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Students create designs at work table
School of Architecture

Materials Lab + Digital Design Shop

Materials Lab + Digital Design Shop

The Clemson University School of Architecture Makerspaces are divided between 3 research labs for students and faculty experimenting with traditional wood working, digital fabrication, cad/cam, and rapid prototyping.  

 The Materials Lab: A 3000 SF makerspace hosting traditional wood working equipment, a 3-Axis CNC router, Clay Printers, and two large scale robotic arms. Sign up for training!

Digital Design Shop: This 1000 SF digital lab hosting a variety of laser cutters, 3D printers, hotwire cutters, and two small ABB robotic arms.  

Lee 3 Laser Room: Located in middle of the Lee 3 studio spaces the laser room host 4 laser cutters and computer stations with state-of-the-art air filtration systems. Sign up for training!

The makerspaces explore the possibilities of digital design and issues of materiality/tactility by synthesizing these tools into one facility and is designed as a platform for experimentation in these research areas.  

The SoA Makerspaces will change open hours each semester based on lab assistant schedules. Please check back each semester for updated hours of operation. 

Marketplace: The DDS hosts our Materials Marketplace. Please follow the button to the materials marketplace to see the variety of materials we offer as well as cost. The Marketplace is continuously growing so please check back often to see update list of materials.


Joel Brown

Manager of Digital Design Shop and Materials Lab
Clemson University

SoA Makerspace Information

  • Digital Design Shop (DDS)

    Location: Lee Hall 1-264

    The Clemson SOA Digital Design Shop is equipped with:

    • (15) Dremel 3D printers 
    • (6) Ultimaker 3D printers 
    • (3) Universal Laser Systems VLS6.6 laser cutters 
    • (2) Small ABB Robotic Arms  
    • (2) Desktop wire cutters 

    The Ultimaker printers use the slicing software CURA which is a free download. The Dremel printers use Dremel Slicing which is also a free download.  

    This resource is free to use for Architecture and Landscape Architecture students. The DDS caries a standard selection of white and black filament. Other colors can be purchased through our marketplace and coordination with the manager. 

    When printing in the DDS students will be required to fill out a simple google form (Link Below) prior to starting each print job. This will allow us to notify students of completed or failed prints as well as show real-time information on each 3D printer. 

    Students are responsible for preparing an STL file and slicing your model in either Cura or the Dremel slicers. Once you have sliced your model and filled out the google form please have a lab assistant work with you to start your print on the appropriate printer. You will be notified when your print has failed or completed, please remove your print from the print bed and discard of waste material in a timely manner.  

    3D Printing Tutorial


  • Lee 3 Laser Room

    Location: Lee Hall 3-G07

    The Lee 3 Laser Room is equipped with: 

    • (4) Universal Laser VLS6.6 laser cutters 
    • (2) BOFA Filtration Units 

    Architecture and Landscape Architecture students have access to this resource after they have completed training. You must make a reservation for the laser cutters by using the QR code posted at each makerspace or the SuperSaas link below: 

    You may sign up for a maximum of 1 consecutive hour. If you are more than 15 minutes late your reservation will be deleted, and the laser will be opened back up to all students (NO EXCEPTIONS) 

    All students must read and follow the laser cutter guide. This manual provides information about the laser cutters, setting up your file, cutting your file, and general settings for approved materials. 

    Remove all scraps and clean your area, recycling if possible - any material left lying around is subject to disposal, even if you put your name on it – this is not a studio or storage space. If there are problems with the equipment, or you need assistance please do not hesitate to ask a lab assistant.  

  • CNC Router

    Location: Lee Hall 1-G05

    Located in the back of the Materials Lab is our AXYZ 4008 3-axis CNC Router. Students are encouraged to learn RhinoCAM for programing 3 axis jobs, and 2 axis jobs. Licensed copies of the software can be found on the PC's connected to the router. Educational copies can be downloaded for practice. Please note you cannot save the RhinoCam information when using the educational version.  

    Lab Assistants oversee all operation of the CNC router. After Workshop staff review and start your file, users are required to observe the router at all times while it is in operation. Any damage to the machine due to student neglect will result in suspension of lab privileges. Only lab assistants may start the CNC router. Access to the CNC router is open to Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Art students for course related work. 


    The CNC router can be used for cutting 2D part files and for 3D machining. The CNC router has a 4’x8’ bed and 10” gantry clearance (Z height). A 4” maximum Z height is a good rule of thumb, but the maximum Z height depends on many factors including tool length, tool clearance and part geometry. The router is a 3-axis router, therefore it cannot make undercut or bevel cuts.  

    - Solid hardwood or softwood 
    - Plywood, MDF, particle board and other sheet stock 
    - Rigid insulation foam 
    - Plastics, such as acrylic and polyethylene (LDPE / HDPE) 

    All laminated materials must be glued up using one of our vacuum bag systems for at least 24 hours prior to submitting for an appointment. Please see a lab assistant for help setting up the vacuum bag.  

    The Digital Design Shop provides a series of basic router bits free of charge. Students should inquire about bits prior to committing to router use, you may be required to purchase a specialty bit for your operation. Material can be purchased from the SOA Marketplace please see marketplace tab for information.  


    When a RhinoCAM file is ready, submit your file using the google form below.  Additionally go to sign ups and search for an available time. Please allow 1 weekday for staff to review your file. Once your file has been reviewed you will receive an email with comments and/ or a time to come in and toolpath your file.  

    After your toolpath is complete, we will work with you to schedule a time to cut.  

  • Materials Lab

    Location: Lee Hall 1-G04

    The Materials Lab is our largest makerspace hosting traditional wood working equipment, a 3-axis cnc router, two large robotic arms, and a small selection of metal fabrication equipment. 

    To access the Materials Lab you must meet ALL of the following criteria: 

    1. Student, Faculty, or Staff in Architecture, Art, or Landscape Architecture.  
    2. Have completed a safety training session with the Lab Supervisor. This is completed through coursework not on an individual basis. 
    3. Have read and understand the Materials Lab Manual. 
    4. Be working on academic projects or research associated with a class in Architecture, Art, or Landscape Architecture. No personal projects are allowed.  

    If you have any questions or need any assistance when using the materials lab do not hesitate to ask the lab assistant on duty.  

  • Computer Lab

    Location: Lee Hall 1-250

    The computer lab is located in Lee Hall 1-250 and houses 12 Alienware desktop computers. These computers are equipped with the latest versions of the following software for student use.  

    1. Rhinoceros  
    2. Autocad 
    3. Adobe Creative Suite 
    4. Lumion 

    The computer lab is open to all Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Art students. If there are any problems with the computers, please contact Joel Brown.  

  • Robotic Arm Information

    Location: Lee Hall 1-G05

    The SoA Makerspaces has four robotic arms.  

    Two small abb robotic arms are located in the DDS with wire cutter end effectors. Using these robots students will be able to glue up foam blocks and use the robots to model their material. Student use of the robotic arms must be done so through coordination with a faculty member and a manager of the labs. Using the small robotic arms requires a certain level of cam/toolpathing experience and is not suitable for easily created shapes.  

    Two large robotic arms are located in the back of the Materials Lab in Lee 1-G05 

    1. The KUKA robot is equipped with a spindle end effector and will be used in a subtractive manner. The ABB 1406 robotic arm with a clay extruder end effector.

    Both large robotic arms are available for student use only through coordination with a faculty member and a manager of the labs for studio work. Using the large robotic arms requires a high level of cam/toolpathing experience along with a well-planned project timeframe.  

DDS Hours of Operation

Monday: 9:00am – 1:00pm | 6:00pm – 9:00pm 

Tuesday: 9:00am – 9:00pm 

Wednesday: 9:00am – 1:00pm | 6:00pm – 9:00pm 

Thursday: 9:00am – 9:00pm 

Friday: 9:00am - 1:00pm | 6:00pm – 9:00pm 

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: 10:00am – 6:00pm  

Material Lab Hours

Monday: 9:00am – 1:00pm | 5:00pm – 10:00pm 

Tuesday: 9:00am - 10:00pm 

Wednesday: 9:00am – 1:00pm | 5:00pm – 10:00pm 

Thursday: 9:00am – 10:00pm 

Friday: 9:00am – 1:00pm | 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: 2:00pm – 10:00pm 

Laser Room Hours

Monday: 9:00am – 1:00pm | 6:00pm – 9:00pm 

Tuesday: 9:00am – 9:00pm

Wednesday: 9:00am – 1:00pm | 6:00pm – 9:00pm 

Thursday: 9:00am – 9:00pm

Friday: 9:00am – 1:00pm | 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: 10:00am – 6:00pm 

School of Architecture
School of Architecture | Lee Hall 3-130, Clemson, South Carolina 29634