Additive Manufacturing Laboratory (Towne 187, AddLab)

Located on the first floor of the Towne engineering building, the AddLab houses the mechanical engineering department's 3D printers and post-processing equipment. The lab is generally staffed by student additive manufacturing assistants who are available to consult with members of the University on their 3D printing needs. The lab is restricted to approved workers who print and process all of the parts. If you are interested in having anything 3D printed, please see our 3D printing page.

The Lab Contains the Following 3D Printers:

  • Fortus 450mc FDM Printer
  • ProJet6000HD SLA Printer
  • Dimension Elite FDM Printer
  • Objet30 PolyJet Printer





Precision Machining Laboratory (Towne 169, PML)

If your project requires use of the PML you must fill out a machining work permit

Located within room 169 on the first floor of the Towne engineering building, our machine shop includes four manual milling machines, five manual lathes, three Prototrak hybrid mills, three CNC mills (Fadal VMC-15X, Haas MiniMill, Haas OfficeMill), one CNC lathe (Haas TL-1), and assorted other metal prototyping equipment. Access to the shop is restricted to those who complete specific training and yearly recertification, as described below.

Hours - During academic sessions, the shop is nominally open from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, and 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.


Safety and Usage Policies - To use the machine shop, you must obey the following rules at ALL TIMES. Dependent upon the severity of the infraction, violation of these policies will result in either a warning or immediate revocation of access. You must:

  • Complete the training and have your name listed in the access database
  • Only work on machinery for which you have been trained
  • Never work alone (a trained supervisor or shop staff member must be in the shop area while you are working)
  • Visitors who have not been given machine shop access are not permitted in the shop.
  • Wear safety glasses (provided) at all times while inside the fabrication area
  • Wear closed-toe shoes or boots
  • Remove jewelry
  • Wear no excessively loose clothing that could get caught in rotating machinery
  • Tie back long hair
  • Do not use your cellphone or headphones while operating machinery
  • Have a clear frame of mind (no intoxication, no excessive sleep deprivation)
  • Dispose of any chemical waste in proper containers
  • No food or drink are permitted in the shop area
  • Ask for help if you are unsure of something
  • Keep all work surfaces clean and dry
  • Clean, reset, and organize equipment after use
  • Report all broken/damaged/worn tools to a member of the lab staff
  • Complete a 5-10 minute shop job (issued at the discretion of the on-duty staff person) before leaving
  • Work to ensure the safety of yourself and others
  • Any injuries must be reported immediately via an injury incident report

Training & Access - If you have little to moderate experience in a shop environment, currently the only way for you to gain access is through successful completion of MEAM201 (MEAM150 prior to June 2011), which includes the necessary training to utilize a manual mill, manual lathe, band saw, and hybrid CNC mill in a safe and efficient manner. Upon completion you will be assigned a shop access level and entered into the shop database.

Once obtained, access is valid for the remainder of the semester in which the course was taken. To have access reinstated in a subsequent semester, you must attend an all-hands safety briefing at the beginning of each term where we will refresh safety protocol and cover any changes or modifications to the equipment or shop policies (you will receive an email announcement near the start of each term to let you know when and where this will take place).

Preparation - If your project will require use of a mill or lathe, you must complete an electronic MACHINING WORK PERMIT. Once you have completed the form, you MUST submit your fully defined engineering drawing to MEAMshop@gmail.com. This form is required for all work done in the MEAM Precision Machining Laboratory (Towne 169). All work permits will need to be approved by the shop staff, Monday thru Friday ONLY. Requests submitted after 12PM on Friday will not be approved until Monday. The approval spreadsheet will reflect when your job has been approved.

Working in the Shop - Upon entry to Towne 169, you will present your PennCard to the on-duty staff person, who will sign you in and confirm your access level (note that we will keep your PennCard while you are in the shop). If you are there to work on a permitted project, your permit will be retrieved, and you will be responsible for logging machine usage.

When you complete work on a particular machine, you will need to thoroughly clean up the space, and present your permit usage log for inspection and approval by the shop staff person or on-duty student worker. Before you leave the shop, you be assigned a brief shop job after which your PennCard will be returned.





Rapid Prototyping Laboratory (Towne 167, RPL)

Located within room 167 on the first floor of the Towne engineering building, the Laser Shop contains four Universal Laser PLS 4.75 laser cutters that provide students with the ability to cut various nonmetallic materials, while the MakerBots offer the ability to 3D print prototypes out of PLA plastic. This lab also houses an injection-molding machine for the use of students enrolled in the IPD 501 (Integrated Computer-Aided Design, Manufacturing, and Analysis). Four dedicated PC workstations are available to provide CAD support for part design and fabrication on these systems. In order to use the laser cutters, students must attend a brief training session (sign-ups can be found on the door to Towne 167). 24-hour access to this room is controlled by a card reader on the door. For more information, see the Laser Cutting page.


Hours - Authorized students have 24-hour access via Penncard scanner.






General Motors Laboratory (Towne 193, GM Lab)

Located on the first floor of the Towne engineering building, the GM Lab includes 18 workstations with mechatronic development tools (PCs, power supplies, oscilloscopes, and function generators), as well as soldering equipment, the MEAM ministore (assorted electronic components and mechanical fasteners), and access to the department tool crib. The lab also includes a light-duty fabrication area with a drill press, band saw, sander, assorted hand tools, and workbench space for construction and assembly. 24-hour access to the main lab is provided to students in those courses that require access to the mechatronic and/or fabrication equipment. Individuals can also request access here.


Hours - Authorized students have 24-hour access via Penncard scanner.


Mechatronics Tools - The lab stations include Tektronix oscilloscopes (Model TDS2002B) and Topward power supplies (model 6306A or 3303A). We also have 10 Weller WES51 soldering stations with ST7 conical tips for precision soldering of custom circuit boards.

MEAM ministore - The bins on the north wall of the lab contain a selection of electronic components (resistors, capacitors, LEDs, switches, ICs, etc.) and mechanical fasteners (both ANSI and Metric). These supplies are provided for student use in class projects. If you wish to use components for a external project, please pay for the items by depositing cash into the payment box (you will find the prices listed on the individual bins).

Tool Crib - An assortment of mechanical and electrical prototyping tools can be checked out from the window within the GM lab. Please see here for the list of available tools. An up-to-date calendar of open hours can be found on the toolcrib window.





Student Projects (Towne B11)

Located on the lower floor of the Towne engineering building, B11 is a 1600-square-foot space dedicated to student projects throughout our curriculum. This lab contains many open benches and tables for layout and assembly. The lab also has dedicated areas for composite-layup work and welding, though special training and certification is required to use either of these areas.


Hours - B11 is nominally open during the same hours as the PML (currently from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday). You will need to use your PennCard to gain access to the lab.


Basic Access - To gain basic access to B11, you must have have a faculty-approved need for the lab and its resources. Send an email to the MEAM Coordinator of Instructional Laboratories (Meam Labs, meam-labs@lists.seas.upenn.edu ) with the title B11-Basic-Access-Request briefly explaining your need for B11 access, CC'ing the appropriate faculty member that is supporting your request (this could be a senior design advisor, research advisor, or course instructor). Also include your PennCard number (the eight bold digits), the edition (two digits to the right of the PennCard number, and expiration date of you PennCard. Upon approval, this will provide basic access to B11 for the remainder of the academic year. Basic access will allow you to swipe into B11 using your PennCard.

Basic Access entitles you to use of our work-spaces, complete with large work tables, hand tools, and measuring equipment. This type of access is best suited to layout and assembly work. Note that you must adhere to all rules listed below, particularly the attire and buddy-system requirements.


Safety and Usage Policies - To use the project space, you must obey the following rules at ALL TIMES. Dependent upon the severity of the infraction, violation of our policies will result in either a warning or immediate revocation of access. You must:

  • Receive basic access approval prior to entering the room
  • Never work alone
  • Wear safety glasses (provided) at all times while inside the fabrication area
  • Wear closed-toe shoes or boots
  • Remove jewelry
  • Tie back long hair
  • Do not use your cellphone or headphones while operating machinery
  • Have a clear frame of mind (no intoxication, no excessive sleep deprivation)
  • Dispose of any chemical waste in proper containers
  • No food or drink are permitted in the fab area
  • Keep all work surfaces clean and dry
  • Clean, reset, and organize equipment after use
  • Report all broken/damaged/worn tools to a member of the lab staff
  • Any injuries must be reported immediately via an injury incident report





Design & Simulation Laboratory (Towne 205)

This 700-square foot lab opening in 2009 on the second floor of the Towne building is home to the lab sections of the MEAM 101 course. The room is a collaborative design space, with 20 CETS-managed PC stations lining three of the walls, a large whiteboard on one wall, and a high-resolution ceiling-mounted projector. This space is central for collaborative learning across all years and courses utilizing software such as Solidworks, COMSOL, and MatLab.


Hours - Authorized students have 24-hour access via numeric keypad.





PACE Laboratory (Towne 195)

This laboratory serves as a high-end interdisciplinary computation and design space to serve a wide range of interests within both the educational and research environment. Opened in November of 2007 as part of our involvement in the GM-sponsored PACE program, this unique space is currently serving a number of different needs, including lab instruction and the IPD 501 advanced manufacturing course. The laboratory contains 19 PCs running some of the most advanced computer-aided design, manufacturing, and simulation tools available, including KeyShot, SolidCAM, Fluent, and Eagle. The room has approximately 510 square feet with one large exterior window.


Hours - Authorized students have 24-hour access via Penncard scanner.





Mechanical Experimentation Laboratory (Towne M81)

This lab is utilized to support various undergraduate lab courses. It provides an area for students to complete laboratory experiments utilizing various apparatus and data acquisition systems. Located above the GM lab model shop area, this space is used primarily for sophomore and junior level lab courses. The room has over 1000 square-feet of project space and access is controlled via PennCard scanner on a single door.


Hours - Authorized students have 24-hour access via Penncard scanner.





Mechanical and Aerodynamic Testing Laboratory(Towne B2)

This laboratory is home to a variety of apparatus to assist all levels of course work. Equipment includes a Wind Tunnel, Tensile Testing Machine, Puma Robotic Arm, and PHANToM Haptic interface. Each provides students the opportunity to run and design experiments for industry standard machinery.


Hours - Authorized students have 24-hour access via Penncard scanner.