How to Use the APC

At the APC, we provide the tools and expertise to help you fabricate parts and instruments for your project.  We operate by appointment, normally on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but with some flexibility given sufficient notice. 

In certain circumstances, you can commission us to design and develop instrumentation to your specifications, or collaborate with us on a project.   Please look at our Projects page and contact us for more information.

Directions for new users:

  1. Email us to schedule a first-time orientation to the APC.
  2. Create a folder for yourself with your name in the title in this Google drive.  If you do not have Yale Google drive access, you can request a “no-email EliApp account” from the Yale Help Desk ( 
  3. Upload the relevant files to your Google drive folder (see instructions below). If you are unsure which machine you would like to use, just upload what you have and then we can discuss it during your orientation.

Instructions for uploading files for your parts:

  1. Upload a labeled drawing or render (PDF or PNG) with a couple of key dimensions clearly shown so that we can check that we are making a part of the correct size. It’s pretty important to indicate what system of units you are using on your drawing.
  2. Generate a google document in the folder with notes you may have about the part(s), material, thickness, tolerance concerns, etc.
  3. If you have a model, feel free to add that to your folder. This is helpful in case it has to be edited before fabrication.
  4. Upload one of the following:
  • For the laser cutter or water jet: a .dwg or .dxf file of the profile that you wish to cut.
  • For the 3D printers: a .stl file.  After you are familiar with the printers and the materials available, feel free to do your own slicing before you arrive.
  • Generate one file per unique part.   Do not try to nest the parts yourself.

Other helpful tips:

  • Check the Services page for specifications and acceptable materials on each of our machines.

  • We do not provide material. You will have to purchase and bring your own, or order it and ship it to the APC. The only exception is for small 3D prints.

  • You may want to consult with us about the size of the stock that you need before placing an order.  The water jet cutter in particular needs material all around the part for fixturing.

  • If you are trying out an unusual material, or if you are very concerned about tolerances, make sure to bring some extra material for testing.

  • If your printed part is quite large and requires a lot of filament/resin, you will have to supply replacement material. For example, filament costs between $40 and $100 per kilogram, and resin is between $150 and $200 per litre.