We have a growing inventory of prototyping equipment that includes electronics, wood, plastics, metal, textiles, glass, and software development and prototyping tools. Among the current equipment are:
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), refers to processes used to create three-dimensional objects by building them layer by layer under computer control. Fox.Build has several fused filament printers, which melt a plastic filament and extrude it in layers to create the desired object. We also have a resin printer which uses ultraviolet light to harden an ultraviolet sensitive resin one layer at a time.
All of the 3D printers require an STL (stereo-lithography) file. This is a 3D representation of the part that is made by decomposing the part into triangles. Most CAD programs can output an STL file, so you can choose your favorite CAD program to design your 3D printable parts. Instructions on exporting an STL file from various CAD programs can be found at: https://grabcad.com/tutorials/how-to-convert-cad-files-to-stl-files-in-various-software After you have an STL file of your part you need to run it through a "slicer". The slicer cuts the STL file into layers so the printer can print them one layer at a time. There are multiple slicing programs available, but most of them embed some form of Slic3r, an open source slicing module. Cura is one of the more popular slicing programs, but some printers (such as the Prusa) have a slicer especially tailored for the specific printer. In these cases it is usually preferable to use the slicer that came with the printer. The sections below that provide details for each printer also cover the slicers and setting recommendations.
Looking for ideas or projects to print? Check out these sites:
The laser cutters direct a laser beam across a workpiece under computer control. By controlling the power and speed of the beam the machines can engrave or cut completely through a workpiece. This enables artistic items such as images to be engraved, or mechanical parts such as gears to be cut, or items that include some aspects of both cutting and engraving. Your imagination is the only limit!
The laser cutters are located in the Digital Fabrication Room. Plywood (up to 1/4 inch) and acrylic sheet are the two most common materials cut on the laser cutter, although leather and fabric may also be cut. Care must be taken when choosing a material: the material must burn, but must also not release toxic gases. Vinyl, including PVC, and polycarbonate are two materials that SHOULD NOT be cut on the laser cutter due to the harmful fumes they emit when burning.
Other Digital Fabrication Tools
Fox.Build has a completely stocked woodshop including 2 CNC routers, 2 wood lathes, a jointer, a planer, table saw, miter saw, belt sander, scroll saw, and lots of hand tools.
To see a few of the woodworking projects our members have created check out our Pinterest Page.
Dust and Air Filters
The Electronics Lab contains everything you'll need to work on electronics:
- A Microcontroller & Single Board Computing Workbench (See below) set up for the more popular microcontrollers
- A large assortment of components available for your projects
- Breadboards and breadboard wiring supplies
- A Soldering Station with multiple soldering irons, de-soldering equipment, and smoke filters
- A test bench with a large assortment of test equipment including power supplies, voltmeters, oscilloscopes, waveform generators and more
Microcontroller & Single Board Computing Workbench
The Microcontroller & Single Board Computing Workbench is part of the electronics lab and provides a work-space to develop applications for some of the more popular microcontrollers like the Arduino, PIC, and ESP, and single board computers like the Raspberry Pi. A dedicated computer is provided with the development tools needed for each of the supported microcontrollers.
Have a project in mind but don't know which controller to choose? Check out Choosing a Board or Micro-controller.
The textile area has several sewing machines, a layout/cutout table, pattern catalogs for patterns and ideas, a large assortment of material pieces that are available for general use, and an adjustable mannequin for fitting. Additionally we have a quilting machine based on the Qbot quilting controller.
Benchtop Metalworking and Robotics Assembly
The benchtop metalworking and robotics assembly area contains equipment for doing small metalworking projects and for assembling robotic projects. Here you can cut, bend, turn, and machine many different types of metal.
The media room contains just about everything you might need for audio applications. There are microphones and a mixer for recording and doing podcasts, pianos and guitars for member use, and soundproofing on the walls to keep the background quiet.
A variety of tools for measuring, testing, getting gauge