Fabrication Processes

  • As the conditions and environment changes based on COVID-19 remain fluid, this document may also be revised as new guidance is issued.  Students will be advised via email of any changes.

    1. Due to the need for social distancing and to limit contact, we WILL NOT ACCEPT WALK INS for the use of CNC equipment.   All CNC projects must be scheduled with shop staff via email.
    2. Personal Projects will not be allowed.  All projects must be for a valid class assignment

    The Revised steps for completing a CNC project are:

    Step 1 - Project feasibility - review and approval

    Email the shop staff to discuss the feasibility of your CNC project request.

    Please provide:

    • A short description of the project
    • A drawing or 3D model
    • The overall dimensions of the project
    • The dimensions of your material if known

    We will advise you on:

    • The suitability of using a CNC Router for what you want to do
    • What file type will be needed for your project (.STL, .DWG or .DXF)
    • What materials we would recommend or require that you procure (this might include router bits)
      • It is important that you wait to purchase your materials until after your initial discussion with shop staff as your design can dictate what materials are best suited for the project.
    • How the materials can be held for routing and any difficulties that might be incurred with your project

    Once it has been determined that your project is suitable for CNC Router use, and you understanding the requirements, you may purchase your materials and proceed with the next step.

    Step 2 – Preparation, Submission, and Approval of Project file(s):

    • When preparing to send your 3D files, you will need to export them in order to save them in the STL format.
    • Your files should be named in this arrangement: Last Name(X*) _ Professor.stl
      • If sending multiple files, number them
      • Ex: kidd1_pittman.stl, kidd2_pittman.stl, kidd3_pittman.stl
      • Files not named in this way will be rejected and you will get a rejection email.
      • Your professor must be CC’d in ALL email exchanges
    • All 3D models should be the correct scale before being sent to shop staff. If the scale is not correct, your files will be sent back to you for revision. Shop staff will NOT adjust scale!
    • Once ready, email the shop staff with your file(s) and the following information:
      • Material Type (wood, foam, etc): ___________
      • Material Size (in inches): x______y______z_______
      • Overall size of your 3D object (in inches): x______y______z______
        • It is very important to be extremely accurate with ALL size measurements
    • Once received, a shop staff member will:
      • Review your file(s)   
      • Communicate any issues
      • Approve or return for modification
      • Once approved, staff will generate a preview of the finished toolpaths with written acceptance of CNC job for your confirmation.

    Step 3 – Material Prep and Drop Off

    • Upon approval and your acceptance, shop staff will notify you as to the available CNC reservation slots for material drop off and job set up
      • This reservation should include enough time to cut/prep materials as well as working with shop staff to start the project on the CNC
    • Based on the estimated run time of your CNC job, a second reservation will be made for you to retrieve your project and clean up the CNC
    • CNC reservations will be put on the schedule by SHOP STAFF ONLY. Students will not be able to schedule these appointments in the reservation system. 

    Step 4 – Running the Project and Clean-up

    Use of the CNC Router is on a first ready, first served basis – working from when a project is ready to run on the machine, which means the following:

    • The object file has been reviewed via email and executable machine tool path code has been generated
    • A reservation has been made and you and materials are on site and ready to mount on the machine
    • Appropriate bits are on site and ready for use*
    • You have made a reservation for the prompt clean-up of the machinery upon the job completion (if the job requires multiple runs, you will be expected to clean the machinery after each run in preparation for the next run)

    Due to the need for social distancing, WE WILL NOT ACCEPT WALK INS.

    *The student may be required to provide router bits for custom work or for use on abrasive materials. 

    Dave Peeples: ppeeples@kennesaw.edu

    Kim Mutherbough: kmuthers@kennesaw.edu

    Rachel Kidd-Chancey: rkidd4@kennesaw.edu

  • As the process with COVID-19 is changing, this document may also change.  Students will be notified of any changes via email.


    1. No Students will be allowed in the Digital Fabrication Lab
    2. All processes will be managed via email
    3. No personal projects will be printed

    Process Overview

    • Prepare your STL file to scale to be printed and name it according to the following format StudentlastnameVn_professorname.STL, where n is the file number in the event you have multiple files

    • Send it via email to (ALL 3)
    • Sabrina Seaman (sseaman5@kennesaw.edu)
    • Rachel Johnson (rjohn137@kennesaw.edu) and your professor.

    Staff will check the file for errors and issues and send an email back with errors or omissions until your file is correct.


    • When your file is correct, and the cost approved by your professor, the staff will print it.
    • When your object is ready you will be notified via email.
    • Your objects will be placed on a table labeled “Pick up” outside of the lab in an assigned spot.
    • As per current instructions NO STUDENTS WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE LAB.
    • The lab will be open for pick up from 9am-10pm Monday-Friday.


    • Your email subject line must include your name, contact info (Phone number) and professors name.
    • KSU has an attachment screening process that may delay emails as much as 15-30 minutes, so do not plan on quick back and forth email responses when a file is attached.
    • Total size of all attachments can’t be larger than 15MB
    • The name of your attachment must include your NetID

     File Preparation: 

    • 3D print file MUST be an STL. We will not accept Rhino files. 
    • The object MUST be scaled appropriately in INCHES or MILLIMETERS for the size you want it printed, with instruction to staff as to which unit you prepared it in. Staff will NOT adjust the scale for you and will refuse to print if it is unclear what size your object is or if it does not properly fit the plate.
      • Please include in your email submission what scale your object(s) is.
      • Available printer plate sizes in L x W x H:
        • 8 x 8 x 6”
        • 8 x 6 x 6”
        • 10 x 10 x 12”
    • Include your NetID in the objects filename. This will assist staff in keeping track of each student’s job.
    • Example of properly submitted job through email: 

    Email Attachment Example


    3D Model Preparation: 

    • Only include ONE object per STL file. Non-intersecting objects must each be separated into their own STL file.
    • Do not send duplicate objects in the same file. If you need multiple copies of an object, please state this in your email.
    • Errors that cause the model to break or not print properly will be sent back to the student to fix. Staff cannot fix files for students.  Errors include:
      • Holes in mesh. Models that are not joined or “stitched” together properly will attempt to close up onto themselves in the 3D printer software in ways unintended by the student.
      • Reversed normals. Reversed normals/faces are typically caused by over-extrusion of faces and geometry turning inside out, producing similar errors to having a hole in the mesh.
      • Model too thin/small. Thin geometry must be 3/16” or greater in diameter/thickness to properly print on our machines, else the geometry will break apart or not show up at all.
      • Edges are non-manifold. Geometry connected at a single vertex or edge cannot support itself when replicated on a 3D printer. Make sure ALL intersecting geometry has enough “thickness” to support its weight.  
      • Check your Rhino files using the “mesh checker” feature.
      • Autodesk Netfabb is a better alternative to check your file before sending. (free student download)

    Note: STL repair programs are not guaranteed to fix your file. Always double check your mesh to be sure that the software does not alter your form during automatic repair. Be careful and do not save over your original project file. 

  • Since the COVID-19 issues are still evolving this document is subject to revision.  Students will be notified via email.

    1. Students will not be allowed in the Digital Fabrication Lab
    2. No Personal projects.  Since the staff will be performing all laser operations, we are not allowed to work on student personal projects.
    3. The lab will not use the Laser Reservation system (it has been modified to use for making reservations for the woodshop)
    4. Students will be required AFTER communication with and approval of staff to drop off and pick up projects
    5. Dropping off material for projects.  Students will NOT be allowed to drop off materials without staff approval, which will not occur until staff have validated your files and assigned a place for you to drop off your materials
      • NOTE:  Dropping off materials without instructions to do so may result in your materials being placed in the donation box.
    6. Materials being dropped off must have your name and contact info on it.  Otherwise we may not know which project it goes with.
      • There will be six areas for students to drop off their material BY APPOINTMENT. If a drop off area is already full you may not stack your material on top of another students. Students are not allowed to “stack” projects together. One project per student no exceptions. If there is no more room to drop off your material, you will have to wait until your assigned drop off spot opens. Students may not leave material in any other areas as it will be put in the donation box.
      • Projects are done on a “first ready, approved and scheduled” basis, this does not mean emailing your project file and getting it approved will “reserve” you a spot. Only students who have approved files and material dropped off as assigned will have their projects completed.
    7. Picking up completed projects
      • When a project is completed the student will be notified via email. Students are not allowed to loiter outside of the lab. All complete projects will be placed on a table designated “Pick-Up”. Student projects will have their name and student ID labeled, please read the labels carefully to prevent any confusion when grabbing your project. 
    8. Social distancing guidelines

    All students must wear mask and stay 6 feet part when dropping off and picking up their projects. There will be designated areas to stand when waiting to drop off and pick up projects. Students are not allowed to wait in the hallway, this area is for “Drop off/Pick up only”.

    File Preparation:

    • Laser cut file MUST be a DWG file.
      • If the project needs the large-format 36x48” machine, please contact both Rachel Johnson (rjohn137@kennesaw.edu) and Sabrina Seaman (sseaman5@kennesaw.edu) in advance to confirm your file is appropriate for the machine. The large-format laser requires a DXF file and requires additional preparation steps to setup.
    • Include your NAME and/or KSUID in the filename(s). This will assist staff in keeping track of each student’s job. If the filename is not properly named it will be rejected and sent back.
    • Have each sheet already properly laid out in your file and prepared for YOUR purchased material.
      • If cutting on multiple types of materials, please label what drawing files correspond with each material type.


    Laser Cutting Illustration

    • You may also split up your individual sheets into separate files. Please provide similar instruction to staff to match up your CAD files with the appropriate material you provided.

    • Make sure your file is properly scaled using the 24 x 36.dwg template file
      • The template file and the laser cutter native unit is in INCHES. Please double check that your drawing measures in the unit of inches. (Ex. If you send an unadjusted file that reads a line as 0.5 feet, AutoCAD will take the unit and rescale the line as 0.5 inches).
      • We are unable to scale objects for you. Files that are scaled too large/too small to fit properly within the template file will not be run and will be returned to you.
    •  Differentiate between CUT and SCORE layers via the layers and colors provided in the template file. If staff cannot tell what lines are to be cut vs scored, they will not run the file.
      • Red line: Laser Cut – Cut through the material completely
      • Yellow line: Laser Score – Make mark in material but do NOT cut through completely
    • Files must be emailed to staff (instruction below). Please double check your files before sending over to staff to help speed up the process. (Email at rjohn137@kennesaw.edu and sseaman5@kennesaw.edu)
    • Failure to comply with these rules will result in your project being denied by staff. Only properly laid out files with clear cutting guidelines following these rules will be run. Staff are not responsible for adjusting your files for you.

    Material Preparation:

    • Provide the adequate amount of material necessary for completing your cuts. Scrap material is currently unavailable.
    • If your material is too large, you must cut down your material in advance. Staff will be unable to cut down your material for you. A wall mounted cutter will be available outside of the lab for student use.
      • Reminder: most of the laser cutters are max size 24x36”.
    • Only provide approved materials for your jobs. If you have a question about your material being suitable for laser cutting, please email either Rachel Johnson (rjohn137@kennesaw.edu) and Sabrina Seaman (sseaman5@kennesaw.edu) in advance.
    • Mark unidentified/unlabeled material types. This will assist staff in matching your material to your intended file for cutting.
      • If you are unable to identify what type of material you have, staff will not cut your material. If you have any questions about your material type, please contact the vendor.
    • Write your name + KSUID on the provided material. This can be a sheet of paper taped to the top piece of material in your material stack. Please make sure this is properly secured to your material. If the staff cannot identify the owner of the material it will not be cut.

List of Approved/Banned Laser Cut Materials

  • Due to the changing conditions relative to COVID-19, this document may be revised as conditions or guidance changes.  Students will be notified via email.


    • Students will not be allowed in the Digital Fabrication Lab.
    • To setup a vacuum forming request, students must email Sabrina Seaman (sseaman5@kennesaw.edu) and Rachel Johnson (rjohn137@kennesaw.edu) with the request.
    • Staff members will establish a time and location for you to deliver your properly prepared material/vacuum forming object to the Digital Fabrication drop off area outside the lab.
    • The lab hallway is for Drop off/Pick up only, no student can wait directly outside of the lab.
    • When a project is completed it will be placed on the table labeled “Pick up”. A student will be notified via email that their project is completed.
    • Staff will NOT remove the object from the plastic for students. Should the student need assistance removing the object, you will need to schedule a time to use the woodshop (which will be by reservation only).
    • Lab hours will be from 9am-7pm Monday-Friday.

    Material Preparation

    • The vacuum forming table can accommodate an object up to 18x18”, and up to 5” tall. These parameters vary based on design, if you have any questions about the viability of your design for vacuum forming, please email Sabrina Seaman (sseaman5@kennesaw.edu) and Rachel Johnson (rjohn137@kennesaw.edu) for assistance.
    • If your design is large and includes valleys, you may need to drill 1/16” holes into the crevices to encourage air to escape during the vacuum process.
    • Consider accommodating draft angles into your design to allow for easier plastic removal and less chance of webbing:

     Plastic Removal Illustration