Fab Lab Policies

/Fab Lab Policies
Fab Lab Policies2018-08-16T12:15:10+00:00

Immerse/IMRC Center Policies



  • Prospective lab users must create an account at imrccenter.com/imrcaccounts, take the necessary training, and deposit funds into their user accounts in order to use the labs.
  • Before being authorized to operate equipment (whether supervised or unsupervised), a prospective user must undergo and complete the Phase 1: IMRC Basic Safety Training.
  • Regular Users can only operate machines in the lab they have been trained on and only under supervision of lab management.
  • Trusted Users can operate machines in the lab they have been trained on without direct supervision while carrying out routine tasks.
  • Non–routine operations must undergo a hazard analysis and be approved by the shop manager/supervisor prior to commencement of the operation for all users.
  • Shop managers/supervisors have full authority of the shop and its safe use, including the responsibility, authority, and obligation to prohibit shop or tool access to any user for the health and safety of all users, others in the shop, or university property and equipment.
  • For the purposes of ensuring the following of laboratory policies there is a 4 tier discipline system to allow participants to know about violations of lab policies and amend their behavior accordingly.
    • 1st offense – a user maybe verbally warned.
    • 2nd offense – a user is written up and a copy is sent to the dept. head.
    • 3rd offense – a users access will be revoked and a committee will be called together to create a plan for the user to get access reinstated.
    • 4th offense – all access to the lab for the user is removed.
  • Equipment that has been tagged out of service or equipment that is damaged or does not appear to be operating normally must not be used.
  • No loose clothing may be worn when operating equipment this includes ties, scarves and loose sleeves. Open toed shoes, shorts, or skirts are also prohibited.
  • Long hair, including beards, must be pulled back, secured, and contained.
  • Jewelry that may cause a hazard when operating equipment may not be worn; this includes rings, necklaces, bracelets and watches.
  • Aisles, exits, and emergency equipment must be kept clear at all times. There must be at least 44” of clearance.
  • Safety glasses must be worn at all times in Rm 115-117  when equipment is in operation. Some operations and equipment may require additional PPE.
  • All guards and shields must be available to any user prior to operating the equipment.
  • Compressed air must not be used to clean skin or clothing.
  • All equipment and safety issues or concerns must be reported immediately to the shop supervisor or tech.
  • Working alone:
    • Undergraduates and Regular Users must not work alone and must work during open hours.
    • Trusted Users of Phase 2 & 3 equipment must not work alone. A monitor must be present during after hours operation.
    • Where lone working is required a written job hazard analysis must be carried out and standard operating procedures put into effect that will eliminate or reduce the hazards associated with working alone.
  • Access to machine tools will be controlled to prevent out of hours operation of equipment through the door lock card swipe system.
  • All equipment must be maintained and used in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations and any statutory requirements.
  • All labs are subject to video surveillance, a user cannot unplug or move any cameras for any reason.
  • Projects or materials cannot be stored in the labs, in the commons spaces, or in the hallways unless it has been cleared by the IMRC manager.


Rules for Trusted User Status:

Trusted User status is a privilege and not a right, we reserve the right to deny this status at any time. This allows graduate students 24 hour access to the labs using their MaineCard to unlock the door.

To get this status you must

  • Maintain a clean / responsible track record in the labs for at least one full semester. You may then ask to apply for this status unless extraordinary circumstances prevail.
  • Complete all IMRC safety trainings through Phase 3.
  • Adhere to a Monitor System for Phase 2 and 3 machines.
  • Not allow access to other users when using the labs after hours unless they are also a trusted user or grad student. No undergraduate students.
  • Follow policy that children are not allowed in the labs.

Reasons for losing access: (minor & major offenses)

  • Making a mess and not cleaning up.
  • Not following safety protocols.
  • Letting others not outlined above use the lab after hours.
  • Improper use of machines or equipment.
  • Not tracking hours / paying fees.
  • Disruptive behavior.
  • Failure to follow rules will result in being written up and access suspended for one week.
  • After two infractions the user will lose access for the length of a semester.


    • Key Card access allows us to track user access / and allows use after hours and makes access much easier to set up.
    • The labs are under video surveillance at all times.


AV LAB POLICIES – Phase Based Training Process

Phase 1: You can gain Phase 1 access to the AV beginner audio and video editing labs by attending a weekly training session  You can view the schedule of availability of lab techs for training here: http://imrccenter.com/av-lab-staff-schedule/

Once trained in the beginner AV labs you will have access to the labs during all open lab times.  If you need after hour access you can contact the AV Manager a week in advance for such access.

Phase 2: You can gain Phase 2 access to the

  1. APPE space Rm 104 / Live Room Rm 107
  2. 106 Pro Audio Suite

by completing the following training (each of these trainings will be done separately for separate access).

  1. To gain supervised access to the Live Room and APPE spaces (you can only access the labs when tech is on duty):
    1. Complete Phase 1 training
    2. Train with a senior lab tech to be trained on the APPE space ETC light board with a general overview of lighting options in the APPE space.
    3. Train with senior lab tech on the APPE 1 space main projection / crestron system and an overview of controlling sound on the APPE 1 PA system.
    4. Train with a lab tech on the APPE 2 immersive video / audio space.
  2. To gain supervised access (can only access when a lab tech is on duty) to the 106 advanced audio suite:
    1. Complete Phase 1 training
    2. For undergraduate students, enroll in the Audio Production class
    3. For graduate students,enroll in the Audio Production class OR take the advanced audio recording workshop offered once per semester for grad students only.

Phase 3: Graduate students can gain unsupervised Phase 3 access to the APPE space, the 107 live room, and 106 recording suite by the following:

  1. Complete all Phase 1 & 2 trainings
  2. Work in the IMRC AV labs / APPE spaces for at least one semester without incidents and with responsible behavior.
  3. Enroll in the audio production class OR  Advanced audio recording workshop Part 2 offered by request no more than once per semester for grad students only.


Immerse/IMRC Center Equipment Room Policies

  • 3-Day Rental Policy: Monday-Friday equipment must be returned within 3 days / 36 hours. However, rentals taken out on Wednesday or Thursday must be returned by Friday.  Rentals taken out on Friday must be returned by Monday.
  • Equipment can be dropped off and picked up at the times listed on the schedule.
  • To rent IMRC equipment, users must sign up for a free IMRC account at www.imrcaccounts.com. New Accounts have a minimum start up deposit of $30.  This deposit is designed to cover the cost of late equipment fees or it can be used to pay for consumables and time on our various machines / equipment in the IMRC fab labs, but is otherwise non-refundable.  Additional funds can be added to accounts in increments of $20. A minimum of $20 must be in your account to access IMRC equipment rentals. All fees need to be paid to IMRC fab lab manager Sean Taylor by cash or check in IMRC room #111.  FYI, there is an ATM in the lobby of the New Balance Health Center.
  • As a priority, all equipment is available for use for New Media & Intermedia students, as well as non-student IMRC community members. All other University students will be considered based on need and availability. Please contact us via our general contact form on our website if you have a project that you’d like us to consider.
  • All equipment rentals for commercial / paid work must pay the equipment rental fees. If it is discovered that equipment checked out for student or faculty projects is being used for commercial work, the student or faculty member risks losing access to future equipment loans / rentals. We want to support entrepreneurial use, but the equipment is primarily for student and community member use. Therefore, commercial use must be paid for.
  • For undergraduate or graduate students to gain access to the Black Magic or Canon 5D cameras and lenses, they must:
    • Take our Black Magics / Canon workshops offered weekly. Training times can be found on the training schedule.
    • If you already know the gear well, you are not required to take a workshop to get access to our advanced equipment test.  You can take the equipment test any time that the lead equipment room tech is on duty / available. If you pass the test, you are then free to check out the gear.  If you don’t pass the test you will be asked to take the workshop and then the test again.
    • If you plan to attend a workshop, please contact our IMRC equipment room manager via the contact form to RSVP:  http://imrccenter.com/contact-the-equipment-room/
  • For undergraduate or graduate students to gain access to the RED camera system, they must:
    • Take our RED workshop offered each semester and pass our equipment room camera test.
  • For undergraduate or graduate students to gain access to the IMRC Drone, they must take a training workshop and pass our equipment room drone test.
  • Tech closet employees will erase all memory cards / drives and charge all batteries for equipment. However it is greatly appreciated when students and faculty return equipment charged and erased as it speeds up the process of getting equipment ready for the next person.
  • Every piece of equipment must have a reservation in the IMRC accounts system before it can leave the equipment room, so that we are aware of its location at all times. The tech closet employee will check all equipment and accessories (cards, batteries, etc.) before it leaves and before the student / faculty finalizes the return of equipment.
  • We have a two camera / two lens policy per person for our Canon 5D and Black Magic systems.  Students can have two of the three Black Magics at one time, but one will be kept in the closet for other students / faculty to use.  The same policy applies to Canon 5Ds so that all users have equal access when they need it. There is a maximum limit of two lenses per camera, unless otherwise authorized for special projects.
  • All kits should be returned in original condition and with everything that it left with (also marked on each kit’s equipment list located in case.)
  • Absolutely no handing off of equipment from one person to another without checking in and checking out of the equipment closet. If a person with loaned equipment hands off equipment to another person, the original person that checked out equipment is still responsible for said equipment.

Late Equipment Policy

  • Late returns within 24 hours will result in a $10 fee for each day it is late.
  • Late returns longer than 2 days will result in loss of access to the equipment room for 1 week.  Late returns longer than 3 days will result in loss of access to the equipment room for 1 semester.  Late returns longer than 4 days will result in permanent loss of access to the equipment room.
  • If a renter is late with equipment more than twice access will be lost to the equipment room for the rest of the semester. If equipment is late more than three times it will result in permanent loss of access to the equipment room.
  • All issues around access are to be directed to the IMRC Director (Owen Smith) via our general IMRC contact form, not directed towards tech closet employees

Damage/Loss Policy:

If damage or loss of equipment occurs, the user is monetarily responsible for the cost of repair or replacement, to be determined by the IMRC Center director.  All access to IMRC equipment and labs will be suspended indefinitely until a plan to pay for the damage or replacement is agreed upon with the IMRC director.

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