In order to get access to the RPL you must demonstrate that you posses the necessary skills to operate BOTH the Makerbots and lasers safely. To evaluate this, you will be expected to complete a quiz and attend a supervised training session where you will go through all the steps and laser cut and 3D print. Be prepared to answer questions about important rules. You will only get access to the room if the RPL Staff believes you have covered all the necessary steps and turned in completed training parts.

Step One – Watch and Learn

Basic Rules and Room Layout
(open on Vimeo)
Laser Cutting Basics
(open on Vimeo)
4 Easy Steps for Laser Cutting
(open on Vimeo)

Step Two – Prepare

Before entering the laser cutting room, you first need a fully colored .DWG file. To make sure that you posses the necessary CAD skills to create simple geometries, we have a quick test.

Use SolidWorks to create a model for THIS SHAPE. Using Arial font with 18 point size, you must also:

  • Write your Full First Name centered on the top left-hand corner, with the bottom 0.5” away from the top edge and your Full Last Name in the bottom left-hand corner, with the bottom 0.25” from the bottom edge. If your name doesn’t fit, you may use a smaller font size.
  • Write your PennCard Number centered on the top right-hand corner, with the bottom 0.5” away from the top edge. Centered underneath your PennCard Number, put your PennCard Version. This is the two digit number following your ID number and should generally start with a ‘0’.
  • Write your PennCard Expiration Date centered on the bottom right-hand corner, with the bottom 0.25” away from the bottom edge.

Once you are done with your model, convert it into a 2D file.

Now, open your file in Draftsight and prepare it for cutting. If you are struggling with this software, feel free to brush up on your DWG editing skills.

Use the following color code:

  1. Set the outline of your shape to RED
  2. Set your name and PennCard info to YELLOW
  3. Create a GREEN hatch for the raster area in the middle

In the end, your DWG file should look something like this:

Step Three – TAKE THE QUIZ

Good Luck!

Step Four – RPL Time

Having taken the quiz and with prepared file in hand, go to Towne 167 during designated RPL Staff Hours. Staff reserves the right to turn you away at their discretion. Including but not limited to unprepared, incorrect files, displaying lack of knowledge, or overcrowded.

Step Five – Swipe Access

Upon passing the quiz and successfully cutting the piece, it takes about one to two weeks to add names to the swipe list, so you should plan accordingly. Until then, use your laser cut piece as your proof of completing training.


Rapid Prototyping Lab Hours