FabLab is F.I.T's professional digital fabrication lab that handles 3d printing, laser cutting, vinyl cutting and vacuum forming services for students, staff and faculty of FIT. It is currently equipped with two Stratasys uPrint Plus 3d printers, one Sense hand held 3d Scanner and one Structure hand held 3d scanner, one FormLabs Form 2 3d printer, one Ultimaker 3, two Raise 3d Pro 2 3d printers, one Universal Laser System ILS 12.75 laser cutter, one Roland GS-24 vinyl cutter and one Mayku FormBox vacuum form machine . A Sense 3d Scanner and Structure Sensor 3d Scanner are available for student use (see staff for details). The self service area has three MakerBot Replicator+ 3d printers. 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 Cutting
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 other than fabric, 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.
Job submission: Please email your form and files using our Online Ordering page or submit your files and form at PrintFX, Pomerantz D529A.
Turnaround time: 24 hrs
- 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) aids in aligning artwork when pressing into place for single color vinyl only 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
- For more in depth vinyl cutting information, please click here to download the vinyl cutting guide (.pdf). Click on this link to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Pricing & Order Form
- Single color vinyl cutting: $0.75/linear inch. With application tape: $1.00/linear inch. Colors: white, black, orange-red, yellow, green, blue, copper & silver.
- High quality inkjet printed clear or white vinyl cutting: $2.00/linear inch
- Please complete an order form in PrintFX/Fablab, D529A or by using our Online Ordering page.
|Vinyl cutting print-and-cut examples||Single color vinyl die cut example||Single color vinyl die cut application tape|
- Only STL files will be accepted for 3d printing and $5.00 minimum charge.
- 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
Job submission: For both full and self-service 3d printing, please come to the PrintFX located at Pomerantz D529A to complete an order form. When dropping off your order form for full service, indicate whether you would like to be called with a cost estimate prior to printing your model. You are responsible for paying for all build and support material. All work must be setup according to our file prep guidelines so please click here to download our 3d printing guide (.pdf). Guide requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. We will not correct any files that are setup incorrectly. They will be returned for correction which could delay your turnaround time.
Turnaround Time: Turnaround time for full-service printing (uPrint, Ultimaker 3, Form2, Raise 3d) is 5 business days. Self-service MakerBots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and must be prepaid prior to printing.
Payment: All jobs must be paid for with your FIT ID card before the job is released. 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.
Fixing Files: 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. Click here to see the Netfabb video tutorial. Netfabb is available for customers in PrintFX or download Netfabb here.
3d Software: 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.
Support Material: 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, Ultimaker, Raise 3d and MakerBot printers do not have dissolvable support material so customers must clip or sand away their
support structures manually.
Measurements in NetFabb: In the bottom right panel of the Netfabb window, you will see basic dimension information about your part, including size and volume, which can be used to estimate your cost (not including support material). For a more detailed guide on how to use Netfabb to measure and resize your models, please download our video guide.
Full Service 3D Printers
Stratasys uPrint Plus prints durable and accurate 3d models out of ABS plastic. It builds your model by
extruding melted plastic layer by layer in a process known as Fused-Deposition Modeling
(FDM) printing and utilizes dissolvable support material that is washed away automatically
in a specialized bath.
Self Service 3D Services
For students interested in gaining hands-on experience with 3d technology, FabLab has three MakerBot Replicator+ 3d printers available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
3D Hand Held Scanning
Structure Sensor 3D Scanner: Attached to an iPad. Move around the object to scan it. Sense 3D Scanner: Large object scanning. Hold in your hand and move around the object to scan it. See FabLab staff for further details.
Both scanners are free of charge and may be borrowed and used inside PrintFX only.
Full Service Vacuum Forming
New service! Used to make a variety of molds. For concrete and plaster casting, soap making, resin, chocolate, or packaging for figurines and other handmade items via thermoforming. A sheet of material is formed around your shape - choose either transparent 0.5mm sheets made from PETg, which is food safe, recyclable and good for making reusable molds or white sheets made of Polystyrene which are good for blister packaging objects and can be painted. The surface finish achieved is almost identical to that of the original object. Use in conjunction with a 3d printer and create molds of your 3d printed designs!
Maximum width and length for mold making: 5.9"x5.9". No vacuum forming objects taller than the object's width.
Pricing & Order Form
- $3.00 per mold sheet, clear or white
Please complete an order form in PrintFX/Fablab, D529A.
Turnaround time: 3 business days
Full Service Laser Cutting
The FabLab is equipped with a Universal Systems ILS 12.75 Laser Cutter which has a material processing platform of 48” x 24” x 12” and a 75 watt laser.
Accepted file types: Illustrator files for Vector Cutting, Vector Engraving, Raster Engraving. Photoshop jpeg files for raster engraving.
Job submission: Please submit your files and order form at PrintFX, Pomerantz D529A. 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: Bristol Board, Butter Board, Cardboard, Chipboard, Museum Board, Poster Board, Fine Art Paper, Card stock, 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 download our laser cutting acceptable materials & supplier guide (.pdf) for local suppliers and online vendors. We reserve the right to refuse material if we deem it to be unsafe or inappropriate.
Testing material: 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 $7.00 or $10.00 setup fees (see Pricing below) 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.
Pricing & Order Form: Please come to the PrintFX service desk in Pomerantz D529A to complete a laser cutting order form. All jobs must be paid for with your FIT ID card before the job is released. Initial setup fees : Standard job $7.00 setup charge/material. Complex job $10.00 setup charge/material. After this initial setup fee (per material), the price for use of the laser (for Vector Cutting, Vector Engraving, and Raster Engraving) is $0.85 per minute.
Turnaround time: 3 business days
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.
Vector Cutting: 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.
Vector Engraving: 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.
Raster Engraving: Please submit Photoshop jpeg files for raster engraving. When raster engraving, the laser cutter travels in horizontal lines, moving down the image (like an inkjet 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. For 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.
Helpful Tips: 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. For an in depth Laser cutting information, please download our laser cutting guide (pdf). Guide requires 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