Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Consulting and Lab or Equipment Rental

Last updated 12.2018

Tool Area Sm Spring 2014Consulting

Sometimes fabrication projects are pretty complicated and require advanced help. We offer dedicated project consulting, which can include assistance with or the use of a specific tool (electronics, 3D printing, woodshop, etc) but can also entail time for design work or advisory. Consulting can be scheduled during or outside of open lab hours. If you want one of our staff to create a product or solution for you this is considered consulting time.

Patrons interested in seeking help from a dedicated consultant should contact us first to make sure we have someone available in our referral and staff network. Skills include (but are not limited to):

  • 3D design for 3D printing and milling with Solidworks, SketchUp, Autodesk Inventor and Minecraft
  • Graphic design with Inkscape or Illustrator, website design and development
  • Small board electronics and circuit blueprinting
  • Fashion design and advanced textiles
  • Blacksmithing and metalworking

Most of our consultants have multiple jobs or are also students. As such we have to work around their schedule and typically need at least a week’s notice to sort out a time. To schedule time with a consultant, please fill out our google form to request a project consultation.

Consulting Rates:

  • We do not charge for initial inquiry. Q&A sessions that go beyond 20 minutes and that involve actual design or tool use are the point as which we will apply the consulting rate.
  • Our consultants will not do homework for students, regardless of the class. We will, however, do our best to help students leverage tools and knowledge to do their own work.
  • Free consulting is offered for students enrolled in classes happening in partnership with the Fab Lab. They will work with the students, acting as mentors and educators.
  • $15 per hour for students who are not enrolled in a class connected to the lab can make use of this service at a rate of with the same restriction that we will not complete their projects for them.
  • $35 per hour for non-students and community members. Q&A sessions that go beyond 20 minutes and that involve actual design or tool use are the point at which we will apply the consulting rate. Anyone who wants us to 3D print with advanced materials for them may do so at the consulting rate, we will include material costs for some filaments (ABS, HIPS) in for free.

Lab and Equipment Rental

You can rent out specific machines or our entire lab for tours, immediate tool access and individual help time. 


Unassisted Lab Rental 

Machine access with just a lab attendant present, no help available; the patron must know how to use the tool already. Rentals include charges for machine use but not materials.

  • $25 per hour for the laser engravers (up to 6 people) 
  • $20 per hour for any other single tool/area (up to 6 people)

Assisted Lab Rental 

Machine access with a lab attendant present to help. Rentals include charges for machine use but not materials.

  • $35 per hour for any tool/area (up to 3 people)
  • $50 per hour to rent the entire lab with dedicated consultant assistance (up to 3 people)

Special Request Rentals

  • If you would like to run your own workshop and have unusual setup needs, such as assistance with curriculum development or teaching, preparing the space for messy materials or installation of software that’s not on our spec we will adjust the rental fee to compensate for the additional staff hours required
  • University of Illinois classes or external organizations interested in using the lab for multiple or specialized sessions or workshops should contact us to make specific arrangements

To Schedule a Rental

Look for open (empty, white) slots on the calendar below. You may overlap with other lab rentals, so long as you’re using a different tool or area. You cannot schedule rentals during open hours (blue areas). Once you’ve found one or more suitable times contact us to request the rental. Please indicate your chosen tool/area and any other relevant details.