Materials Lab


The Architecture Materials Lab has 10,000 square feet of shop facilities for the exclusive use of architecture students. College programs are deeply rooted in the connection between designing and making. The lab contains tools and machinery for working with wood, metal and plastics and includes a large paint booth. Students build prototypes, models and mock-ups of construction details and take classes on how to use the lab as well as study the working properties of materials, an essential component of three-dimensional design.

M&M Fabrication Workshop

Photo: Martin Klaeschen

Model making teaches students to deal with the qualities of materials and issues of connection, structure and craftsmanship.


All first-year students take two semesters of class in the lab, which acquaints them with the techniques to build models and mock ups from wood, plastic, plaster and metal. A short safety orientation class is offered for transfer and graduate students. Electives are also available for more advanced instruction.

M&M Fabrication Workshop

Photo: Ian Hook

In order to have access to the equipment in the shop, a student must pass a written test that gauges their knowledge of safe work practices. A short Safety Orientation Class prepares students to pass this test. These safety orientations are scheduled at the beginning of each semester, and sign-up sheets for these classes are posted by the main entrance to the M&M building. Incoming first-year students and Program 3 graduate students receive this instruction as part of their coursework and need not take this orientation.

Laser Lab

Photo: Trevor Simmel

In order to have access to the laser cutters, students must attend a special one-and-a-half-hour laser orientation. These laser orientations are also offered at the beginning of each semester, and sign-up sheets are posted by the office in M&M.

Students have access to CNC flatbed routers by taking special digital-fabrication courses.


Monday–Thursday 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Saturday noon–5 p.m.
Sunday noon–8 p.m.

Laser and CNC schedules can be viewed here. To sign up for time, please visit the material sales area in the model shop.

Shop Office: 312.567.3259
Send 3D print files to:


Michael Gillhouse

William Maryniak

Brick Cassidy

The Architecture Materials Lab includes a comprehensive collection of hand and power tools for checking out as well as the following stationary equipment:

  • Precix CNC router table
  • ShopSabre 408 Pro CNC router
  • ShopSabre 4896 CNC router
  • Six Universal 60-watt laser cutters
  • Six SawStop 10-inch table saws
  • Universal Laser 120-watt laser cutter
  • Powermatic 8-inch jointer
  • Powermatic 20-inch wood planer
  • Powermatic 20-inch bandsaw
  • Laguna 16-inch bandsaw
  • Grizzly 16-inch bandsaw
  • Two Rockwell 14-inch bandsaws
  • Two Bosch dual-bevel sliding miter saws
  • Safety Speed panel saw
  • Two Delta scroll saws
  • Two Bridgeport vertical milling machines
  • Powermatic 20-inch drum sander
  • Rockwell disc sander
  • Two Delta combination sanders
  • Rockwell 6-inch Belt Sander
  • Grizzly spindle sander
  • Delta 14-inch drill press
  • Three 15-inch drill presses
  • 16-inch Vacuformer
  • Laboratory oven
  • Two small foundry ovens
  • Hot wire bender
  • Hot wire foam cutters
  • Cincinnati buffer
  • Sheldon engine lathe
  • Jet horizontal bandsaw
  • DoAll bandsaw
  • DiAcro 36-inch sheet metal shears
  • DiAcro 24-inch sheet metal brake
  • Hossfeld bender
  • Baldor grinder
  • Two oxy-acetylene welding sets
  • Lincoln arc welder
  • Miller spot welder
  • Two Lincoln MIG welders
  • Lincoln TIG welder
  • Paint booth
  • Lincoln plasma cutter