Category Archives: Shop Notes

Notes on DLC Labs operations

DLC Shop Notes – News you can use

This note will give you some of the bullet points that should answer some questions about the shop.

  • We train during the entire Fall Semester. There is no training for undergrads in the Spring. This link to the shop blog post should give you more detail.
  • The Machine Shop (DL167) is CLOSED when we hold shop training. However, all other areas of the DLC Shop are open.
  • Training sessions are displayed on the DLC Calendar as are shop closures.
  • Training sessions are by APPOINTMENT ONLY. Appointment requests will be sent soon.
  • Basic Shop training takes about 2-3 hours total.
  • Advanced Shop training takes two sessions of 2-3 hours each session.

DLC Staff

DLC Shop Notes – Website, Blog and Calendar Information

The DLC Lab and Shop maintains a website and blog.
The website contains all of the immediate information for getting something done in the DLC shop areas.

The blog contains current and historical advice for the shop. Shop Notes contains the various notes that the DLC has sent over the years and still think are useful. Thoughts are a collection of random notes by students and staff. If you would like to contribute, we would be glad to immortalize you.

In other informational areas… Here is some good information for using Outlook while on Marquette’s campus.

IT Services maintains a great area on how to use eMarq and the Calendar.

They also have a great section on using the Outlook Web Access that everyone uses to get to their e-mail.

Some of you have other e-mail addresses that you like to use. While this is a great thing, the DLC, your professors and staff are not allowed to use those addresses to communicate official information.
According to official policy for use of Marquette e-mail excerpted here…
It is the responsibility of students to access and maintain these accounts in accordance with other university electronic communication policies including, but not limited to, the Acceptable Use Policy.

Students are expected to check their email on a frequent and consistent basis. Students must make sure that there is sufficient space in their accounts to allow for e-mail to be delivered and have the responsibility to recognize that certain e-mails may be time sensitive. Students will not be held responsible for an interruption in their ability to access a message because of system problems that prevent timely delivery of, or access to, messages. These include scheduled and unscheduled outages of the system.

I should note that it is a rare thing for eMarq not to work. Our IT staff are pretty good at keeping the mail servers moving…

Students who choose to have their email forwarded to an unofficial e-mail address do so at their own risk. Marquette University is not responsible for any e-mail beyond delivery to eMarq accounts. Students are still responsible for official e-mail as outlined above.

DLC Staff

DLC Labs – Work Orders and Materials

A Work Order is a good way to get one or two parts made by the shop machinists. A Work Order is when the shop machinist takes your print, your materials and performs the necessary maker work.

What is needed is the following:

    • Work order submitted via online work order system.
    • A CAD print attached to the work order.
    • All materials delivered to the shop with a printed copy of work order attached to your materials.


Below is a short, incomplete list of drafting standards which will help with the CAD drawing. The standards are a guide for generating something that a machinist can use to make your part. The shop reviews all drawings. A CAD file assists us when we find a drawing is missing a crucial dimension.

ASME Y14.100- Engineering drawing and practices
ASME Y14.3- Multi-view and sectional view drawings
ASME Y14.5- Dimensioning and Tolerancing

CAD files should include all associated files.

Solidworks – .sldprt and .slddrw  (include all files)
NX – .prt
Inventor – .ipt .iam .idw  (include all files)


Materials shall be purchased from the various local vendors and delivered to the DLC Lab drop off cart. Materials shall have a printed copy of the work order attached to identify them.

All materials submitted for making a part are inspected by shop staff. I use my judgment to determine whether a material is suitable for manufacturing. I make no judgment as to whether a part will function in a design. The shop is only concerned with manufacturing a part to meet the specifications of the supplied print. I reserve the right to decide due to safety and practicality.

The DLC Lab is asked many times to supply “scrap” for use in making a part. I would like to ask, if your project is important, why are you asking for trash to be used in making your component? Often times scrap takes additional time to whittle and force into an acceptable part. This additional time is expensive in terms of manpower and tooling availability. I reserve the right to shut down any project using “scrap”. Please take this into consideration when looking at available materials.

Work Orders

Work orders shall be submitted through the DLC website. If materials are not submitted when the work order is submitted, the work order will be placed on hold until I have time to figure out what is going on…

Work orders are prioritized as follows:

    1. Educational Support
    2. Funded Research
    3. Un-Funded Research
    4. Other

See also the Work Order Priority Policy. We aim to complete most parts in one to three days within this priority framework. The shop does its best but please give us time to succeed.

If you have any questions, email the We will do our best to answer.

DLC Engineer

DLC Shop – Computer resources

We have some pretty good resources in the college of engineering. Like anything high powered you have to take the time to learn how to drive them.

Many students look at the CAD packages we have available and decide that they don’t have enough time to learn and to be proficient with them. I would argue that college is the perfect time to learn. Pretty trite huh?

You see, we have students come into the shop many times not knowing how to use some of the more useful packages we have here. They then spend hours tying up a machine while they try to learn on the fly… This is frustrating for others who are in need of a specific computer to get their job done.

In Engineering Hall room 216 is a computer lab containing some pretty good computational resources. Look them over and practice your craft.

-My 2 cents. – An Engineer


DLC Shop Notes – Do It Yourself

Do It Yourself
From the DLC website:

The Stan Jaskolski Discovery Learning Center Laboratory provides a fully equipped, on-site machine shop for design and production of prototypes, test fixtures or complex objects. It is where students get the job done.

There are two requirements prior to using our gear for your project.
Shop training certification to operate the machine tools
– Create a print or write up a process sheet for the work you will be doing

The DLC Lab is used by other students, faculty and staff, so it is crucial to allow sufficient time in build timeline to complete your project.

Contact the Operations Engineer for an appointment to discuss the project and tooling needs.

Shop training certification is required for anyone using the DLC Lab Shop. The level of training depends on the equipment needed for the project. Shop training is only done in the Fall semester. Mastering this machine tool equipment takes time and practice. Plan your schedule accordingly.

No “training” assistance or “help” will be given during a DIY project. Training assistance given to one student during a DIY make causes reduced attention to the rest of the shop. The shop machinist job duties require them to be constantly vigilant when multiple students are in the shop. The machinist will decide if they are available to assist.

You will be monitored during a DIY while in the shop.  The process sheet or print will be required for anyone asking questions of the shop machinist. Prior to the start of any job, DLC Lab staff will be glad to assist students in selection of the proper tooling to safely and accurately complete a job. We encourage preplanning a job.

The tool crib may check out hand tools to those that do not have any training. Powered hand tools will be made available at our discretion.

DLC Labs – 3D printing

3D prototyping

The DLC Lab has three Dimension 3D prototyping machines.

  • Dimension 1200ES
  • Dimension Elite
  • Dimension uPrint

These machines are available for student and faculty use when pursuing educational or research goals. We do like to ask questions from time to time about the purpose of the prototype. This allows for more efficient use of materials and time on the machines. Talk to the Operations Engineer if you have questions.

There are a few guidelines we would like to pass along.

  • Files sent to the DLC should be an exported .stl from any CAD package that you like.
  • The work order should state the physical size and volume of the object to be printed. This can be calculated by the CAD software. We use this information to select the machine which will fit your model. This is not required, only helpful…
  • Plan on a 2-4 workday turn around. Sometimes it is shorter, sometimes it is longer. It depends on the complexity of the model, the amount of material and the number of current print jobs. We move them through as quickly as we can.
  • The plastic material is Stratasys® ABS-M30. This link on MATWEB should help.
  • Current reported tolerances of the printed model are 0 to +0.010 inch. This usually means the an ID hole can be up to 0.020inches undersized.
  • Small parts can sometimes be a problem. Something smaller than thumbnail size is not usually successful. We might be able to find a way though.

We have many different ways of prototyping an object. Talk to us. We can help.

DLC Labs – Training and Learning how

Everyday we get students in the shop asking to be trained on just one machine or one technique…

“That’s all I need to get this project done… Can you show me how to do just this one thing?”

This is somewhat like learning how to drive a car. Remember the heart pounding excitement of getting behind the wheel for the first time? The anxious focus on detail as you adjusted each mirror, seat belt, and seat to the most perfect position. Then you realized…

This car has a stick shift.

Uh. How come there are three pedals on the floor instead of the usual two? Your stomach plummets through the floor. The sweat starts to bead on your forehead. You turn to your dad/mom/instructor and ask, ” How do I make the car go?” They blanch and turn pale realizing that they are in a car with someone who has not studied and that their life will be in your hands… Destiny awaits.

Learning how to run a machine tool is exactly like learning to drive a car. The shop machinist/instructor experiences terror each training session. Your training is fairly simple if you are prepared. If you are not ready, your risk increases exponentially.

Shop staff know from experience that most projects rarely require only one machine or one technique. Additionally, the amount of practice required to become competent requires time that many students would rather use somewhere else.

Machinists spend a lifetime learning “tricks of the trade.” Many of these nuggets of knowledge are available on the web and many more are written down in books. The conundrum is which ones to study and use. There are so many.

Below are a few that we have found to be useful. Watch them. They are worth the time.

Training Videos from MIT

1 – Basic 1       Duration 40:32  Layout Techniques, Basic Tools: Drill Press, Band Saw, Belt Sander & Grinder, Locating and Drilling Holes Tapping Holes

2- Basic 2        Duration 57:33 Drilling Holes
Special Drills for Plastics and Hard or Abrasive Materials Drill Press Limitations
Band saw Suitable Speeds, Feeds and Materials, Band saw Setup, Using the Drill Press Vise

3- Basic 3        Duration 30:02

Good Practice – Clean Up, Small Belt Sander Configurations, Grinder Operations and Materials, Deburring and Buffing, Finishing Techniques

4 – Milling Machine 1            Duration 50:33

5 – Milling Machine 2            Duration 1:03:33

6- Milling Machine 3              Duration 46:33

7 – Milling Machine 4             Duration 45:33

8 – Lathe 1                  Duration 45:02           

9 – Lathe 2                  Duration 47:33            

10 – Lathe 3              Duration 34:32            

Virtual Machine Shop

If you have any questions after watching, comment or drop and e-mail to

If you run across any other useful training links that you think would help, send em.