The Makerspace is part of the College of Engineering (CoE) shops, and shares many policies with TEAM-Lab. Below is an overview of the policies with a few noted differences.

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Maintaining a safe environment is the first priority. Unlike the TEAM-Lab, areas outside of the shop in the Makerspace do not require particular shop attire and eye protection unless you are using tools (click here for a map of the designated areas in red and/or note the posted signs).


The Makerspace is open to the UW campus community (students, staff & faculty). Everyone is welcome to use our collaborative spaces.

Equipment Access – College of Engineering You must have one of the shop permits (Lab Orientation, Red or Green Permit) and pay the materials fee.

Equipment Access – Campus Community Faculty/Staff/Students outside of College of Engineering can use Makerspace resources through an M-Pass.


Fees – College of Engineering CoE students are required to pay a CoE shop materials fee in EMU to use the machines/equipment/tools. This fee is $50 for non-researcher, and $100 for researchers, and covers unlimited use of all equipment/machines in the Makerspace and TEAM-Lab. This fee covers either Dec 1 – June 30 (Spring semester) or June 1 – December 31 (Fall Semester).

Fees – UW Campus Community Everyone else who wishes to use the equipment at the Makerspace is required to buy an M-Pass.

Permits and Training

No permit is required to enter the Makerspace and use the bench and desk (collaboration) areas.

Permits – College of Engineering

  • All CoE users must have completed the Lab Orientation to use machines and equipment in the Makerspace.
  • A Red or Green permit is needed to enter the Machine Shop, shown here in red.
  • A Green permit supersedes the Red permit (so if you have a Green permit you can use all of the equipment/machines that require a Red permit).
  • A Laser 1 Upgrade is required to use the laser cutters.

Permits – UW Campus Community An M-Pass is required for any non-CoE user to use equipment in the Makerspace.

Personal Projects

Personal projects are permitted (and strongly encouraged!) though they are given lowest priority in terms of machine use and must not be deemed wasteful by the Shop Manager. Please be honest if questioned by the Shop Manager as to the purpose of your project and/or just pass your idea by the Shop Manager so they can help you and also properly manage resources. Note that personal projects that are being made to be sold are not allowed in the Makerspace. 


All use of Makerspace space is guided by UW regulations and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. Failure to adhere to these rules will risk the immediate suspension of the offending activity and possible termination of access. Of particular importance are rules governing supervision and safety. Lapses in safe and best practice will result in review by the Makerspace Director and may lead to restriction of access to the space and equipment.

All persons using the Makerspace must be identified and approved for access. The shop staff reserve the right to refuse access to anyone who does not employ safe and best practices, does not follow instructions from the shop staff or does not contribute to a respectful and safe working environment.

Courses / Labs at the Makerspace

Machine-specific Policies and Procedures

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3D Printers

Maximum printer use: Each person and/or project may run jobs on a maximum of two 3D printers at once. Printers may not be reserved.

End of Semester: During peak usage at the end of the semester, the Makerspace does not allow personal projects to be printed. We also kindly ask research projects to be printing after the end of classes to allow undergraduate projects to finish.

Laser Cutter

To use the laser cutter you must have the following:

  1. A CoE shop permit (Green, Red, or Lab Orientation)
  2. The Laser 1 upgrade
  3. Paid the materials fee
  4. Have a Makerspace staff member log-in to the computer and check your material & settings

Note: Makerspace staff are not available to cut for you (even small cuts). 

The laser cutter has a high risk of fire. While operating the laser cutter you must 1) be able to see the material at all times 2) take action to extinguish a fire. If it is a small flame (two lit matches) remove the material and suffocate the flame. If the flame is larger than a lit pack of matches use the fire extinguisher to the right of the machine.

Suspension of access: If the laser cutter is found running unattended the job will be paused/canceled and the user’s CoE shop permit will be suspended for one week. If the user is found cutting unapproved materials the job will be stopped and the user’s CoE shop permit will be suspended for one week.

Materials: There are many materials the laser cutter can not cut safely. See here for a list of approved/unapproved materials. If you have questions or concerns about approved materials email the Shop Manager. Materials that are not planer (flat) must be approved by the shop manager.

It is good practice to purchase laser cutter materials from the Makerspace.

Machine Shop

To use the machine tools (drill press, bandsaw, etc.) in the Makerspace machine shop you must have:

  1. A red or green permit (swiped Wiscard at entry).
  2. Paid the materials fee.
  3. An on-duty staff member present in the Makerspace.

Note: Any making that creates a mess/dust/noise should happen in the Machine Shop. Users with only a Lab Orientation are allowed to work, with safety glasses and appropriate clothing, in the machine shop, but may not use machine tools. 

The following rules are to be observed while in the Makerspace Machine Shop.

  1. Lab facilities may not be used unless a manager or their delegated representative is present.
  2. There must be at least two individuals present and within eyesight of each other at all times when the lab facilities are in use.
  3. All accidents, including minor injuries and all hazardous conditions or activities must be reported immediately to the shop manager.
  4. No one may be in a fabrication area without their permit checked first.
  5. Using a permit under false pretenses (e.g. using a forged permit or representing someone else’s permit as your own) or aiding or abetting someone using a permit under false pretenses will result in permanent suspension from the shop.
  6. Eye protection must be properly worn at all times by all individuals in the Makerspace Machine Shop area. Always wear safety glasses or face shields (required when using hand grinders) designed for the type of work being done. Safety glasses must still be worn when using face shields or welding helmets.
  7. Hearing protection is required when working with machines or tools that produce an excessive (90db or greater) noise level for extended periods of time (e.g. when using hand grinders). Hearing (ear) protection may be obtained at the Makerspace check out windows.
  8. Causing distractions of any kind is forbidden (e.g. yelling, making sudden loud noises, etc.). Individuals are expected to demonstrate mature judgement and common sense in their work and conduct in the lab.
  9. Eating or drinking around equipment is prohibited.
  10. Smoking, chewing tobacco, or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol is prohibited.
  11. Individuals should be focused on their work and not engage in conversation while operating machines.
  12. Cell phones and other devices that cause distraction should be turned off and not used when working on machinery.
  13. Tools are to be used only for the purpose for which they are designed.
  14. You may not operate equipment that you have not been trained on or received permission to use.
  15. Check with the lab staff if you are not sure how to operate a piece of equipment.
  16. Read and follow all operational signs located on or near the various machines before turning the machine on.
  17. Machine guards are to be in place and in use at all times when equipment is operating.
  18. Do not try to stop a machine’s rotating parts with your hands, especially a lathe or drill chuck.
  19. Do not leave a machine until it has come to a complete stop.
  20. Any adjustments or repairs (e.g changing blades on the table saw) must be performed by staff.
  21. Never use rags to clean the workpiece or any part of the machine that is running.
  22. Only one person may operate a machine at a time.
  23. Keep aisles clear and maintain unobstructed access to all exits, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, electrical panels, emergency showers and eyewash stations. Take note of their location in the labs areas.
  24. Keep floors free of loose tools, scrap material, oil, grease or any other type of liquid. Clean up spills immediately; they are slipping hazards.
  25. Compressed air is not to be used to clean off machines, work areas, tools or persons. If air is used to clean a part, point the air hose down and away from yourself or any other person and cover the nozzle and object with a rag.
  26. All spray painting must be done outside. Ask staff for access instructions.
  27. Defective, dull or broken tools may cause injury if used. Give them to staff for replacement or sharpening.
  28. Notify staff immediately if blood is found. Do not attempt to clean up blood or other bodily fluids unless you have received University bloodborne pathogen training.

The same safety rules and polices apply in all CoE shops with machines tools (Makerspace & TEAM Lab).

Appropriate Clothing

  1. Any clothing, jewelry (e.g. rings, watches, dangling earrings, bracelets, necklaces, etc.), headphone cords or other items that could become entangled in moving machinery are prohibited. This includes loose fitting or frayed clothing. 
  2. Unlike the CoE Student shop, shorts and skirts are permitted in the Machine Shop area provided that they are not loose fitting.
  3. Shop users must at minimum wear shoes that completely enclose their feet and do not increase the likelihood of a fall (e.g. high heel shoes would not be acceptable). 
  4. Long hair (exceeding shoulder length) must be tied back to prevent becoming entangled in moving machinery. Facial hair which extends beyond the second button from top of a collared shirt must also be similarly tied back.
  5. To ensure safety, head coverings must be tucked securely, and approved by shop staff before using the machines.
  6. Always remove gloves before turning on or operating any machine. Gloves are generally discouraged when working in the shop. If material is rough or sharp and gloves must be worn, place or handle material with the machine turned off (all moving parts stopped).


Storage (lockers and other)

There are a couple options for storage:

Option #1: Check-out a Locker

This is the best option for small to medium projects

To check out a locker see any Makerspace Staff for assistance.

  • Must have completed a CoE Shop Permit (Green, Red, or Lab Orientation) & have paid the materials fee
  • Only one locker per student
  • The locker checkout period is for one semester; The locker must be cleaned out by the last day of the semester.
  • Items left in the locker at the end of the semester are the property of the Grainger Engineering Design Innovation Lab (Makerspace)
  • You can NOT store any of the following in your locker:
    • Food, Organics, or anything that will rot or attract pests
    • Flammable materials (see Shop Manager to find a proper storage place for these items – we have them)
    • Valuables, explosives, anything dangerous
  • If you forget your pass code see the Makerspace Staff (they have the master code)
  • Lockers offer a limited amount of security – The Grainger Engineering Design Innovation Lab (Makerspace) is not responsible for any items stored in the lockers

For more info on using the lockers, see this page. 

Option #2: Room storage for medium to large projects

For larger objects that don’t fit in lockers, we have limited room storage. The room is for storage only and not a private workshop area. Your items should be removed from storage and moved to the open areas of the Makerspace to be worked on. Please talk to the Shop Manager for details. If your project becomes dormant*, we will likely ask you to store it elsewhere until it becomes active again.

*A dormant project is defined at the Makerspace to be any project that has not been actively worked on for 2 weeks or longer.