The policies below are meant to ensure safe practices within the fabrication labs of the College of Engineering (CoE). These rules will be enforced and non-compliance will result in the suspension of lab privileges and/or disciplinary action. Having an understanding of the inherent hazards within a fabrication space are a key part of the educational process. The following does not constitute an exhaustive list of rules. What is appropriate in the lab is always at the discretion of the lab manager or his/her delegated representative.
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The College of Engineering fabrication labs are only to be used by individuals currently enrolled in a UW CoE course, employed as CoE faculty or staff, an active member of a registered CoE student organization or collaborating with someone on University related work who falls under one of the previously listed categories.
Entrepreneurship related work is encouraged in CoE fabrication labs so long as it meets a larger University of Wisconsin (UW) related teaching or learning objective, does not create competition between the private sector and the UW, aligns with the values, beliefs, and policies of the University, and does not compete for use of lab resources with UW research, UW courses, and registered UW student organizations.
Individuals who are suspended from a fabrication lab for any reason are prohibited from accessing all fabrication lab resources for the duration of their suspension.
All lab users (note exceptions listed below) are required to pay a biannual materials fee of $50 to use the fabrication labs (i.e. $100 per user, per year). The first period extends from December 1st through June 30th and the second extends from June 1st through December 31st (allowing a one month overlap at the start and end of each fee period).
This fee covers the cost of standard stocked consumables such as nuts, bolts, basic hardware, tooling, etc. Stockroom materials other than consumables, such as copper, stainless steel, sheet metal, sensors, laser cutter materials, etc. must be purchased as needed.
Please log into EMU to pay the materials fee.
- The following employee classes are exempt from paying the materials fee: Faculty (FA), Limited (LI), Classified Project (CJ), Academic Staff (AS), Univ Staff Ongoing Emplymnt (CP), Univ Staff Temporary Emplymnt (CL), Classified Permanent (cp), Univ Staff Project – FT Finite (CJ), OT Pensions (OT3), Ad Hoc Prg Spec/Corr Tutor (OT1), Zero Dollar Conc/Teach Supv (OT2), Classified LTE (CL), and Pre-College Intern (OT6).
- Teaching assistants for courses that use the fabrication labs may be entitled to have the fee waived. Please use this form to request the fee be waived.
- Registered CoE student organizations in good standing may have their president waive the materials fee for up to 3 members each semester. Fee waiver requests are final (i.e. a waiver cannot be transferred to a different student or revoked). To request a fee waiver, the student org president needs to email the TEAM Lab (using their @wisc.edu email address) and include the following information:
- Subject: Student Org Materials Fee Waiver Request
- The URL of the student org website where the current leadership of the org is specified
- The full names, @wisc.edu email addresses, NetIDs, and campus IDs of the students whose fees are to be waived
- Individuals employed by the College of Engineering to work on instructional projects (i.e., projects to support a course) are exempt from the materials fee. Please use this form to request the fee be waived.
- Those working on funded research are required to pay the research fee rather than the materials fee.
- Individuals with a permit may check out hand tools (not including tooling, machine tools, or electric or pneumatic power tools) without paying the materials fee.
- Individuals may use benches and collaboration spaces without paying the fee.
- Enlisting services for hire (3D printing, fabrication, etc.) does not require paying the materials fee (nor even a permit).
Individuals working on funded research are required to pay a biannual research fee of $100 to use the fabrication labs (i.e. $200 per user, per year). The first period extends from December 1st through June 30th and the second extends from June 1st through December 31st (allowing a one month overlap at the start and end of each fee period).
This fee covers the cost of standard stocked consumables such as nuts, bolts, basic hardware, etc. Stockroom materials other than consumables such as copper, stainless steel, sheet metal, sensors, laser cutter materials, etc must be purchased as needed. This fee also covers repair, maintenance, and upgrading of lab equipment.
Please use this form to pay the research fee.
- The following employee classes are exempt from paying the research fee: Faculty (FA), Limited (LI), Classified Project (CJ), Academic Staff (AS), Univ Staff Ongoing Emplymnt (CP), Univ Staff Temporary Emplymnt (CL), Classified Permanent (cp), Univ Staff Project – FT Finite (CJ), OT Pensions (OT3), Ad Hoc Prg Spec/Corr Tutor (OT1), Zero Dollar Conc/Teach Supv (OT2), Classified LTE (CL), and Pre-College Intern (OT6).
- Individuals with a permit may check out hand tools (not including tooling, machine tools, or electric or pneumatic power tools) without paying the research fee.
- Individuals may use benches and collaboration spaces without paying the fee.
- Enlisting services for hire (3D printing, waterjet cutting, etc.) does not require paying the research fee (nor even a permit).
Which fee do I pay?
Please read the Materials Fee and Research Fee policies above.
How do I pay the materials fee?
To pay the materials fee, log into EMU and click the button at the top of the screen that says “Pay Fee Now”. You will need a credit card to pay. A debit card configured to work as a credit card will also work.
How do I pay the research fee?
If you are faculty or staff please use this form to pay the research fee. If you are not faculty or staff please contact the professor or principal investigator responsible for your project and have them use the form to pay your fee for you.
I tried to pay online with a credit card but the system rejected my card. How do I pay?
Unfortunately, online payment via credit card is the only way to pay the materials fee. Most likely you entered incorrect information (this commonly occurs when using autofill). If you don’t think that’s the case your only option is to use a different credit card (maybe you could use a friend’s or parent’s card and reimburse them?).
Can I pay with cash, check, Wiscard account, bitcoin, etc.?
Unfortunately the only accepted method of payment for the materials fee is a credit card. We are exploring other options but they are not available at this time. The research fee can only be paid with a University funding account.
Can I pay with a ProCard?
Please consult with your departmental financial person to verify that this is an acceptable use of the purchasing card. The College prefers fees be paid via departmental transfer rather than by Procard to reduce unnecessary transfer fees.
I’m a student working on a funded research project. Which fee do I pay?
Funded research must pay the research fee to work in the lab.
I’m emeritus faculty. Do I need to pay a fee?
No, you are classified as academic staff.
I’m an honorary assoc/fellow. Do I need to pay a fee?
Possibly, this is decided on a case by case basis (by the office of the Dean), please email us.
I paid the materials fee but now I work on a funded research project. Does my research group need to pay the research fee as well?
Individuals working on funded research must pay the research fee even if they already paid the materials fee. If the materials fee was mistakenly paid when the research fee was intended please email us.
Can I be reimbursed by my department?
That is a departmental decision; however, you should not pay the fee yourself and then ask to be reimbursed. Speak with your department’s financial person or your professor first and find out how they would like you to pay.
Can I have a refund?
Refunds will only be given in extenuating circumstances (as decided by the office of the Dean). To request a refund, please email us.
Do I have to pay a fee before submitting a work order, a 3D printing request, etc.?
No, paid services do not require payment of the materials or research fee. If the work is being done free of charge either the material or research fee applies.
Can I pay on behalf of a student?
Yes, please use this form to pay the research fee.
You can request the fee be waived for teaching assistants if they are working for a course that uses the lab. Please use this form to request the fee be waived.
If you are paying a student’s materials fee you will need them to log into EMU and click the “Pay Fee Now” button and then enter the credit card information for them. Please email us if you would like to pay their materials fee with a funding number.
One of my students paid the materials fee before I was able to have the fee waived. What can I do?
Please email us.
I just want training. Shouldn’t I be exempt from the fee since I’m not using any materials?
No, nearly all training makes use of consumables.
Doesn’t differential tuition cover the cost of the lab?
Engineering undergraduate differential tuition is used to help pay for new equipment as well as equipment maintenance and repair. Differential tuition has made it possible to increase the number of equipment pieces in the lab, keep equipment current and allow for increased access to lab equipment for students. Differential tuition is also used to pay for staff. It does not however, cover consumables used in the lab.
Why does funded research have to pay more than non-research?
Funded research pays more because the lab is partially funded with Engineering undergraduate differential tuition which is only paid by undergraduates.
Can I pay the fee for multiple fee periods all at once?
Unfortunately, that is not possible at this time.
Can I pay for a future fee period
Currently, it is only possible to pay for the next fee period during the last month of the current fee period.
Do I have to pay the whole fee even though I’m only using it for one short project?
I’m right at the edge of a fee period. Can I pay now and have it apply to the next fee period?
Unfortunately, no. The month overlap at the start and end of each period is supposed to reduce the chances of this happening. However, if you are outside of the one month overlap but need lab access for both the current period and the next one, you will have to pay for both.
Since this fee covers materials used in the lab, I don’t have to pay for broken or lost equipment then?
No, if you damage expensive equipment you will still be liable for its replacement. Some broken tooling may be covered by the fee. This is at the discretion of lab staff.
My question wasn’t answered in the FAQ. Whom do I contact?
Our apologies, please email us with your question.
- Lab facilities may not be used unless the lab manager or his/her delegated representative is present.
- There must be at least two individuals present and within eyesight of each other at all times when the lab facilities are in use.
- All accidents, including minor injuries and all hazardous conditions or activities must be reported immediately to the lab manager or his/her delegated representative.
- No one may be in a fabrication area without the required permit for the specific area in which they are working visibly displayed on their person. The level of permit for the space, when required, will be displayed at the entrances and exits to that space.
- Causing distractions of any kind is forbidden (e.g. yelling, making sudden loud noises, etc.). Individuals are expected to demonstrate mature judgment and common sense in their work and conduct while working in the lab.
- Eating or drinking around equipment is prohibited. Closed beverage containers may be kept on the podium or wooden workbench next to the podium with permission from staff.
- Smoking, chewing tobacco, or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol is prohibited.
- Personal hygiene must reach the threshold of social acceptability.
- Fabrication labs are primarily for projects related to research or course work. Personal projects must be approved by the lab manager or his/her delegated representative.
- Individuals should be focused on their work and not engage in conversation while operating machines.
- Cell phones and other devices that cause distraction should be turned off and not used when working on machinery.
- Tools are to be used only for the purpose for which they are designed.
- You may not operate equipment that you have not been trained on or received permission to use.
- Check with the lab staff if you are not sure how to operate a piece of equipment.
- Read and follow all operational signs located on or near the various machines before turning the machine on.
- Machine guards are to be in place and in use at all times when equipment is operating.
- Do not try to stop a machine’s rotating parts with your hands, especially a lathe or drill chuck.
- Do not leave a machine until it has come to a complete stop.
- Any adjustments or repairs (e.g changing blades on the table saw) must be performed by staff.
- Use a chip brush (located by machines) to remove short, discontinuous types of chips, not hands, fingers or rags. Use a pair of pliers to remove chips, especially the long, stringy type.
- Never use rags to clean the workpiece or any part of the machine that is running.
- Only one person may operate a machine at a time.
- 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.
- Keep floors free of loose tools, scrap material, oil, grease or any other type of liquid. Clean up spills immediately; they are slipping hazards.
- 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.
- All spray painting must be done in an approved spray booth (e.g ECB rm. B1062 or the Makerspace paint room). See staff for access.
- Defective, dull or broken tools may cause injury if used. Give them to staff for replacement or sharpening.
- 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.
Clothing & Personal Protective Equipment
- Any clothing, jewelry (e.g. rings, watches, dangling earrings, bracelets, necklaces, etc.), earphone cords, or other items that could become entangled in moving machinery are prohibited. Bracelets that cannot be removed (e.g. medical bracelets) may be taped in place.
- Lab users must wear clothes such that there is no skin visible below the base of the neck with the exception of arms/hands below the elbow (unless when welding or using tool with similar safety concerns). Clothing that resists light cuts and does not melt when burned (e.g. cotton jeans, canvas pants) is strongly preferred but not required (depending upon the environmental hazards). Leggings and similar synthetic fabrics are discouraged.
- Lab 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). Non-slip, steel toed boots are preferred but not required.
- Long hair (i.e. exceeding shoulder length) must be adequately restrained to prevent becoming entangled in moving machinery. Facial hair which extends more than six inches below the chin must also be similarly restrained.
- To ensure safety, head coverings must be tucked securely, and approved by the lab manager or his/her delegated representative before using the machines.
- Gloves must be removed before turning on or operating any machine. Gloves are generally discouraged when working in the lab (unless when welding or using a tool with similar safety concerns). If material is rough or sharp and gloves must be worn, place or handle material with the machine turned off (all moving parts stopped). Remove sharp edges with a file or similar tool before using the machine.
- Eye protection must be properly worn at all times by all individuals in fabrication areas. 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.
- Personal safety glasses are allowed so long as they have side shields and meet or exceed the ANSI Z87+ standard.
- 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 is available for checkout.
Individuals are expected to have undertaken basic research into the safety and potential fabrication difficulties of any materials they intend to work on in a fabrication lab (e.g. using a Safety Data Sheet and the Machinery’s Handbook). Materials that are known to create human health and safety hazards or that can damage or excessively foul equipment are prohibited.
Materials that are hardened (over 35 HRC), glass or glass filled, abrasive, corrosive, pyrophoric, produce fine particulate or aerosol when machined (i.e. produce dust or smoke), or require special tooling to be machined would not be acceptable. Proper tooling and/or safety equipment is not available to handle such materials nor is sufficient training provided in how to properly work with them.
The following are some examples of materials that would not be acceptable to machine
- Magnesium and its alloys (flammable)
- Beryllium and its alloys (human health hazard)
- FR-4/G10 (human health hazard, glass filled)
- Fiberglass (glass filled)
- Phenolic (human health hazard)
- Titanium (special tooling)
- Ceramics (abrasive, special tooling)
- Graphite (dust)
- Hardened Steels (hardened)
- Higher Alloys (Super Alloys) such as hastelloy or niobium (special tooling)
- All reservable machines can be reserved for periods of time up to 14 days in advance.
- Reservations can not be changed less than 12 hours in advance of the reservation start time without staff approval in person or by email.
- Individuals who sign up for a machine and are more than 15 minutes late will have their all of their reservations removed and will be suspended for 3 days.
- Individuals may not reserve a machine for another person to use.
- Individuals may not reserve a machine without intending to use it.
- Reservations should be made for a reasonable length of time for the part to be made (i.e. reserving a machine for a whole day to machine a part that should only take two hours would not be acceptable).
- All machines must be cleaned up prior to the end of your reservation. Lab staff must check your machine before you leave. Use of water-based coolants on machines requires special cleanup procedures. Note: Failure to properly clean-up your machine may result in the suspension of lab privileges.
- Crashing a machine will result in a 24 hour suspension of lab privileges.
- Causing damage to a machine or equipment will result in a suspension not less than 48 hours in addition to being charged for the damage.
Please see professional staff.
Tool Check-out Procedure
There is an assortment of tools for checkout at the TEAM Lab. Most tools can be checked out with only a permit and permit number (see “Prohibitions” below for exceptions). Equipment can be checked out for up to 3 business days. They may be renewed once for another 3 day period.
Tool Check-in Procedure
Anytime an individual returns a single tool or all the tools checked out they must make sure the returned item(s) get crossed off their list by TEAM lab staff. TEAM Lab staff will place the slip in the box at the front podium once everything is returned.
If an individual does not return their checked out items within 3 business days they will be notified via email that the items need to be returned.
If tools or tooling are broken, lost or not returned, the individual is responsible for either replacing or paying for a replacement item. When equipment or machinery is damaged the individual is also responsible for it and could be held liable for repair or replacement. Individuals who have not returned or replaced tools may have their lab privileges suspended and a hold put on their grades until the items are returned or the replacement cost is paid. This is at the discretion of the professional staff or the Shop Manager.
When individuals working down in the lab for a research group or student organization, the group itself may be held responsible for replacement or repair of damaged tools, tooling or machinery. This is also at the discretion of the professional staff or Shop Manger.
Keycard Check-out/Check-in Procedure
We are no longer checking out keycards at this time.
- Labs will not check out bolt cutters (For lock removal contact UWPD’s non-emergency number).
- Certain tools including, but not limited to, milling cutters, reamers, lathe tools, other machine tool accessories and precision equipment in general, will not be checked out for use in outside labs.
- One person per checkout form. Checking in/out equipment on another person’s form is not allowed.
Standard Rule Violations
All work in fabrication labs are guided by UW regulations and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. Failure to adhere to these rules will risk in 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 lab manager and may lead to restriction of access to the lab and equipment.
Special Rule Violations
The following violations will result in immediate and permanent suspension of lab privileges:
- Using a permit under false pretenses (e.g. using a forged permit or representing someone else’s permit as your own)
- Encouraging or aiding in using a permit under false pretenses
A list of the woodshop policies can be found here: