Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Center for Bits and Atoms   

Digital Fabrication Facility


E15-048 EHS rep John DiFrancesco,

SOP update history:June 3, 2013 John DiFrancesco


3D Printer                

Z-Corp Spectrum Z510

The Spectrum Z510 Full Color System produces high-definition, full-color prototypes      Build Size: 10" x 14" x 8"  (254 x 356 x 203 mm)  

De-powdering unit

Make sure the vacuum is connected to the back of the de-powdering unit.

Remove everything from the top chamber of the de-powdering unit and place your part on the tray into it. Close the door.

Attach the air brush to its hose.

Inside the lower door, turn on the air compressor and the vacuum.

Place your hands through the holes, and very gently blow the powder out of your part.

When you are done, turn off the vacuum and compressor.

The ZW4 Automated Waxer

The ZW4 Waxer allows the user to infiltrate printed parts with paraffin wax to enhance strength, provide uniform part finish and color, or to create patterns suitable for investment casting.

After a warm-up period, the ZW4 Waxer maintains a bath of liquid wax at a constant temperature. Models made on Z Corp. 3D Printers are placed inside the ZW4 Waxer, either on a tray or directly into the unit’s gondola.

Before the parts are dipped in the wax bath, they are preheated inside the ZW4 Waxer. Preheating thoroughly dries the parts and raises their temperature to match that of the wax bath. After the preheat cycle, the unit lowers the gondola containing the parts into the wax bath. In just a brief dip, the wax soaks into the porous part, completely infiltrating it with wax.

After infiltration, the gondola is automatically raised and the parts enter the post-heat cycle. Post- heat allows the wax to form a smooth outer surface on the parts.

Once post-heating is complete, the parts are removed from the gondola and set out on paper towels or another absorbent material to cool

Stratasys ultrasonic cleaner:

  Uses WaterWorks detergent provided by Stratasys. This detergent provides a bath with a pH of around 11-13. The higher the pH, the faster and more efficient the support removal will be. If the pH drops below 9 or 10 you may need to put in fresh water with more detergent. The time required to remove supports depends on the volume of the tank and the amount of support material you’re dissolving. With practice, you’ll learn how long your bath takes and when a change is needed.

        You will also want to make sure the bath temperature is around 70 C (for ABS, ABS-plus, and ABS-M30 soluble supports) and that you have good water movement. This is achieved with an ultrasonic tank.

Only authorized & trained personnel shall be allowed access to the Lab.

Entry doors are secured with card reader access control systems.

Lab Hours

Undergraduate students are only to use the shop during normal working hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Graduate students and Staff are allowed 24/7 access

Safety Regulations

Use of this facility requires the use of standard safety precautions at all times. To include but not limited to:

  1. Never work alone 
  2. Be aware of how to stop the machine you’re planning to use, and how to call for help (dial 100 from any MIT phone for medical, police, and fire emergencies).
  3. Wear a dust mask when performing De-powdering and filling the Spectrum 510 or other operations that may generate fine airborne particles
  4. Safety glasses are your responsibility. You may not work in this space without them. If there aren’t any available when you enter the shop, its no excuse to work without them.
  5. Only closed-toe shoes may be worn
  6. Long hair should be tied up, loose clothes should be tightened, and dangling jewelry should be removed. These can all get caught in the machines.
  7. Do not leave tools in the machine when you’re done. Put them in their proper home.
  8. Always know the safe operation of the machines you wish to run. If unfamiliar with a particular machine, see the shop staff.
  9. Do not make parts in haste. Plan your job and procedures in advance. Determine what special tools you may need.
  10. You are required to report all issued, accidents, and tool breakages to John DiFrancesco or Tom Lutz..
  11. No food is allowed in the shop.
  12. Respect the machines and what they can (and can’t) do never, ever use the machines for anything other than what they were designed to do, and never tamper, alter, or play with the equipment!
  13. You are required to clean the 3D printer

Violation of any of the above or improper use of the machine shop may result in loss of access to this facility. The machine shop is an evolutionary process. More machines and tools will be added over time. A degree of responsibility in maintaining the shop is assumed on the part of the students using the facility. This includes cleaning up after oneself, returning tools to their appropriate locations, not leaving parts in the machines overnight, etc.

John DiFrancesco x3-8136

Tom Lutz x3-5789