Co-owned by The Shack and The University of Alberta Chemistry Department, the MK2 printers are the new kids on the block. The MK2 has a heated bed for greater adhesion, and more advanced mechanical and electronic components than its precursor, the MK1 for a higher quality printing experience. Maximum build volume is: 210mm x 250mm x 100mm.
The Roland milling machine uses CNC software to control the milling bit. The Roland machine is optimized for soft non-metals, milling everything from soft sculpting wax up to hard plastics, such as the vacuum-safe PEEK plastic. In fact, the Roland has been used to mill boom-deployment pieces for the AlbertaSat cube satellite for use in space!
A lathe spins the material while the user manipulates the cutting tools in order to create a cylindrically symmetrical shape. Alternatively, the vertical mill spins the cutting tool and lowers it while moving the material around in the flat plane. These two operations are the most common form of machining and can produce almost any custom piece. The Sherline machines in The Shack come equipped with stepper motors and computer numerical control (CNC) software. The mill and lathe can follow programmed instructions called G-code to machine pieces without user input or error.