University of Calgary
UofC Navigation


The Faculty of Environmental Design (EVDS) recognizes and embraces the essential value of ‘making things’ as a necessary component of design education. The Faculty enables this through the provision of the EVDS Workshop. The EVDS workshop is a facility for students and faculty to build models and prototypes of their design work. As such it is intended to meet both pedagogical and research aims. The workshop is well equipped and can facilitate fabrication in a variety of media including wood, plastic and metal, as well as provide for different finishing techniques such as painting or sandblasting. Additionally, the workshop provides access to leading edge digital fabrication facilities including laser cutters, two CNC routers and a 3D digital printer.

Safety is a fundamental tenet of workshop use. To this end, access to the workshop is a privilege, contingent upon the safe, clean, and courteous use of these facilities. Access to the workshop will be denied to users who do not use the workshop in a safe and courteous manner.

To book equipment in the workshop, visit EVDS Bookings.

EVDS Workshop General Access

  • Access is available only to those students, staff and faculty who complete the workshop skills course
  • The workshop skills course consists of both hands-on tutorials and a written exam
  • Users must also complete the Provincial WHMIS safety course, as administered by the University
  • Continued access is contingent upon safe and clean work habits. If a user cannot maintain a clean workspace, or use the workshop safely, access to the workshop will be denied immediately
  • It is illegal to work alone in the workshop. The onus is on users to ensure that someone else is present when using the shop
  • It is illegal to occupy or use the workshop when impaired. This includes impairment due to sleep deprivation (staying up all night), alcohol and drug consumption
  • Workshop technicians maintain the workshop equipment and are available to provide fabrication advice, tips or specific instruction in building models, prototypes, etc
  • Workshop technicians are not available to build student models/projects
  • The workshop is only to be used for pedagogic and research purposes, as defined by the University of Calgary
  • The workshop may be used for personal/outside or professional use provided users maintain the necessary liability insurance and sign a lease agreement with the faculty. Priority is given to pedagogic and research purposes, outside use may be denied during peak use times. Outside use fees apply (see fee schedules below)
  • Workshop hours are 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. daily
  • After hours access is allowed for assembly work. Please note that for safety, power is cut off to a number of pieces of equipment after hours
  • Materials may be purchased until 4:00 p.m. daily
  • Materials/projects cannot be stored on the workbenches and must be properly stored in student lockers or assigned storage areas

EVDS Workshop: Metal Shop

    • A metal shop is provided to do metal work exclusively
    • Wood cannot be introduced into the metal shop due to its potential as a fire hazard
    • There is no dedicated welding shop. Welding can only be accommodated under special circumstances, please follow up with the workshop technicians

EVDS Workshop: Paint Booth Access

  • The paint booth is available for the use of aerosol paints and adhesives
  • Access to the paint booth is available as part of access to the workshop
  • Users are responsible for keeping the booth tidy and for the disposal of empty spray cans in the appropriate containers
  • The fan and light are only to be used when the booth is being used for spraying
  • These must be turned off when the spray job is completed
  • To comply with safety codes, users must track their use of the paint booth, noting the time and type of spray. A form is posted for this in the workshop

EVDS Workshop: Laser Cutter

  • The laser cutter is a shared piece of equipment. It is also in very high demand. It is therefore important that we all treat this equipment with respect and care to maintain its availability for everyone. A damaged, out-of-order machine helps no one
  • Access to the laser cutter requires specific training on the equipment. This must be taken annually
  • Laser cutter training is required in addition to the workshop skills course and WHMIS
  • Users must sign a use agreement annually with the faculty for continued access to the laser cutter
  • Users must be in attendance while using the laser cutter, that is, in the room and watching the machine. No exceptions to this are permitted
  • Users who leave the laser cutter while it is running will be denied access to the laser cutter for a three week period, or longer, at the discretion of the workshop technicians
  • Only accepted materials can be cut on the laser cutter (see material list below)
  • Users must use the online booking system
  • When using the laser cutters, users must log into the computers in the laser cutter room using their University ID
  • Users may book a maximum of 2 x 60 minute (for a maximum of 120 minutes) timeslots per week
  • The booking schedule is updated on a weekly basis, i.e. the machine can only be booked one week in advance - 9:00 a.m. Monday
  • The laser cutters are available on a 24/7 basis
  • If there are unbooked slots, users may book these on a first come, first serve basis. Users may only book one additional unreserved slot per week, contingent upon availability
  • Users must start their jobs within 5 minutes of their scheduled timeslot or forfeit their timeslot. There are no exceptions to this
  • A minimum of 3 hours advanced notice must be given to cancel a timeslot
  • Users must complete their jobs and tidy up the laser cutter within their booked timeslot so as not to delay subsequent users
  • Users are responsible for cleaning the lens and mirror immediately after every laser job. There are no exceptions to this. Instructions for cleaning the laser lens and mirror will be posted by the machines and will be included in the annual training
  • Users cannot adjust the preprogrammed settings for the laser cutter
  • Users must report any damage incurred to the laser cutter immediately. If damage occurs after hours then it must be reported by 9:00 a.m. the next day. If such damage is not reported, access for all users may be denied
  • Access to the laser cutter will be denied to users who do not strictly follow the use protocols outlined here

Acceptable Materials for Use with the Laser Cutter

  • Acrylic, up to 6 mm thick
  • Balsa wood, up to 6 mm thick
  • Hardwoods, up to 6 mm thick
  • Plywood, up to 6mm thick
  • Cardstock/matt board up to 6mm thick
  • Paper
  • Fabric
  • Leather
  • Mylar, vellum
  • Any thickness for engraving
  • Glass (engraving only)
  • Anodized aluminum (engraving only)
  • Under no circumstances can polycarbonate (lexan), styrene, or any resin that creates a chlorine offgas be used

EVDS Workshop: CNC Router

  • Access to the CNC router occurs via the workshop technicians
  • Timeslots are booked on a sign-up sheet posted next to the CNC routers
  • The CNC router can only be run while workshop technicians are in the shop
  • Users must build their own CAD files to the required resolution and format (to be determined)
  • Users must prepare material blanks for machining. Users are responsible for ensuring the material is ready in due time for use
  • Instructors ordering materials in bulk through the workshop must allow a 2 week lead time to process the order
  • All CAD files must be reviewed and approved by the workshop technicians prior to booking the machine
  • Only when CAD files have passed a review and the material blanks are prepared can users book the CNC
  • CNC bookings occur on a first come, first serve basis. Timeframes are difficult to predict
  • Cancellation of a booked CNC timeslot must occur prior to 4pm the day before the booking
  • Users are required to clean up the machine after use and this must occur within the scheduled timeslot
  • Users cannot be in the same room as the router while it is running (the rooms are controlled so that a machine will turn off if anyone is in the room)
  • Users must be present to set up prior to, and clean after, their jobs within the allocated time
  • The workshop will provide bits 12.5 mm (0.50”) and larger for use. Smaller bits are to be provided by users (discuss requirements for bits with the workshop technicians prior to purchasing)
  • Fees for use of the CNC are noted in the schedule below

Acceptable Materials for Use with the CNC Router

  • Various hardwoods
  • Softwoods (though not typically recommended)
  • SDF (sustainable design fibreboard)
  • Various foam products

EVDS Workshop: 3D Printer

  • Access to the 3D printer occurs via the workshop technicians
  • Users must build their own CAD files built either as solid parametric models or surface models which are watertight (i.e. no gaps in the surface model) and exported as .stl files, and saved at an appropriate resolution
  • Timeslots are booked on a first come, first serve basis with priority given to pedagogic requirements
  • Users are responsible for their own part clean up, i.e. removing support material
  • The workshop is not responsible for part durability during clean up or later model work
  • Cancellation of timeslots must occur prior to 4:00 p.m. the day before your booking

EVDS Workshop Fee Schedule Students Enrolled in Studio Courses

Students pay a workshop access fee automatically when they register in a studio course and this includes the following:

  • General access to the workshop, its standard equipment and hand tools (contingent upon safe and courteous use of the workshop, as outlined above. The fee is nonrefundable).
  • Access to the laser cutters, toolpath preparation work and the CNC router
  • $6.00 per cubic inch for the 3D printer (based on the cost recovery of materials)
  • $6.00 build tray fee (per build)
  • Students not enrolled in a studio course and who wish access to the workshop (e.g. for their thesis research) must pay for access as per the researcher fees noted below, so please plan accordingly

Researchers (including thesis students)

Researchers must pay to cover the costs of wear and tear on the machines they use.

  • $2.00 per minute of use on the laser cutter
  • $6.64 per cubic inch on the 3D printer (based on the cost recovery of materials)
  • $8.00 build tray fee (per build)
  • $45.00 per hour for CNC toolpath generation
  • $45.00 per hour for CNC router use (30 minute minimum)

Please ensure that you budget to accommodate these costs in developing new research proposals.

Outside / Professional Use

This applies to outside personal use (i.e. non-academic) or when performing professional (or consulting) work for a client. Fees for the use of the workshop for these activities are comparable to typical industry rates.

  • $15.00 for workshop access and bench time
  • $2.00 per minute for the laser cutter (30 minute minimum charge, jobs managed at the discretion of workshop technicians)
  • $25.00 per cubic inch on the 3D printer
  • $12.00 per build tray (per build) for the 3D printer
  • $150.00 per hour for CNC toolpath generation
  • $150.00 per hour for CNC router use (30 minute minimum)