The makerspace contains tools and equipment that presents safety risks to the users.  It is therefore important that proper operating procedures are in place and followed.  Although the hard-copy documents in the makerspace itself serve as the official standard operating procedures, snapshots are provided here for online reference.  Your signature on the hard-copy documents is required and indicates that you have understood and intend to adhere to these procedures.

Small Hall Makerspace Standard Operating Procedures
1. Purpose

The purpose of the Small Hall Makerspace is to allow students to design, build, and test small electronic circuits; experiment with rapid prototyping technologies.  This document aims to ensure that all activities are conducted safely.

2. Background

A makerspace is a location where people with common interests can meet, socialize and/or collaborate. Makerspaces can be viewed as open community labs incorporating elements of machine shops, workshops and/or studios where makers can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make things.  The makerspace provides the tools, the makers bring their creativity.

3. Authority and Responsibility

Wouter Deconinck (757-221-3539) and Joshua Erlich (757-221-3763) are jointly responsible for the operation of Small Hall Makerspace equipment in conformance with these procedures.

4. Hazard Analysis

Hazard Identification

The Ultimaker2 3D printer and Filabot polymer filament extruder operate with heated nozzles at temperatures up to 260°C.  The Weller soldering irons operate with heated tips up to 450°C.  Contact with the nozzles or tips at these temperatures may cause skin burns.  

The Shapeoko2 hobby CNC router operates with a high-speed rotary spindle tool.  The generic tool operates at speeds up to 30,000 rpm with a power of 120 W, while the DeWalt tool operates at speeds up to 30,000 rpm with a power of 600 W.  At these speeds there is potential for shavings to be projected towards the operator and nearby users.  Prolonged exposure to the noise of the rotary tool can lead to ear damage, in particular in enclosed environments.  When cutting certain materials, the building fire alarm could be inadvertently set off by the dust created.  At high speeds and sufficient power, the rotary tool could start a fire by friction.

Various hand and power tools (mechanical stapler, hand nibbler, powered nibbler, bit driver, hand drill) can present a danger if operated incorrectly or without sufficient training.

Dust created by the operation of various grinding and milling tools (including CNC routers and drills) is potentially hazardous, depending on the material being used.  For example, walnut wood sawdust is an irritant to the skin and the airways.

Hazard Mitigation

Makerspace users should not touch the nozzles of 3D printers or filament extruders, or the tips of soldering irons when they are at high temperatures.  The heated soldering irons should always be placed in their holder, and should never be rested on the working surface!

While operating CNC routers the operator and users within a 3 meter radius are required to wear eye protection (safety glasses).  If CNC routers are use for longer than 2 minutes, all users in the makerspace are required to wear hearing protection (foam ear plugs).  If CNC routers are used to cut materials that cause visible airborne dust build-up, a dust collection system must be used (shop vac with dedicated collection sleeve) and all users in the makerspace must wear dust masks.  A CO2 fire extinguisher must be present when CNC routers are being operated, and when increasing the rotary velocity on a new material (including the first turn-on) the temperature of the spindle must be checked with a thermometer after approximately 30 seconds of operation.

Before any hand or power tool is operated, the users should familiarize themselves with the proper operating procedures as outlined in the owner’s manual.  Any power tools (except for a power driver when not operated as a drill) can be operated alone only by users with at least 1 year of experience with a comparable power tools, and must be operated in all other cases while a user with at least 1 year of experience is looking on.

When uncontained visible airborne dust build-up occurs when operating power tools or CNC routers, all work must cease to prevent false fire alarms.

When any skin or airways irritation is noticed, all work must cease.

Waste Disposal

Any garbage created should be immediately disposed of in the proper waste bins.

Hazardous Materials

No radioactive or hazardous materials are allowed in the Small Hall Makerspace.

5. Procedures


6. Training


7. Emergency Response

In case of emergencies, dial 911.

8. References