General FAQ

How do I get access to the shop?

  1. Read the Shop Safety Manual and learn about the machines.
  2. Pass the Safety Test.

When can I work in the shop?

After you have access to the shop (see above), you can work at any time as long as you are working under the Shop Rules.

What do I do when…

  • I first enter the shop?
    1. Tell the proctor on duty what you will be working on.
    2. Give them your ID.
    3. Check your station for missing tools. If you are missing anything, report it to the proctor immediately as you will be held accountable for missing tools.
  • I am done working and want to leave the shop?
    1. Turn off the machine(s) you were working with.
    2. Clean your workstation, the surrounding area, and all tools/machines you were working with. That means brush the chips off of the chuck/vice, bedways, tables, and surrounding equipment. Sweep up your area as well. Dispose of all metal scrap and cuttings (and only metal!) in the recycling drum. Note that the main shop vacuum is for wood use only (oil is bad for the filter, and it is easy to sweep metal/plastic shavings).
    3. Return all tools to their proper workstation.
    4. Check out with the proctor on duty. They will inspect your station for missing tools and cleanliness before returning your card.
  • I need help?
    1. Ask the proctor on duty or look at the wiki.
    2. If those fail, ask the machine shop manager.
    3. If it is after hours or neither of the above helped, you can email ude.cmh.g|l-srotcorp-pohs#ude.cmh.g|l-srotcorp-pohs with your question.
    4. If you cannot get help or you are not satisfied with the help that you have received, please either submit anonymous feedback or email ude.cmh.g|l-tnemeganam-pohs#ude.cmh.g|l-tnemeganam-pohs so that the situation can be rectified.
  • I do not know the procedure for the E4 machining exercises?
    • Routers for each exercise may be found at their respective pages under the E4 tab, and will be released according to the E4 Teaching Team's schedule.
  • I need a tool?
    1. If it's in the room you need it in and you know where it is, you can get it yourself.
    2. Otherwise, ask the proctor on duty for the tool you need.
    3. If they don't think we have it, you may check with the machine shop manager.
    4. If you don't get the tool, send an email to ude.cmh.g|l-tnemeganam-pohs#ude.cmh.g|l-tnemeganam-pohs detailing what tool you were looking for and what you were intending to use it for and we'll look into acquiring it.
  • I find a dull tool?
    • Ask the proctor for help. Typically, we will toss drill bits under 0.25" and resharpen larger tools. If we have a spare, we'll swap out the tool. Otherwise, we'll order a new one.
  • a drill bit won't go back in the set?
    • Chances are there is a burr on the shaft of the drill bit. If this is the case, you probably didn't tighten the drill chuck enough. To remedy this, grab a file and de-burr the shaft.
  • I find an incorrectly stored drill bit?
    • Store the drill bit appropriately with the other spares and locate the correct size. If you cannot find the size you are missing, ask a shop proctor for assistance.
  • I break a tool?
    • Alert the proctor. If you did something wrong, they'll show you how to do things better next time. Sometimes things just break though. Life goes on. We'll get you a replacement if we have one. Otherwise, we'll order more. If the incident is caused by negligent or unsafe behavior, we may ask you to cover the replacement cost.
  • I lose a tool?
    • To encourage respectful shop use, we will be charging $3 for any tools that go missing during your shift. This includes even the smallest drill bits. (Before any of you get ideas of selling tools for a large markup, purposefully walking off with expensive tools and paying $3 for them is totally unacceptable and an honor code violation.)
  • I need calipers?
    • The shop has a few calipers for student use. However, given how fast these tend to walk off, we will not be stocking more. If the shop calipers are in use and you still need a pair, you can check with the Engineering Office. In past years, they've sold cheap calipers for $20/pair. You can also consult Amazon and order online for about $20/pair as well.
  • I observe unsafe practices?
    1. Immediately stop the unsafe practices (whether done by you or someone else) and then alert a proctor.
      • If the proctor is the one being unsafe, discuss the situation with them.
    2. Please email ude.cmh|l-tnemeganam-pohs#ude.cmh|l-tnemeganam-pohs (even if it was a proctor you spoke with).
  • I want to help improve the shop?
    • First off, great! We're glad! Feel free to help out however you like around the shop, notably by cleaning up and organizing. If you want to be more involved, we encourage you to apply to be a proctor for the next semester (emails go out to students-l with details).
  • I need a new piece of stock for an E4 machining exercise?
    • Ask the proctor on duty for a new piece. Any extra stock or pieces beyond what you're given to start cost $3 each. You pay the proctor on duty.
  • I need stock for a personal project?
    • There is some scrap wood in the wood shop. Other than that, you're on your own.
  • I need somewhere to store my stuff while I work in the shop?
    • Place your belongings against the wall in the hallway. Be sure to leave enough room for passerby. We do not allow personal belongings in the shops as there simply isn't enough room. Additionally, having bags laying around in the machine shop proper is a safety hazard.
  • I'm hungry or thirsty?
    • Food and drink, like your bags, must stay outside of the shop. If you want to eat or drink something, pause work, turn the machine off, and go eat outside. There is a water-fountain directly outside of the shop. Water is good. Drink it.
  • E4/Clinic is hogging the shop?
    • The primary users (and funders!) of the shop are E4 and clinic. As such, there will be times when these users may be given priority. Please be respectful of this. If at all possible, try to schedule your shop time around peak E4/clinic times (i.e. hammer-time and the end of the semester clinic rush). When in doubt, try another time.

Other Questions

  • Does the oven need to be monitored during use?
    • There are two phases of operation for the furnaces/ovens that have different expectations.
      • Interracting: If a shop user is interacting with a furnace (putting something in, adjusting temperature, taking something out) then the user is considered "working" and needs to follow all general-rules Shop Rules while doing so.
      • Otherwise: The furnaces are doing their thing and no one should be loitering around. You can come check the time and temperature, but don't sit around doing your work alone or with anyone else.
    • Note that you should turn on the ventilation system above the furnaces. This is regulated by a timer near the door - you will have to reset the timer every hour.
  • Do the 3D printers need to be monitored during use?
    • For your own time's sake, it's generally better to stay with the machine while it's printing. But you can leave jobs unattended if you would like.
    • While working on the 3D printers, the same general-rules Shop Rules apply as for all other machines and work spaces in the shops (safety glasses, buddy, proctor, et cetera).
  • Can I have toolpaths for CNC machines be automatically generated from the design files?
    • Yes! There are two options:
      • HSMXpress is installed on the ECF computers and integrates with SolidWorks. You can also install HSMXpress for free on your own machine(s).
      • To get full 3D capabilities, you can email Mastercam and ask for a free trial educational version of their software. They have previously sent students who inquired a free 6-month license.
  • What version of SolidWorks does the campus generally use?
    • SolidWorks 2012.
  • What happens if I use a different version of SolidWorks?
    • SolidWorks is forward compatible, but is not backward compatible.
    • If you have a newer version of SolidWorks (so 2013 to present), computers on campus will not be able to open your files.
      • No, you cannot save in a format that faithfully retains features. You cannot bring newer files into older versions reliably.
      • If you only care about the geometry, you can export as a parasolid. This will import as a single solid piece, and does not have any extrusions or other features in it.
    • If you have an older version of SolidWorks (prior to 2012), props to you. We didn't know those still existed. In any case, you should be fine and able to import into 2012 without a problem.

How do I identify the proctor on duty?

  • The proctor on duty is required to wear a yellow Apron of Dignity.

What's the deal with probation?

  • If a student repeatedly acts in an unsafe or negligent manner, works without a current safety test, or otherwise behaves in a negligent manner, the proctor on duty may be put on probation at their discretion. For the duration of their probation, students are no longer considered certified to work in the machine shop.
  • This is not intended to be a harsh restriction on students or punishment. It is intended to bring problems to the attention of individuals that can correct them. Ideally, there would be no probations in a semester if every student worked in a safe and respectful manner.
  • If a probation interferes with a student’s ability to meet a deadline, it is their fault and responsibility to remedy.

When does probation end?

  • Probation can be resolved in as little as 5 minutes if the student goes to talk with any member of the shop management (Shop Director, Shop Manager, (A)HSP).
  • Once the issue has been discussed and resolved, shop management will respond to the initial probation email ending the probation.

How do I become a shop proctor?

Apply to be a shop proctor when the applications are sent out at to the students-l mailing list. You can inquire to the Head Shop Proctors if you would like more information.

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