Access & Safety

Heads wearing safety glasses and ear muffs

Location: Gilmore Annex, Rm 200

NOTE: During COVID-19, lab access is restricted to OPEnS staff. We can still assist you by performing 3D printing and laser cutting for you. Contact the director (Chet Udell, about your interest in using the OPEnS Lab.

User Expectations

Users are expected to observe OPEnS Lab policy and etiquette. Failure to comply could result in unsafe conditions and detract from productivity of other users. While teaching electronics and CAD is beyond the scope of the lab mission, OPEnS Staff is happy to:

  • consult on your designs

  • walk through code with you to identify errors

  • suggest how you can get started for learning CAD and electronics

  • suggest edits and fixes for your designs

  • give advice on operating 3D printers

Safety Measures

Our lab has the following safety measures (see image below):

  • First Aid Kit (photo 1)

  • Chemical Spill Kit and Lead Solder Waste bucket (photo 1)

  • Fire Extinguisher (photos 1 and 3)

  • Chemical Hygiene Plan and SDS (photo 2)

  • Emergency eyewash station

  • Fire alarms (photos 4 and 5) 

  • Please take a moment to view the OSU Chemical Hygiene Plan.

  • See the EH&S Map for the nearest AED: Hovland Hall near room 12 (as of 01/2023).

3D Printer Access Etiquette and Safety

If you’re working on a research project where 3D printing an object is desired, we're here for you!


  • OPEnS lab is not a production facility; print quantities beyond 10 need to be specially cleared with director.

  • Read the 3D printing section of our Staff and User Resources wiki.

  • Design your 3D print. See tips in above link.

  • Consult with lab technicians on any questions you have about getting started with 3D printing and CAD. Unfortunately, formally teaching individuals CAD is beyond the scope of OPEnS, but we can show you tutorials on how to get started and can answer a few questions as you design your object to optimize for 3D printing. Formal CAD and electronics workshops will be offered periodically and will be advertised.

  • During normal operations, when you are ready to come into the lab to print, take the OPEnS safety survey to become a registered user and a schedule a brief orientation with the director.

  • Currently, 3D printing is only being performed by OPEnS staff. Please be available for remote consultation during the time of your print, and you will be notified by OPEnS staff when your print is ready for pick up.

  • Schedule your print time and provide a link to your .stl file in the OPEnS portal by machine. These machines are time-shared, so you must schedule your prints ahead of time. Click on the day you would like to reserve the printer, and select the time you would like to start printing. The time is reserved in one hour chunks, so if your print is large or complex you should repeat the process and reserve consecutive hours.

  • During normal operations, please come into the lab before your scheduled time to prepare or repair your files with OPEnS staff assistance.

PRINTING IN THE OPENS LAB (During Normal operations)

  • Come into OPEnS at your appointed job time with your .stl file, log your usage using the QR code at the printer, and run off your print. If you are charging an OSU Index rather than your student account, be sure to have the index and activity code on hand to enter into the usage log.

  • While you do not need to stay in the lab for the total duration of the printing process, you are expected to monitor your print for the first 2 layers to ensure printing is likely to succeed.

  • You will be contacted by staff if your print fails during the process (this can and does happen, either because of bad adhesion to the print bed, erroneous print settings, or design flaw in the object itself).

  • Pick up your print when finished. We will hold your print for up to 2 weeks before discarding.

  • Completely clean up your lab space each time you leave. Our technicians will show you what that entails.

  • Please cancel, or reschedule your appointment, if necessary, as soon as possible.


  • Always follow the manufacturer guidelines.

  • Notify coworkers before beginning non-routine and hazardous work.

  • Once a printing job has been started, do not open the cover, defeat or override the interlock switch.

  • If device looks tampered with or out of order, do not use printer and notify OPEnS Staff.

  • Keep model and support materials away from areas where food and drink are stored, prepared or consumed.


  • Hot surfaces: do not touch extruder.

  • Print head blockages.

  • High voltage – electric outlet safety certified and ground wire.

  • Moving parts – printing assembly; keep printing area clear of obstructions and body parts.

Laser Access Protocols

  • Only trained OPEnS staff may operate the laser cutter.

  • Follow time-sharing etiquette detailed in 3D printing section.

  • Schedule an appointment and provide a link to your DXF file in the OPEnS portal.

  • Purchase and bring your own, LABELED materials. Materials must be labeled and approved by laser operator for use.

  • Also purchase cardboard to prove your cut works before cutting your final material

  • Currently, users must drop off and pick up materials at the designated time OUTSIDE the OPEnS Lab.

  • During normal operations, users may be in the room during laser operation with eye protection and other safety gear as appropriate.

Electronics Prototyping (Only currently available for OPEnS Staff)

  • Safety Glasses must be worn when using soldering stations.

  • We have 3 stations that contain a soldering iron, reflow wand, oscilloscope, and general electronics tools and components.

  • We have 5 stations that contain a soldering iron.

  • Stations do not need to be scheduled in advance.

  • We have some consumable electrical components (resistors, capacitors, etc) to use while you prototype, but you must purchase special components for your project ahead of time.

  • You may store ongoing projects in the designated cupboards. Though tampering is highly unlikely; these are shared, unsecured spaces that other people have access to. OPEnS does not guarantee the safety or functionality of projects left unattended in the lab storage.

  • OPEnS components must remain in the lab and returned when prototyping is finished. Or you may wish to keep your circuit in OPEnS storage while you purchase your own components, and then build your final circuit using your purchased components using your model.

  • Read the Safety details, Preparing and Soldering instructions at this link. Follow OSU safety guidelines for proper use.

  • Furthermore, WATCH THIS VIDEO for a soldering demonstration.