Facilities & Tools

The Idea Fab Labs facility is a 6,900 sq. ft. building, four blocks from CSU, Chico with multiple work-spaces, access to standard and high-tech tools, a large art gallery, indoor and outdoor areas for group activities, and an active community of makers, designers, artists, programmers and more. Here’s an ever-growing list of available resources:

The different facilities and tools at IFL are broken up into zones, with each zone devoted to a specific study.

All members have access to the Autodesk Master Suite.

  • Brief Explanation:  The laser cutter and engraver uses a drawing program to tell it what to do. A CO2 laser can cut and engrave wood, leather, some plastics, cotton, paper, even bread! It’s not strong enough to cut glass or metal, though it can etch glass and coatings on metal such as anodization or paint.
  • How it works: It uses a focused beam of light to burn through wood or other materials. It can cut all the way through or just engrave the surface. It is really good at small detailed cuts and engravings.
  • What it makes: It is used to make engravings of photos or images, signs, boxes, and more.
    A CO2 laser can cut and engrave wood, leather, some plastics, cotton, paper, even bread!

Equipment List:

  • Universal Laser Systems V460 45 watt 24 inch by 18 inch laser engraver/cutter
  • Red Sail 60 watt 19.5 inch by 27 inch laser engraver/cutter (coming soon)

  

 

  • Brief Explanation: The 3D printer builds objects by “printing” out one layer at a time, using a 3D model as a guide.
  • How it works: It is essentially a tiny hot glue gun, that squeezes out melted plastic and draws a single layer of an object, then moves up a tiny bit, and draws the second layer on top of the first layer, and on and on.
  • What it makes: Mostly small plastic items such as whistle, toys, statue, cups, and more.

Equipment List:

  • Printrbot metal simple
  • Full Spectrum Laser Pegasus SLA 3D Printer

 

 

3D Scanning Zone

  • Brief Explanation: Capture real world objects onto your computer in the form of 3D models.
  • How it works: Structured light is projected on an object. A camera captures how structured light lands on an object. The resulting images are analyzed by software, which creates a 3D Model.
  • What it makes: 3D Models of real world objects, that can be used to 3D print or uploaded into 3D Modeling software.

Equipment List:

  • Sense 3D Scanner + Software
  • Makerbot Digitizer 3D Scanner + Software

CNC Shopbot Zone

  • Brief Explanation: The Shopbot is a computer controlled router that can cut or carve wood. It can cut up to a 4 ft by 14 ft piece of wood. We can use a drawing program, or we can send it a 3D model in order to tell it what to do.
  • How it works: It uses stepper motors to move the router through the x, y, and z axis system. A router is like a drill bit, but it is designed to move sideways through wood as well as up and down.
  • What it makes: It can be used to make furniture: chairs tables, desks, kitchen cabinets. Also large signs, 3D carvings, and more.

Equipment List:

  • Shopbot 4’x14′ CNC Router
  • Router Bits

Woodshop Zone

The IFL wood shop has the tools for any woodworking project. Make your own furniture, sculpt a wooden work of art on the lathe, or fix something around the house!

Equipment List:

  • Jet Table Saw
  • Router Table
  • Drill Press
  • Belt Sander
  • Compound Miter Saw (Chopsaw)
  • Jigsaw
  • Impact Drivers
  • Circular Saws
  • 50 + Clamps
  • orbital sander
  • wood lathe
  • Safety Gear
  • … and more!

   

Digital Embroidery Zone

  • Brief Explanation: The embroidery machine is capable of creating multi-color embroideries from purchased designs, original designs, or it can convert a photo or image into an embroidery.
  • How it works: Software converts your photo into stitches. You can choose multiple colors of thread or just one color thread. You load the first color thread, and when it is ready, it will ask you to place in another color of thread. It is a robotic process with very little hands on work needed.
  • What it makes: Embroidery, lace, applique, cut-work, patches, baseball cap designs, hoodies, and more. It can do thousands of different colors and put almost any picture onto fabric.

Equipment List:

  • Husqvarna Designer Diamond Royale Digital Embroidery Machine
  • Large Variety of Hoops, including large scale hoop and baseball cap hoop.

 

Textiles Zone

Equipment List:

  • Juki Walking Foot Industrial Leather Sewing Machine
  • Juki Straight Stitch Industrial Sewing Machine
  • Brother Standard Sewing Machine
  • Singer Serger
  • Large Cutting Table


Jewelr& Leatherworking Zone

  • Brief Explanation: Members can do soft metal working using the anvils, ring mandrels, bracelet mandrels, dremel, torch and more.
  • How it works: Through Traditional Jewelry Techniques such as engraving, carving, inlaying, etc.
  • What it makes: Many kinds of jewelry projects such as bracelets, rings, necklaces, etc.

Equipment List:

  • Soft Metal Soldering Station
  • Dremel Station
  • Hammers, Anvils, and other Fine Metalworking Tools
  • Presses and other Leather-Working Tools


Screen Printing

Screen print your own clothing line, or make fine art prints!

Equipment List:

  • Quad-Screen Printing Press
  • Flash-Cure Dryer
  • Some Mesh Screens and Inks Provided
  • Squeegies
  • Heat Guns

 

A line of squeegees used in the silk-screen printing process. T-Shirt Engineers in Grand Island. 1981. (Independent/Barrett Stinson)

Large Format InkJet Printer Zone

 

  • Brief Explanation: This HP DesignJet 500 Printer, prints out ink on many materials using 24″ rolled material. With Very High Quality printing of 300+ PPI, this printer can be a digital artists’ friend.

Materials: This HP DesignJet 500 Printer, prints out ink on the following materials: Bright White Inkjet Paper, Plain Paper, Vellum, Natural Tracing Paper, Translucent Bond, Clear Film, Matte Film, Coated Paper, Heavy Coated Paper, High-Gloss Photo Canvas, Poster Paper, adhesive vinyl, and more.

Equipment List:

  • HP DesignJet 500 Printer
  • Bright White Paper
  • Semi-Gloss Photo Paper
  • Gloss Photo Paper

 Price to print:

Bright White Paper – $0.50 per linear roll foot

Semi-Gloss Photo Paper – $3.00 per linear roll foot

Gloss Photo Paper – $3.50 per linear roll foot

Audio Zone

Equipment List:

  • Midi Keyboard
  • Midi Guitar
  • Amp
  • Microphones
  • Pioneer CDJs
  • Ableton Live
  • APC-40 Controller
  • KRK Rokit 6 Studio Monitors

Electronics Zone

  • Brief Explanation: Are you interested in building new innovations with electronics, we host classes.
  • How it works: From soldering wires to a custom board with lights to creating your own assembly of components, this is the zone to be in!
  • What it makes: Custom rigged electronics to developing a new WiFi product.

Equipment List:

  • Soldering Irons
  • Digital Oscilloscope
  • Logic Analyzer
  • Adjustable Power Supply
  • Hot Air Reflow Station
  • Various components (hook up wires, resistors, LEDs, heat shrink tube, sensors, etc.
  • Picks, Solder-Suckers, Safety Gear and more.

General

  • Wifi Internet access and multiple PC and Linux work stations
  • Library of educational books and resources
  • AutoDesk Master Suite Educational License
  • Workbench space

 

Hand Tools

Equipment List:

  • Wrenches 
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Dykes
  • Levels and Squares
  • Hammers
  • Impact Drivers
  • Drills
  • Measuring Tapes
  • Utility Knives
  • …and more!

Lockers & Storage

Lockers are available for rent for a nominal monthly fee in three different sizes: