FabLab RUC is an open fablab, rapid prototyping laboratory and digital production workshops, run by HUMTEKs technology gurus in building 4. We are open for all, you do not have to be a student or researcher at RUC. We handle materials ranging from wood, plastics, metal, cloth, electronics, programming and computer controlled manufacturing. We pride ourselves on being able to build a prototype of any technological system.
Yes you can just turn up in our opening hours, also if you are not from RUC.
We do not sell materials
You cannot book a machine. You can phone 46742055 and ask how it is going today.
If there is a queue it is one sheet at a time, not your whole job.
You need to bring files on a USB stick in the right format, and preferably your computer so you can fix any issues. Please read our web page and guides before coming so you have the right format.
We can help you 5-10 minutes guiding you about a good solution, 5-10 minutes helping you get started drawing on computer and 5-10 minutes getting you started with laser cutting or CNC milling. If you are new, please come in the times we have extra help available, as stated on our front page. RUC offers this free service out of the goodness of our hearts, to help society and businesses, spread knowledge of new digital fabrication methods, and foster a creative collaborative innovative environment. You are our guest and we need you to do as much as you can yourself, especially reading our web page and guides - then we are happy to help and there are no stupid questions.
If you are doing an academic project at RUC, please tell us and see here, we can help you more.
Please always check opening hours on our front page, also to see if there is teaching or other special events.
You are welcome to phone the FabPhone at 46742055 and check what today is like.
The FabLab is available for use by trusted users with a keycard 24/7/365 - excluding laser and CNC cutting, which are only available in staffed time.
We are not staffed weekends and holidays.
If we know you, you are welcome to stay after we leave.
How to use the lab
Come in! Welcome! Please feel free to work on your project in this space. The tables in the middle of the lab are meant for you to use. Grab a free spot and make yourself comfortable.
FabLab RUC is an experimental research and learning environment. Be curious. Move the possibility space of technology forward. Make a difference - improve the world. Make something useful for society.
We are open for all, you do not have to be a student or researcher at RUC.
If you want to do an academic RUC project at the FabLab, please see here.
We are staffed for help to existing users weekdays 10-16, except Tuesdays when we are staffed 12-21. Staff are available to introduce new users to the FabLab machines several times a week, as specified on our front page.
The FabLab is available for use by trusted users with a keycard 24/7/365. OBS always check our front page to see if there is teaching or other special events before planning on coming. If we know you you are welcome to stay after we leave or have a keycard. There are often volunteer users here outside our official opening hours - we do not promise anything but you can call the phone in the FabLab at 46742055 if you want to check if someone is there right now. If you email ahead of time, be aware there are no guarantees - we can guess whether a particular day is good to come, but won't actually know until that day.
We place the lab under your protection: We trust you to use the machines and the tools. It is your responsibility to not use any tool or machine you are not qualified to use safely, or any tool marked as not for unsupervised use. You are a guest. Any directions from a Technology Guru must be complied with immediately.
Leave it better than you found it. Please tidy up after yourself, put tools etc. in their correct place, and leave it 10% better than you found it. Your project is not more important than others’ projects - be considerate. The lab is a living organism that must be taken care of and kept alive - remember to set aside time for keeping the lab tidy, helping other users, organising tools, and clearing up after yourself, don’t just narrowly focus 100% on your own project. It is just as important that the people here tomorrow can find the tools as it is that you can work now. The only reason there is a lab here today is that the people who were here yesterday took good care of you and the lab too.
Read the online guides. We have written tutorials for the machines and processes. Please read the homepage before you ask. When you have read the homepage, there are no silly questions. Please ask, better one time too many than one time too little - especially regarding safety and not damaging machines.
You make your own project. We want you to learn and be able to build your own project. Our job is to enable and guide you, not build it for you.
Bring your own materials or ask. If you are not a student from RUC then you must bring your own materials. Small amounts of materials for learning and testing (e.g. under 10x10cm) we have for free - ask. If you are a student or researcher at RUC, we can provide materials - ask first, we know what materials are suitable.
The lab is for rapid prototyping. You are welcome to make a prototype or three, also if it is not study relevant or for a commercial startup - as long as you are learning something. You are not welcome to mass produce identical items for selling - when you go into mass production you should do it somewhere else.
Help each other out. If another user is struggling (e.g. with the laser cutter), show them how to use it.
Contribute. You can use the lab for free, in return we ask you to contribute to the lab and/or the community. Do some of the following: Document your process and enable others to do the same - Help us improve and maintain the lab - Help others while you are working in the lab - Write guides on how to use the machines. For example: an engineering student rigged the laser cutter to engrave glass bottles for his wedding and wrote a howto do it so you can too.
Document your project. Please take a few images in our photobooth, please send us images, plans and descriptions on Facebook facebook.com/FabLabRUC or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictures will be shared: Consider the FabLab a public zone. We will be taking pictures on a regular basis and we will share them on our website and facebook page. If there is a problem with this, talk to us.
Respect the Technology Gurus time. The Gurus are usually working on multiple projects at the same time. Do ask, but read guides first and if you e.g. need a tool, look yourself first, then ask. They may not have time to smalltalk - don’t feel it is personal.
FabLab RUC offers public access in order to build a great collaborative creative environment. Don’t be that person who turns up, rushed and stressed, the day before your deadline, only because that other fablab was full, and doesn’t contribute anything. If you behave like this is your personal laser cutting service and your project is more important than anyone else, you will be asked to leave.
We are interested in all forms of modern digital production and have a wide range of machines available:
- Laser cutters (100W CO2, for cloth, card, cardboard, plywood, HDF, acrylic/plexiglass (3, 2 available for the public) (1200x900mm, max 6mm thick material)
- Metal laser cutter (Special agreement necessary, 500W fibre, for steel up to 6mm, stainless up to 1,5mm and alu up to 1mm) (1)
- 3D printers (14) (UP: 120x120x120mm UPBOX: 255 mm width, 205 mm depth, 205 mm height, Lulsbot TAZ (280x 280x250 mm) )
- Large format CNC mill for light materials such as plywood (2010x1200mm, max material thickness 12mm for 2D, 100mm for 3D)
- Medium format CNC mills (2) for light materials such as plywood (600x1000mm, max material thickness 12mm for 2D, 100mm for 3D)
- CNC mill for precise manufacturing in hard materials, with 8 tool toolchanger (120x120x100mm)
- Electronics workshop, including production of printed circuit boards
- Sewing workshop
- Wood workshop
- Metal workshop, including lathe, welding (TIG, MIG/MAG, spot, plasma) etc.
- Mobile FabLab container (20', containing workshop, 3D printers, CNC mill)
- Other special equipment: Vaccum forming machine, High temperature (1700℃, 20x18x18cm) oven etc.
Read more about our facilities here
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can just show up in our opening hours. Check our front page to see if anything special is happening. If you are a beginner, please come in the times there are extra staff available to help, these times are specified on our front page and may change from week to week.
Access and use of machines is free
You cannot book a machine. You must just show up and cooperatively share machine time with the other members of our community. This is an active pedagogical choice on our part - we are not really interested in you just laser cutting here. We are interested in you being an active part of a vibrant, thriving, creative, collaborative community here. So do more of your process here, not just the cutting part.
If you can already laser cut, you do not need a long course to use our machines, just a 5 minute safety introduction.
If there is a queue, it is one sheet at a time, not your whole job.
Larger amounts of materials you must bring yourself.
We do not sell materials.
I am a teacher. Can I bring a whole class? We do arrangements for high school and primary school classes to the extent we have time, but we get asked a lot. You are welcome to email us at email@example.com and ask.
I am a politician/teacher/administrator/librarian/leader/company and we want to start our own Fablab. Can you give us a tour and advice? Yes, we usually do a brief tour of this kind once or twice a week. You are welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask.
What size the machines can cut and what file types to use is specified under "facilities"
Printing posters: we do have a large format printer, but for some reason apparently everyone has heard of us and no one at RUC has heard of Kopicentralen/trykkeriet (building 37). Please 1) Use Kopicentralen 2) If you are not from Humtek, use the facilities at your own institute if possible (Institut for Mennesker og Teknologi v/ Geografi and Institut for Kommunikation og Humanistisk Videnskab v/ Kommunikation both have large format printers). If both fail, then come and ask us :)
What program should I draw things in? First, you need to know if you want to laser cut, 3D print, CNC mill in 2D or CNC mill in 3D.
- Laser cut: Use e.g. Corel Draw, Inkscape (free), Illustrator. Save in e.g. .dxf .ps We import the file into Corel Draw or LaserCut 5.3. The machines are controlled by LaserCut 5.3.
- 3D print: Use e.g. TinkerCAD, 123d. Design, Fusion360, Autocad, Solidworks, Inventor. Save in .stl We import the file into UP pp3dp or Simplify3D og Cura(Lolsbot version)
- 2D CNC milling: Use e.g. Corel Draw, Inkscape (free), Illustrator. Save in e.g. .dxf .ps . We import the file into Corel Draw or LazyCAM. The machine is controlled by Win PCNC USB (small machines) or Mach3 (large machines).
- 3D CNC milling: We reccomend using Fusion 360 and the built in CAM module to generate G-code for Mach3. Otherwise, use e.g. TinkerCAD Autocad, Solidworks, Inventor. Save in .stl . We import the file into MeshCAM. The machine is controlled by Mach3.
- Gears We recommend http://geargenerator.com
Remember to always bring your computer (or lots of different file formats and versions) and a USB stick. All files are transferred to the machines via USB stick. File conversion is often as much of a bother as the actual cutting job.
How do I convert an Adobe Illustrator doc to CorelDraw: Save your illustrator file as a pdf v. 1.3 (important). Then open or import it into CorelDraw.
How do I convert an InkScape doc to CorelDraw: Export your file as plain SVG or a PS file. Then open or import it into CorelDraw.
How do I go from Inkscape to Lasercut 5.3: Export your drawing from Inkscape as .plt
How do I go from Inventor to Corel Draw or LaserCut? 1) you must extrude your 3D model 2) right click on the face you want to lasercut/CNC 3) choose "export face as" 4) choose .dxf
What are the best free programs for prototyping:
- Vector graphics: Inkscape.
- Photo editing: Paint.net, Gimp.
- 3D Design: Tinkercad.com, Fusion 360, FreeCAD, OpenSCAD.
- Programming: Processing or Arduino.
- Audio editing: Audacity.
- 3D CNC: Fusion 360 (MeshCAM and CamBam are also possibilities, but not free)
What should I bring to the lab? Always bring your own laptop, the files you are working on and an usb stick for file transfers.
What are the maximum sizes and thicknesses (height,width,depth,)?
- Laser cutter: 900x1200xthickness depends on material - and 6 mm (more than 6mm may be possible, but you need special permission and risk things catching fire)
- CNC: Large CNC: 1200x2010xdepending on the actual tool - we reccomend max 12mm as it is easy, up to about about 25mm is possible but requires changing tool and is slower, noisier and you cannot do small details.
- 3D print: UP: 140x140x135 Printrbot: 150x150x150 UPBOX: 255 mm width, 205 mm depth, 205 mm height
Where can I laser cut things thicker than 6mm? Some Fablabs may be more patient than us and have had fewer things catch fire, and may allow laser cutting of things up to e.g. 12mm thick - but mainly for thick things you will need to pay, e.g. Cotter (Copenhagen) Godsbanen (Århus). Or CNC cut instead of laser cutting.
Can I CNC mill a foam model? Yes, if you are willing to do a lot of vacuum cleaning afterwards. Note the Z axis travel of our CNC machines is only 120mm, of which some is taken up by the height of the cutting tool and the base of your model, so don't count on being able to do anything taller than 80-90mm at a time.
Laser cutting metal: The metal laser cutter can cut up to 6mm steel, 1.5mm alu, 2mm stainless. It cannot cut brass or copper. The working area is 1300x900mm. This laser can only be used with a Technology Guru. We have limited time. We are still learning to use it effectively. If you wish to use this machine, you must ahead of time email a motivated application explaining who you are, your project, size, how much cutting, what materials you will be bringing, time possibilites to email@example.com
Where can I buy materials?
- Acrylic=Plexiglass=PMMA: Byggemarkeder (for example Bauhaus right nearby https://www.bauhaus.dk/traelast/plader/krydsfiner-plexiglas.html , Biltema, RIAS (more expensive, for companies), http://www.glas-direkt.dk/plexiglas http://www.interglas.dk/, http://www.acrylplader.dk/ Be careful in Silvan, they have sometimes sold polystyrene claiming it is plexiglass, and polystyrene is not laser cuttable.
- Plywood: www.krydsfiner.dk, Bygma, Bauhaus, Silvan.
- Electronic components: http://www.let-elektronik.dk, http://dk.rs-online.com/web/, http://www.ebay.dk.
Who to ask
The staff all know all the tools and machines, but they usually have specialties. It is a good strategy to approach one with the most knowledge of the subject you are working on. Remember to read the guides before asking.
Student helpers and interns:
FabLab / HUMTEK, Roskilde Universitet
Universitetsvej 1, Building 4.0
4000 Roskilde Denmark
Tlf: +45 46742055