About

The Innovation Labs are an interdisciplinary hub and center for experiential learning, consisting of three fully equipped maker spaces: Digital Lab, Woods Lab, Plastics Lab, incubator, and event space open to all University of Denver students, faculty, and staff.

We provide access to technology, knowledge, and mentorship to assist students in connecting with industry partners and the local community, allowing students to apply what they learn in the classroom in a real, meaningful way to positively impact the community.

At the Innovation Labs, students from diverse disciplines come together to transform ideas into projects, products and businesses.

See Our Spaces

The Digital Lab The Woods Lab

 

Meet the Team

  • Michael Caston

    Michael Caston

    • Professor of the Practice in Innovation & Product Design & Development
    • Executive Director of the Innovation Labs
    • Faculty Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community
  • Picture of Dmitri Obergfell

    Dmitri Obergfell

    • Operations Manager, Innovation Labs
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Powered by Students

Student employees make the Innovation Labs go! Our student team are on-hand to help with equipment and projects during the hours our spaces are open. If you have an idea but don't know where to start, come on in and chat with a member of our team. In addition to operations roles we have student workers who serve in marketing, accounting, and event capacities.

If you have a Work-Award and are interested in joining us visit the Student Employment page to view and apply for open positions.

Policies

  • Access

    Currently, the makerspaces are open to:

    • DU students
    • DU faculty
    • DU staff
    • DU Alumni

    The Innovation Labs also supports several DU sponsored activities that involve the community.

  • Hours Open

    Our open hours change often throughout the academic year. Please check our hours every quarter and during academic breaks.

    Winter Quarter (Jan. 15th - March 18th, 2024):

    Digital Lab

    Monday - Friday: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

    Saturday and Sunday: 12:00 pm - 3:00pm

    Woods and Plastics Lab

    Wednesday - Friday: 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

    Saturday: 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

  • Equipment Training

    In an effort to remain accessible and lower the barrier to entry, you do not have to attend any official training to use the equipment in the Digital Lab. We have developed quick-start manuals, "how to" videos, and have staff on hand to facilitate use of the equipment. However, attending a workshop is highly recommended. We hold frequent workshops around the use of the 3D printers, laser engraver, etc. For use of the woods lab, training is mandatory. Please check our workshops and events calendar for workshop dates and to sign up.

    Access to the Woods and Plastics Labs requires completion of our Woods Lab Safety Orientation. Given the nature of machinery such as table saws and band saws, it is crucial for all users of the Woods and Plastics labs to be well-trained in the proper operation of these tools. We offer bi-weekly workshops over the weekend, at no cost. Please check our workshops and events calendar for our workshop schedule and to sign up.

  • Tools in the Labs

    Digital Lab:

    • 3D printers - FDM (filament) and SLS (resin)
    • Laser engraver
    • Sewing equipment including sewing machines and embroidery machine
    • 36" wide large format printer
    • Soldering Station
    • Cricut vinyl cutter and button maker
    • Supply of materials for laser engraver and general lab use
    • Hand tools and more

     

    Woods Lab:

    • Table saw
    • Band saws
    • Miter saw
    • 4' x 8' CNC router
    • Table router
    • Lathe
    • Planer/Jointer
    • Supply of off cut wood for general lab use
    • Hand tools and more

     

    Plastics Lab:

    • Vacuum thermoformer
    • Table saw, miter saw, band saw, and scroll saw for cutting plastic
    • Mold making station
    • Small screen printing station
    • Supply of acrylic for general lab use
  • Campus Collaboration

    The Innovation Labs thrive on collaborative partnerships across campus, embracing a diverse range of departments, clubs, and students. Our ethos is rooted in fostering meaningful connections through various avenues like workshops, research support, and more. We're not confined by traditional boundaries; instead, we actively encourage fresh ideas and innovative proposals. Whether it's exploring workshops, research endeavors, or suggesting something entirely new, we're open and eager to co-create with you. Let's spark creativity together! Please reach out to Dmitri.Obergfell@du.edu or Michael.Caston@du.edu if you're interested in working together.

  • Use Policies

    Use of the Innovation Labs' equipment is a privilege, not a right. Failure to follow safety and use policies can result in a loss of privileges.

    In the Innovation Labs, you can make anything you can imagine- as long as it's NOT:

    • Prohibited by local, state, or federal law.
    • Unsafe, harmful, dangerous or poses an immediate threat to the well-being of others.
    • Obscene or otherwise inappropriate for the DU environment.
    • In violation of another’s intellectual property rights. For example, the 3D printers will not be used to reproduce material that is subject to copyright, patent or trademark protection.
    • For commercial manufacturing – The equipment can be used for prototyping new commercial ventures, but not for manufacturing runs.
  • Reserving Time on the Equipment

    Currently, all equipment operates on a first-come-first-serve basis, except for screen printing due to space limitations in the printing/exposure room. This policy might be subject to change in the future if demand surpasses the available supply. To access our screen printing facilities, please contact dmitri.obergfell@du.edu or Zac.abero@du.edu.

  • Consulting

    Have an idea and would like some professional help? The Innovation Labs have developed a student consultancy. For more information please email Michael.Caston@du.edu or Dmitri.Obergfell@du.edu with details about your project.

  • Emergency

    In case of a serious emergency, immediately turn OFF all equipment, dial 911, and contact an Innovation Labs staff member. All injuries should be reported to Michael.Caston@du.edu or Dmitri.Obergfell@du.edu.

  • Safety Policies

    The Woods Lab has extensive safety and use policies. These are gone over in great detail and reinforced during the Woods Lab Safety Orientation. Contact Zac.Abero@du.edu or Dmitri.Obergfell@du.edu for details.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Letter A

    Can I reserve equipment?

    Currently, use of the equipment is available on a first come, first served basis.

  • Letter B

    Can I check out Tools or Equipment?

    Yes, with limitations! Speak to one of our staff for more details.

  • Letter C

    Who owns the Intellectual Property (IP) created in the Innovation Floor?

    You do! As a general rule, students, faculty and staff will own the things that they create. If you create something on your own time, using DU resources that are accessible and common to everyone, that creation belongs to you. Additionally, anything that you create as an ordinary part of class (essays, poems, presentations, etc.) belongs to you as well. If your work in class is part of sponsored research project, you will own your creations unless the sponsor of the research project has made a different agreement.

    See the University’s Intellectual Property Policy site for more information, found HERE!