Fabrication laboratory (Fab Lab)

Opening hours

The Fab Lab is open between 2-4pm, Monday to Friday.

Contact

To book time in to the lab or to send 3D printing requests, email fablab@exeter.ac.uk. For any other enquiries contact Russ Edge in the mechanical workshop.

Fabrication equipment

Formlabs Form2 SLA printers (x4)

Stereolithography (SLA) is a technology that converts liquid materials into solid parts, layer by layer, by selectively curing them using a light source in a process called photopolymerization. SLA is widely used to create models, prototypes, patterns, and production parts for a range of industries from engineering and product design to manufacturing, dentistry, jewellery, model making, and education.

These printers can print an array of different material with varying properties. Materials available are: tough, durable, flexible and standard. Standard material comes in white, black, grey and clear. The print area of this machine is 150mm x 150mm x 150mm.

Makerbot Z18 FDM printer

This 3D Printer relies on a technology called Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). It uses an extruder, which acts similar to a hot glue gun. Plastic filament is fed in through the top, is melted at 215℃, and finally is “extruded” out of a small nozzle into the layers that build a 3D print.

This machine has a print size of 300mm wide x 300mm deep x 450mm tall. Material available is PLA and it comes in a variety of colours.

Ultimaker3 extended FDM printer

This is a dual head machine so can print in two different colours or print a wash away support material alongside the component part material. This machine, like the Makerbot, uses FDM technology to achieve your 3D print. The print area of this machine is 197mm wide x 215mm deep x 300mm tall.

Formech 508DT vacuum forming machine

Thermoforming is one of the oldest methods of processing plastic materials. Vacuum formed products are all around us and play a major part in our daily lives. The process involves heating a plastic sheet until soft and then draping it over a mould. A vacuum is applied sucking the sheet into the mould. The sheet is then ejected from the mould.

Boxford BGL 690 80w Laser Cutter

Our CO2 laser cutting system is used for engraving and cutting. It enables users to produce industrial levels of quality and accuracy in a wide variety of materials, including plastic, wood, textiles, cork and glass. Cutting area for this machine is 900mm x 600mm.

UV Curing Oven

Used to post cure prints from the SLA printers.

Software

The FabLab has six PCs all running the latest CAD/CAM software including Solidworks, Camworks and AutoCAD, plus various 3D printing software packages.