLs
- Maya can export STLs with the aid of a downloadable MEL script
- zBrush can export STLs with the aid of a downloadable plug-in
- Blender (open-source/free) can be used to convert OBJs and a few other common file formats to STLs
All 3D file formats are prone to errors in geometry. The most common errors are inverted faces due to reversed normals, and holes in the mesh due to bad/open edges. Files with these errors will not print correctly and must be fixed by the client before a job can be submitted to our 3D printer.
Netfabb is a free STL viewer which can open your 3D files and diagnose inverted normals/faces and bad edges. See the Netfabb video tutorial which is also installed on the PCs in the Self-Service area of PrintFX. It can also be downloaded at http://www.netfabb.com/downloadcenter.php?basic=1
PC: NetFabb, Rhinoceros 4.0, 5.0, Penguin 2.0 for AutoCad, MakerBot, Solidworks Electrical 2D and Composer 2016, Solidworks 2016, Autodesk 3ds max 2018, Cura (Ultimaker), Revit 2018.
MAC: CURA (Ultimaker), MakerBot.
All 3d printers generate support material differently, and all support material types
have different post-processing and finishing requirements. The uPrint's support material is dissolvable and washes away in a cleansing bath. The Form2 and MakerBot printers do not have dissolvable support material and their support structures must be clipped and/or sanded away manually.
Measurements in NetFabb
Use of the Stratasys uPrint SE 3D Printer is $7/cubic inch; FormLabs Form 2 is $0.35/ml. There's a $2.00 minimum charge on these two full service printers. The costs for the self service MakerBot Replicator+ is $0.25/g and Ultimaker 2+ Extended is $0.50/g with no minimum charge. You are responsible for paying for all build and support material. The Wacom Cintiqs, Touch 3D Stylus and NextEngine 3D scanner are free. When dropping off your job, you must indicate on the order form whether you would like to be called with a cost estimate prior to printing your model. All jobs must be paid for with your FIT ID card before the job is released. PrintFX accepts funds from student, staff or faculty e-accounts. There are two ways to add these funds. The first option is to use your FIT Campus Card at the PHil stations located on the 5th floor of the Goodman Resource Center Library & Feldman Center, CC15. These PHil stations accept $1, $5, $10, $20 bills and coins are not accepted. The second option is using the campus card online portal, accessible by any workstation on or off campus. Enter by logging into "MyFIT" https://myfit.fitnyc.edu, click on the "Announcements & Web Resources" tab, go to the "FIT Campus Card" link and follow the easy screen prompts. Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express are accepted. Payment due at time of pickup. Alumni jobs payment due at time of drop off. Students with unpaid jobs left at PrintFX for 3 weeks or longer will have a hold placed on their account.
Procedures & Policies
- All work must be setup according to our file prep guidelines. We will not correct any files that are setup incorrectly. They will be returned for correction which could delay your turnaround time.
- Turnaround time for full-service printing (uPrint and Form2) is one week. Self-service
MakerBots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All jobs must be paid
for with your FIT ID card before the job is released
- For both Full and self service 3D printing, please come to the PrintFX service desk in Pomerantz D529A to complete a 3D Printing Order Form.pdf.
Detailed 3D Printing Guide
The FIT Library FabLab is equipped with a Universal Systems ILS 12.75 Laser Cutter (new larger model). The ILS 12.75 has a material processing platform of 48” x 24” x 12” and a 75 watt laser.
Accepted file types
Illustrator files: Vector Cutting, Vector Engraving, Raster Engraving. Photoshop: jpeg files for raster engraving
JPEGs: Raster Engraving
FabLab staff will not resize, adjust, or manipulate your files. Files must adhere to the color, format and size requirements of the laser cutter program before being submitted. If any changes are required to successfully complete the job, the FabLab will not proceed until the client fixes the errors and resubmits the corrected file. The FabLab is not responsible for cutting or engraving errors if they are a result of an improperly prepared file.
Accepted materials: Only the following materials will be accepted for use with the laser cutter:
Bristol Board, Butter Board, Cardboard, Chipboard, Museum Board, Poster Board, Fine Art Paper, Cardstock, Illustration Board, Construction Paper, Matte Board, Marker Board, Wood Veneer, Basswood, Plywood, Balsa Wood, Birch Wood, Cork, Leather, Rubber, Glass (Etch only), Marble (Etch only), Acrylic Sheets (Paper-backed), Natural Fabrics, Hard Woods.
Please see our separate acceptable materials list for local suppliers and online vendors. We reserve the right to refuse material if we deem it to be unsafe or inappropriate.
For non-standard or specialty materials, we recommend supplying a separate piece of material (recommended at least 2”x4”) for the FabLab staff to test to determine the correct laser settings. This testing is covered by the $5.00 setup fee per material submitted. We will do our best to determine suitable settings, but depending on the results of the testing, the FabLab may not be able to perform your job exactly as submitted. We will not replace damaged testing material.
The client is allowed to keep any scrap material from their job. If the client does not supply a separate piece of testing material, the FabLab may use areas of the client’s scrap material to perform testing.
Procedures & Policies
Turnaround time currently is three days. All jobs must be paid for with your FIT ID card before the job is released. Standard $5.00 minimum fee. After this initial setup fee (per material), the price for use of the laser (for Vector Cutting, Vector Engraving, and Raster Engraving) is $0.50 per minute.
Vector Cutting & Engraving
The laser cutter can cut or engrave along vector paths. The laser cutter program will “read” your Illustrator file, and depending on the Stroke Weight and Color of a vector, the laser will cut through or engrave (i.e. scorch/mark) the surface of your material. In order for your Illustrator file to be read by the laser cutter program, your files must be in RGB Color Mode.
Lines that you would like to be cut through your material should be Vector Paths in your Illustrator files, with a Stroke Weight of .001 pt and colored RGB Red (255-0-0, or #FF0000). Materials to be cut must be 1/8th inch or less. Depending on the density of the material, certain objects may not be able to be cut at all. Please see our approved materials list.
Lines that you would like to engraved on the surface of your material should be Vector Paths in your Illustrator files, with a Stroke Weight of .001 pt and colored RGB Blue (0-0-255, or #0000FF). Depending on the density and surface texture of the material, certain objects may not be able to be engraved at all. Please see our approved materials list.
When raster engraving, the laser cutter travels in horizontal lines, moving down the image (like an ink jet printer), engraving (i.e. scorching/marking) the surface of the material. Any type of image can be raster engraved. Images to be raster engraved should be grayscale or b&w. Black colors in the image will be engraved the deepest and colored darkest, and lighter shades of gray will be progressively engraved shallower and colored lighter.
Cutting, Engraving & Raster Engraving
The laser cutter can vector cut, vector engrave, and raster engrave all from one image. Import grayscale or b&w images (.jpeg or .psd) into an Illustrator file, and follow the guidelines for stroke width and stroke color for vectors described here. The laser cutter program will automatically distinguish between vector paths meant to be cut, vector paths meant to be engraved, and grayscale or b&w artwork will be raster engraved.
Vector Cutting & Engraving: Depending on the physical properties of the material, the line being cut or engraved will have a variable “thickness.” This is determined by how the material reacts to being burned or scorched by the laser. Vector artwork should be designed with this in mind, as vector paths that are very close together in an Illustrator file may actually overlap or touch once cut (or engraved) onto the material.
Raster Engraving: Higher contrast images are desirable. Depending on the characteristics of the material being engraved, the range of dark to light tones (i.e. the depth being engraved) may be very limited --- in some cases only a two-tone, black & white color range is possible.
Guide & order form require Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Laser Cutting Examples
April 2015 Pomerantz Center, Second Floor Lobby
Studio V --- Residential
Challenged to prototype a laser cut element for their residential project, students developed designs that were fabricated here at our FabLab.
Professors: Joseph Lembo, Takashi Kamiya and Johannes Knoops
April 2015 Pomerantz Center, Main Floor Lobby
T. Jacob Hooker, Accessories Design major
Laser cut accessories for the BFA graduating student show, May 6-21, 2015.
April 2015 AAS Fashion Design student, Hojun Lee
Laser cut dress