frequently asked questions

See the table below for quick reference to commonly asked machine specific information. More FAQs are featured below the table. 

  • Machine: The kind of machine.

  • Specific Model: The specific model/version of the machine. 

  • Bed Size: The usable dimensions within this machine. Note that for the some machines you may be more limited by the dimensions of materials we provide. Materials for the laser cutters and X-Carves are 32 x 24 in, and vinyl sheets are 12 in wide. 

  • File Formatting: The software you should use to format files for this machine. 

  • File Type: The output file type you should get from the file formatting software.

  • Interface: The software we use to interface with this machine. You must use the specified file type.

  • Materials: The materials we provide to use with this machine. 

  • Quantity: How many of this machine we have in the Makerspaces.

  • Location: Which room(s) this machine is located in. The ISS is in B06A, the Treehouse in B02, and the BiU in B09.

Machine
Specific Model
Bed Size
File Formatting
File Type
Interface
Materials
Quantity
Location
Laser Cutter
80W Rabbit Laser RL-80-1290
45 x 33 in
CorelDraw
.dxf
RDWorks
Plywood, MDF, cardboard, acrylic
2
Treehouse
CNC Router
X-Carve
32 x 32 in
CorelDraw
.svg
Easel
Plywood, MDF, HDPE
2
Treehouse
3D Printer
Ender 3
8.6 x 8.6 x 9.8 in (220 x 220 x 250 mm)
Ultimaker Cura
.gcode
Interface is On Machine
PLA plastic filament
14
ISS (12), BiU (2)
3D Printer
TAZ 6
11 x 11 x 9.8 in (280 x 280 x 250 mm)
LulzBot Cura
.gcode
Interface is On Machine
PLA plastic filament, Ninjaflex
3
Treehouse (2), BiU (1)
Vinyl Cutter
Roland GS-24 desktop cutter
22.9 in (584 mm)
CorelDraw
.cdr
CutStudio
Sticker vinyl, heat transfer vinyl
1
ISS
PCB/Desktop Mill
Bantam Tools Milling Machine
5.5 x 4.5 x 1.35 in
CorelDraw, EAGLE, Fusion 360
.xvg, .gcode, .gbr, .brd
BantamTools
FR-1 circuit board blanks, wood, aluminum, acrylic
2
ISS (1), BiU (1)
Sewing Machine
Singer Heavy Duty 4452
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
Thread (Coats & Clark Dual Duty), pins, fabric scissors
2
ISS (1), BiU (1)

Who can use the makerspaces?

Any current Pitt student (undergraduate and graduate) can use our spaces and materials free of charge! Come in during open hours to complete the basic ISS/BiU safety training.  You can also watch the basic training video and take the virtual quiz on the home page before coming in.

 

What time is the makerspace open?
All open hours are posted on the website.

I'm a BioE student, I still get access to B09 right?

All BioE students still have swipe access to B09 and may use the space whenever Benedum is open, BUT you must:

  • have passed the ISS/BiU safety training

  • follow all of our safety rules while in the space

Note that during BioE only hours the back room with the 3D printers will be locked. The back room will only be open during our regular open hours when the space is staffed by a mentor.

How can I get trained on the 3D printer/laser cutter/any other machine? 
Once you have completed the basic ISS/BiU safety training, you can attend open hours and ask the mentor on duty to be trained on the 3D printers. 

The laser cutter and X-Carve trainings are covered in the Treehouse training. Treehouse trainings are only offered in-person, and take 1 hour. You may sign up for Treehouse training on LibCal (denoted by red) if you have already completed the basic ISS/BiU safety training and open swim.

For any other machine, find a mentor that offers that training on LibCal by hovering over the mentors’ names for a list of trainings they offer, and attending their hours when they’re in the same room as the machine. 

 

Can I use materials other than the ones provided in the spaces?

It depends, if you want to use your own materials that is not one of the materials we provide, you must get it approved by Brandon Barber. You can DM him in the Slack or email him at brandon.barber@pitt.edu. 

 

Where can I laser cut metal?

You can get metal laser cut for certain projects with the Swanson Center for Product Innovation (SCPI), which is the machine shop in Benedum. Contact Andy Holmes at jholmes@pitt.edu for more information. 

 

I have a time crunch on my project, can a mentor print/cut my project for me this weekend?

The spaces are open over the weekend.