CoLab Fabrication Tools

3D Printing
Cloud Service
Shopbot Desktop
Epilog Laser Cutter/Engraver
Digital Modeling Workstations
Other equipment and Tools

3D Printing
We have 33 3D printers at the Innovation Studio, which can print in a variety of materials, sizes, and resolutions:

  • 40 Ultimaker 2+’s – FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling), PLA, ABS, Nylon and other thermoplastics.  Single extrusion, approx 9″ x 9″ x 9″ build area. Very reliable workhorse.
  • 15 Ultimaker 3’s – new and improved from the Ultimaker 2 model – print to these the same way. Improved reliability due to implementation of closed loop systems. 
  • 5 Ultimakers 2 Extendeds – Approximately a 9″x9″x12″ build area.  This just like the Ultimaker 2’s but taller.
  • 4 Ultimaker Go’s – Smaller, portable printers great for training and classroom use. 
  • 4 Printrbots – FDM, PLA plastic, single extrusion, approx 6″ x 8″ build area. These two “hacker” printers are much less plug-and-play but much more controllable. We’re working on a networked solution for these printers.
  • 2 FormLabs 1+ – SL (Stereolithography), UV-curing resin, approx 6″ x 4″ build area. This printer uses a different technology to print from the other 5, which allows for much higher resolution prints and different possibilities with geometry, at a higher cost. We encourage students to test their designs in the FDM printers, and then do a “final” print on the FormLabs if the geometry or resolution offers an advantage.
  • 1 Markforged – By reinforcing your parts with composite fiber while 3D printing them, The Markforged achieves unparalleled strength, stiffness and durability in its printed parts.

Cloud Service
Our 3D printers are connected to and managed by a cloud system called 3DprinterOS (  This open platformed is licensed by OIT for all of Duke.  Any member of the Duke community can use this software to manage their print jobs, even remote printing is possible.  Stop into the lab to get an access code and a quick run down about how to use the system. 

Shopbot Desktop
The Shopbot Desktop is a CNC (Computer Numeric Control) Router. Using software, we can create toolpaths of specific 2d (or 2.5d) designs that can be run on the machine to cut materials such as wood, plastics, and even aluminum. Our Shopbot is a desktop model, meaning it has 3 axes of movement (x, y, z) and can accept sheet material at sizes up to 24″ x 18″. The Shopbot cannot be used unless a full-time (non-student) staff member is present and providing oversight. If you have a project you’d like to run on the Shopbot, please contact us at

Epilog Laser Cutter/Engraver
The Epilog Zing is a desktop-style 30 watt CO2 laser cutter. It can operate in two different modes: raster and vector. Raster mode is for engraving into the surface of materials. You can take photographs/images/text/etc and use the software to engrave into a variety of materials, including wood, some plastics, some metals, and acrylic. Vector mode is for cutting custom shapes through thin materials by using a slow moving, high powered laser.

We have a variety of electronics for use in the Studio, including a few Arduinos, Raspberry Pi’s, Photons and an assortment of sensors and accessories. We also have wires, resistors, and a breadboard or two for setting up quick circuitry. Soldering equipment, power supplies, oscilloscopes, multimeters, and a few other items are also available for use.

Digital Modeling Workstations
2 iMac Retina 5K, 27″, Late 2014

  • 4 GHz Intel Core i7
  • 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM
  • AMD Radeon R9 M290X 2048 MB Graphics Card
  • 500GB Apple SSD SM512G Hard Drive
  • Mac OS X 10.10.5*
  • MediaNET Storage System

Adobe Creative Suite and other design software installed.

Other equipment and Tools

  • Makerbot 3D Scanner
  • Primesense Camera for 3D Scanning
  • Scanect software
  • Vinyl Cutter
  • 55″ 4K Display
  • Apple TV
  • Festool Track Saw and Tracks
  • Festool Sander
  • 64 square feet of whiteboard space
  • Variet of hand tools (screwdrivers, hammers sockets, clamps, drill)
  • Soldering iron
  • Hardware (screws, nails, etc.)
  • MFT Table
  • Dremel Rotary Tool