Rules & Policy

Safety is not about fear, but respect.

Equipment Usage and Authorization

To ensure the safety of students and IRL employees as well as equipment, we require that students, faculty, and staff attend authorization workshops to use 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC mills, and woodshop tools.

An authorization workshop consists of lecture and hands-on use of a given tool, in order to teach safe practices and creative techniques. Visit our Equipment and Resources for more detailed information on which tools require authorization.

Students found in violation of our authorization policy will be asked to leave, and repeat offenses will result in a ban from the space.

IRL employees are always on-staff and available to answer questions and assist students with equipment. If you need a refresher after a workshop, please visit our Machine Instructions page to download workshop syllabi.

Woodshop Safety

Safety is our utmost priority. Anyone using a woodshop tool, or within woodshop bounds when tools are being used, must wear safety glasses to prevent injury. Ear protection is optional, but available.

Listening to music or wearing earbuds is prohibited in the woodshop. Students may not wear long untied hair, dangling clothing or jewelry, or open-toed shoes in this area.

Machines Requiring Supervision

CNC mills can jam, breaking bits and ruining material, and can even start fires if left unattended. As a rule, CNC mills must be supervised at all times while in use. If the user needs to step away, they can pause the machine or ask another person to watch the carve.

Along the same lines, laser cutters are extremely prone to starting fires, especially if the material is flammable or very thin. Even plastics can ignite if the gases get too hot. As a result, laser cutters must be supervised at all times while in use to prevent accidents and fires.

Materials and Supplies

All materials in the IRL are available at no cost, and may be used however students see fit for their work. As stated above, machine usage may be restricted on an authorization basis.

As a DePaul University space, we are bound to the Student Code of Responsibility. Users of the IRL are prohibited from making anything that may violate this Code, including (but not limited to) profanity, obscenity, and functional weaponry.

Finally, students may use the equipment and space to produce items for sale, but may not sell items made from our consumable materials. We require that you bring your own materials if you want to sell your items.