Facility & Tools

The different facilities and tools at IFL are broken up into zones, with each zone devoted to a specific study.

All members gain access to the Autodesk Master Suite.

Laser Cutting / Engraving Zone:

  • Brief Explanation:  The laser cutter and engraver uses a drawing program to tell it what to do. A CO2 laser can cut and engrave wood, leather, some plastics, cotton, paper, even bread! It’s not strong enough to cut glass or metal, though it can etch glass and coatings on metal such as anodization or paint.
  • How it works: It uses a focused beam of light to burn through wood or other materials. It can cut all the way through or just engrave the surface. It is good at very detailed cuts and engravings.
  • What it makes: It is used to make engravings of images, signs, boxes, sculptures and more.
    A CO2 laser can cut and engrave wood, leather, some plastics, cotton, and paper!


  • Redsail 1290 Laser cutting and engraving machine, 100 watts, 45″ x 35″ table size, with rotary attachment available.

3D Printing Zone:

  • Brief Explanation: The 3D printer builds objects by “printing” out one layer at a time, using a 3D model as a guide.
  • How it works: It is essentially a tiny hot glue gun, that squeezes out melted plastic and draws a single layer of an object, then moves up a tiny bit, and draws the second layer on top of the first layer, and on and on.
  • What it makes: Mostly small plastic items such as toys, containers, replacements parts, and more.

Equipment List:

CNC Router Zone:

  • Brief Explanation: The Shopbot is a computer controlled router that can cut or carve wood. It can cut up to a 4 ft by 14 ft piece of wood. We can use a drawing program, or we can send it a 3D model in order to tell it what to do.
  • How it works: It uses stepper motors to move the router through the x, y, and z axis system. A router is like a drill bit, but it is designed to move sideways through wood as well as up and down.
  • What it makes: It can be used to make furniture: chairs tables, desks, kitchen cabinets. Also large signs, 3D carvings, and more.

Equipment List:

  • Shopbot PRS Alpha CNC Routing Table — 4′ x 8′ cutting area.

Woodshop Zone:

  • Table Saw.
  • Chop Saw.
  • Drill Press.
  • Reciprocating Saw.
  • Bandsaw.
  • Vices.
  • Bench Grinder.
  • Belt Sander.
  • Jointer.
  • Handtools: drills, wrenches, glue guns, etc.

Jewelry Zone

  • Soft metal hand tools.
  • Jewelers saw.
  • Soldering torch.
  • Rolling mill.
  • Clicker press.

Electronics Zone:

  • Ventilated soldering station.
  • Hand tools: wire strippers, helping hands, tweezers, tongs, etc.
  • Assorted components, Breadboards, Adafruit toys, etc.

Textiles Zone

  • Juki Industrial Straight Stitch
  • Serger
  • Sewing Machines

Screen Printing Zone

  • 6 Registration Manual Press.
  • Single piece drier.
  • Active conveyer drier.
  • Lots of existing screens to practice with.
  • Dark room setup pending.


  • Quickly growing into 5,300 sq. ft.
  • Loading dock and freight elevator.
  • Computer workstations with vector software and Autodesk Master Suite.
  • Multipurpose community area.
  • Art gallery featuring artists, makers, and member-created art.
  • Located on the 2nd floor of the University Business Park (aka The Wrigley Building).