CNC Prototyping Suite

Housed in: 
Visual Arts Building

Room number:
W150B - C, W156

107 River Street
Iowa City, IA 52242

Man Ho "Billy" Cho

The School of Art offers state of the art CNC facilities which include a milling machine, lathe, plasma-cutter, laser-cutter, and water jet.


  • Students must gain training from qualified instructor on software and equipment prior to use of CNC tools
  • Students need instructor approval to access equipment.
  • Instructors must review all student projects before granting approval to use equipment
  • Students must fill out CNC Fillable Form and have instructor sign off on paperwork. Form must be presented at time of cut.
  • Students must work with area instructional specialist to arrange material storage CNC router access requires wood shop safety training
  • Instructors will notify and arrange CNC appointments if cut will be performed by Adam Krueger or Billy Cho
  • Students can show up during monitor hours with signed forms for approved projects without making appointments
  • Students are responsible for any file errors that cause damage to CNC equipment
  • Instructors must be trained on equipment use and software. Training is offered annually prior to fall semester.
  • Misuse of equipment or failure to follow procedure may result in disciplinary action include loss of privilege to use equipment


Training is required by course instructor. Instructor training is offered annually prior to the start of the fall semester.

Forms and safety compliance

Rules of engagement

In order to provide adequate access and support for instruction, in addition to research by some individuals, it is essential that a protocol is in place to identify and track authorized users of the equipment. It is essential that there is a consistent, well communicated policy that is supported by all.

Scheduled courses that utilize CNC technology will have priority of access and support. Students within these courses will need support and training from their instructor. Anyone interested in using any of the CNC technology located in VAB W150 or W147a must meet the minimum standards prior to engaging with the equipment and/or CNC Specialists. All users (at minimum) must have received ‘user training’ from their instructor (or ’instructor training’ if relevant), prior to engaging with equipment. All equipment use must be authorized by the CNC specialist during monitored hours. Every user must have a completed (signed) CNC form submitted prior to use. Any damage to materials or equipment as a result of improper use/incorrect preparation of a file/and or set-up error will be the financial responsibility of the user. All incidents must be immediately reported as highlighted in the training procedures

  • Student-must seek and receive adequate user training, in addition to general and site-specific safety training. Students must work within assigned schedules and anticipate limitations with access. Planning, scheduling, and not delaying work is essential, there are limited time-slots available. All students must provide a completed CNC request form prior to files being run on equipment. Students must present form to CNC monitor at time of cut. Students must be prepared (finished and approved files) before contacting a CNC monitor or Specialist. Instructors should be consulted to trouble-shoot, CNC Specialists will not correct files, but simply deny run-time for errors. Students must properly dispose/recycle used materials immediately (no more than 24 hours).
  •  Instructor/TA/Faculty- all instructors must work with their area specialist to schedule general and site-specific Safety training for students. Any process/equipment used in the fabrication or finishing of a project must be accompanied with relevant safety training. Impacted specialists must be contacted prior to the beginning of the semester to schedule student training. Instructors are the primary individuals responsible for ensuring adherence to the CNC access protocol for students. Instructors must receive ‘instructor training’ from the CNC specialist prior to the semester. Instructors must work with their area specialist to coordinate with the CNC specialist (Billy or Adam) to receive relevant training. Instructors will trouble-shoot files for students in a timely manner. Instructors must review all student projects prior to granting approval to use equipment. Instructors signature on a CNC form means they have checked the file and authorize that student to schedule a time to run it.
  •  Area Head-determines prioritization in the event of conflict. When scheduled use exceeds the allotted time in a schedule, and Area head may be consulted to determine prioritization. Area Heads should be working closely with CNC specialists to develop a strategic plan to address all relevant classes within their area. This plan will regularly be revisited, however changes mid-semester will need to be minimal. Any deviations of the policy must be in the form of a proposal for area head’s approval. Area head must collaborate with CNC specialist and Facility and Safety Coordinator for proposals that heavily impact resources (facility/staff) and other users.
  •  Specialist (non-CNC, from Student’s Area of study)- the specialist is responsible for working with Area Heads, and instructors to determine the level of access and support needed regarding the use of CNC equipment prior to the beginning of the semester. They must coordinate with the CNC specialist to develop the CNC access schedule, identify the needs of their area including impact and user populations. They must ensure all instructors are trained, as well as relevant students. The area specialist will also coordinate bulk material purchases, including identification of storage options (and disposal/recycling of used materials).
  •  CNC monitor-acts as an designated operator on behalf of the CNC specialist. The CNC monitor operates equipment throughout the week as scheduled. The CNC monitor will not permit ‘special arrangements’ or deviate from the protocol training provided. The CNC monitor is not responsible for correcting errors, but simply providing supervision for the process to prevent damage to the equipment or operators. All incidents must be immediately reported as highlighted in the training procedures.
  •  CNC Specialist (Adam Krueger/Billy Cho) -develops, documents and provides instructor training, provides technical and logistical support for users in collaboration with the other specialists, instructors, and students. The CNC Specialist will develop schedules (in collaboration with instructors and other specialists). They forecast upcoming expenses and maintenance associated with the operation of this equipment. Regular updates to operator and safety training procedures are essential. CNC specialist will work with the Facility and Safety Coordinator to identify potential improvements/problems with the policy. CNC specialist are also responsible for hiring, scheduling, supervising and training monitors, developing schedule/access times, general safety training and site specific safety training.
  •  If an instructor identifies a need, in the event of a problematic/complex file OR during times of peak usage, that instructor can schedule with a CNC specialist (Adam Krueger/Billy Cho) on behalf of their student. If the CNC Specialist is available to run files themselves, they must be received from the instructor (via e-mail) 72 hours in advance.

CNC fillable form

CNC Form must be used for EVERY job run on the Router, Laser or Plasma Cutter. The completed form (including instructor’s name, signature and course) will be kept on file for tracking purposes. This form is essential for a smooth operation. Every individual will complete or verify their portion of the form. Instructors signature on a CNC form means they have checked the file and authorize that student to schedule a time to run it. Instructors should not sign a form if they have any concerns (including: scheduling, file issues, frequency/number of attempts, or available time for others).

CNC Form


Man Ho "Billy" Cho

Man Ho "Billy" Cho

Instructional Services Specialist