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FabLab Technical Facilities

Our FabLab and Makerspace is open to all of our Students, Staff, Studio Holders, Fellows and Residents. It offers a wide range of tools and machinery for our community to use as well as a space for knowledge exchange between residents, students and tutors. This is your chance to tinker, boil, bake, turn, mill, mend, spin, scan, print, cut, cast, drill, sand, scrape and sculpt.

All studio residents get full access to technical assistance and the following FabLab facilities included in their rent:

Laser Cutting 

3D Printing

Screen Printing facilities

Fully equipped wood workshop

Darkroom access

Research Library

Ceramic Kiln hire at a discounted rate

Heat Press

High-Performance Computer Suite with full Adobe Creative Cloud

Large format printer

VR equipment

BioLab

Industrial Sewing Machines

Communal meeting space / day project space

 
 

If you would like to access these facilities but do not need a studio, please contact ruyin@themargateschool.com for more information about our fellowship.

Our facilities and equipment have only been made possible thanks to the generous donations by our community, and the hard work from our staff and local businesses. Thank you to everyone who has helped to make the reality of these creative areas possible! If you would like to donate equipment, materials books or other please send a message to info@themargateschool.com

Facilities Available

Shure SM46 Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone

Dynamic microphones use electromagnetism to turn sound waves into voltage. They use sound waves that vibrate the diaphragm and create electricity, which is then increased with the use of a transformer, and sent to the microphone's output, creating sound.


Dynamic mics are often be used for live performances where there is a loud sound source. They are mainly considered best-fit for loud, live vocals. They are also good for brass instruments, keyboards, drums and guitar amplifiers.


General use of all of the dynamic mics is covered in your members induction. Do not hesitate to ask a member of staff before using this microphone if you need a refresher after your induction.

RØDE NT1-A Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

A large diaphragm condenser microphone is a mic that has a capsule that is between 32-34 mm in diameter, but the actual membrane inside the capsule is between 22-27 mm or just under 1 inch.

The size of the capsule makes a lot of difference in how your signal is going to sound after it’s recorded.


This type of microphone can be used to record just about anything you can think of but is mostly used on vocals, for soloist on recording studios. It is also widely used for musical instruments such as pianos, guitars, violins, brass, drums, or any acoustic instrument. They are good at picking every nuance, even the subtle sounds while recording.


General use of this mic is covered in your members induction. Do not hesitate to ask a member of staff before using this microphone if you need a refresher after your induction.

RØDE NT5 Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone (Matched Pair)

A large diaphragm condenser microphone is a mic that has a capsule that is between 32-34 mm in diameter, but the actual membrane inside the capsule is between 22-27 mm or just under 1 inch.

The size of the capsule makes a lot of difference in how your signal is going to sound after it’s recorded.


Small diaphragm condensers have many advantages. Their pick-up patterns are more consistent, excellent transient response and they are more neutral and accurate.


General use of this mic is covered in your members induction. Do not hesitate to ask a member of staff before using this microphone if you need a refresher after your induction.

RØDE NTG2 Dual-power Shotgun Microphone

A shotgun microphone, often referred to as a boom microphone, is a highly specialised type of microphone designed for superior directional audio capture.

Unlike omnidirectional or cardioid microphones that capture sound evenly from all directions or a specific area, shotgun microphones excel at pinpointing and recording sound sources in a specific direction.


They are typically used in situations where it is important to capture sound from a specific direction while minimising noise from other directions. They are commonly used in film and television production, as well as for recording lectures, interviews, and other types of speech.


General use of this mic is covered in your members induction. Do not hesitate to ask a member of staff before using this microphone if you need a refresher after your induction.

Omni-directional Matched Stereo Pair Microphones

An omnidirectional microphone captures sound from all directions. Whether you're in front, behind, or on one side of the mic, it records the signal with equal strength. This is a different approach from directional microphones, which have a pick-up pattern that captures the sound from one direction.


Omni microphone picks up sound equally in all directions. Due to this pickup pattern, they are great for capturing entire environments of sound. Omni microphones are often used to record ambiences and soundscapes.


General use of this mic is covered in your members induction. Do not hesitate to ask a member of staff before using this microphone if you need a refresher after your induction.

Adam Audio A7X Near-field Monitor Speakers

Near field monitors generally have smaller drivers and are placed closer to the listener (around 2-3 feet away). Their proximity means that more direct sound from the monitor will hit the listener's ears, rather than reflected sound from surfaces in the room.


Monitor speakers are designed to provide a flat frequency response so that the audio signal is reproduced faithfully.



Behringer XENYX X2442USB 24 Channel Analog Mixer

An analog mixer is a tool used in recording and live sound that amplifies signals from microphones or instruments and blends them together.


This is an electronic device used for mixing, balancing, and combining different sounds and audio signals, sources like microphones, instruments, and synthesisers, or previously recorded audio.


General use of this mixer is covered in your members induction. Do not hesitate to ask a member of staff before using this mixer if you need a refresher after your induction.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 Audio Interface, 3rd Gen

Audio interfaces convert microphone and instrument signals into a format your computer and software recognise.


The interface also routes audio from your computer out to your headphones and studio monitors. Interfaces typically connect to your computer via USB.


General use of this hardware is covered in your members induction. Do not hesitate to ask a member of staff before using this audio interface if you need a refresher after your induction.

HTC Vive Virtual Reality Headset Full Kit

A VR headset is a head-mounted device that includes a display screen, stereo sound, sensors, and compatible controllers to deliver an immersive and interactive audiovisual experience.


Giving you an unparalleled, true-to-life virtual reality experience. Using a headset and wireless controllers, you can explore and interact with VR experiences, apps and games that blur the line between imagination and reality.


Through a number of computer softwares such as: Unity, Unreal Engine, Touch Designer, Ableton, Steam, etc, you’ll be able to creat your desired digital content.


To use our Virtual Reality Headset Kit you will need to book and attend the Virtual Reality induction.

Lasertech 90130 CO2 Laser Cutter

C02 laser cutters can engrave on or cut through materials using a laser beam and are highly precise and quick. These laser cutters are easy to use thanks to their simple computer interface, which works like a printer interface and includes a materials database.


Cutting and scoring 2D shapes in a variety of materials. Engraving text and images onto the surface of a material. Examples of projects that you can use the laser cutter for include:

  • Cutting out acrylic or wooden parts for assemblies

  • Cutting out boxes to encase hardware such as electronics in

  • Scoring pieces or card or paper for production of architectural models

  • Cutting out patterns from fabric

  • Engraving decorative patterns, text or photos into a wide variety of materials.

Suitable for use with: Acrylic, laser grade plywood, wood, paper, textiles, leather, rubber and many more. Always check with a technician before using a new material in the laser cutter.


Please note: Some materials such as PVC or ABS plastics create toxic fumes and cannot be used in the laser cutter. Certain materials will ignite in the laser cutter and will either need special settings or cannot be used at all.


To use our laser cutter, you will need to book and attend the Laser Cutter Tool Training session. When you have completed the tool training session you will be able to book a 1-hour slot on the laser cutter through our member Calendly system online on our website.


The laser cutter is restricted to technician use only. This is due to the relative danger and complexity of the machine.

Ultimaker S3 3D printer

The Ultimaker 3S uses a technology called Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) or Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM). This technology works by moving a printhead and depositing melted filament on a glass build plate to slowly build up an object.

The Ultimaker 3S has dual extrusion nozzles to allow printing in either two different colours or one colour and a dissolvable PVA support material. This is useful when working with prints that have complex overhangs that would be difficult to clean up if they were printed on a single nozzle FDM printer.


Please note: While 3D printing can be a useful fabrication method for many projects, it is a slow process and best used for prototyping and low-volume manufacturing. Try to avoid using 3D printing and use other workshop machinery for simpler shapes, which is usually faster and more efficient.


Projects that need specific or customised parts that would be tricky to make in any other way. Projects that are too tall for the Ultimaker 2’s or that have complex overhangs that require a dissolvable support.


Physical production of CAD models that have been designed or downloaded. This can include anything from:

  • Parts for robots

  • Elements of mechanical mechanisms

  • Architectural models

  • Artwork

  • Miniature characters for table top gaming.


Models that are generated from scanned data such as MRI, laser scans or photogrammetry.


Technical Information:

Nozzle 1 Material: White PLA - Filamentive

Nozzle 2 Material: PVA support material - Ultimaker

Filament Size: 2.85mm Filament


To use our 3D printers you will need to book and attend the 3D print training session. When you have completed the training session, please speak to a technician when you want to use this printer.

Axminster Craft Belt & Disc Sander

A belt sander is a versatile tool for sanding wood and plastics that consists of a continuous abrasive belt that is driven by an electric motor.


Belt sanders are designed to quickly remove material in order to flatten rough timber, level uneven surfaces and to shape and round material. They can remove material quickly and are normally used only for the beginning stages of the sanding process to rough out the surface before using finer sanding techniques.


Suitable for use with wood and plastics only.

Please ask a member of staff if you want to use any other materials.

Please Note: This machine can’t be used with metal or to sand anything that may create harmful dust.

Erbauer EPT1500 250mm Planer Thicknesser

A thicknesser is used to create precisely dimensioned timber by passing it through an adjustable gap beneath a plane blade. This is great for making rough wood smooth and flat, and for sizing wood accurately for joinery projects.


This machine is great for restoring scrap wood/pallets to a usable condition, and helping with really accurate joinery.


Suitable for use on wood only (no Plywood, OSB, etc)


Due to noise considerations this tool is restricted to use by technicians.

Makita Slide Compound Mitre Saw

A miter saw is a specialized tool that lets you make cuts at a variety of angles. The saw has a blade mounted on a swing arm that pivots left or right to produce angled cuts.


Sliding compound miter saws have all the versatility of compound miter saws and a sliding feature, similar to a radial arm saw, allowing you to move the blade forward and backward.

The major advantage of the sliding feature is the increased length of cut it provides. You can use a miter saw to quickly make cuts for crown moulding, picture frames, door frames, window casings and more.


Suitable for use on prepared wood only.

Please ask a member of staff if you want to use any other materials.


General use of the mitre saw is covered in your members induction. Do not hesitate to ask a member of staff before using this mitre saw if you need a refresher after your induction.


Technical Information:

Blade Diameter: 216 mm

Max mitre range: 50 - 60°

Bore Diameter: 30 mm

Max bevel range: 48 - -5°

No Load Speed: 5,000 rpm

Ferrex Table Saw

A table saw (also known as bench saw) is a woodworking tool, consisting of a circular saw blade, mounted on an arbour, that is driven by an electric motor. Material being cut is passed across the table through which the blade protrudes making precise cuts. The depth and angle of the blade can be adjusted for different types of cuts.


Table saws are useful for making straight, smooth accurate cuts and are more precise cut than handheld or machine circular saws.


The table saw is used to cut prepared wood, but plastic sheets such as acrylic may be considered. Please ask a member of staff for advice.


General use of the table saw is covered in your members induction. Due to the relative danger and complexity of the machine please consult a technician if you have a job that may require use of the table saw.


Technical Information:

Idle speed: 4250 min-1

Cross top can be pivoted from -45° to +45°

Saw blade rotating range stepless: 0° to 45°

Cutting depth 90°: 80mm/45°:55mm

Ferrex 10 Inch Bandsaw

A bandsaw is a power saw with a long, sharp blade consisting of a continuous band of toothed metal stretched between two or more wheels to cut material.


The bandsaw is an essential and very versatile machine in the workshop and will be starting point in a lot of your projects. It is used to cut wood and plastics and can make straight or irregular cuts.


Suitable for use with prepared wood and plastics only.

Please ask a member of staff if you want to use any other materials.

Please note: No bamboo, unprepared wood or metal can be cut on his machine.


General use of the bandsaw is covered in your members induction. Do not hesitate to ask a member of staff before using the bandsaw if you need a refresher after your induction.

Ferrex 500W Bench Drill

The bench drill is a basic and important tool designed for accurate drilling by allowing material to be held beneath the drill head on an adjustable bed. Can be used with different types of drill bits to make small or large holes in wood, plastic, metal and other materials.


A bench drill allows for more precise drilling than would be possible with a hand drill. Workpieces can be accurately clamped to the bed, the drill depth can be set down to the millimetre and you can also control the speed so that many different materials can be drilled at the correct RPM.


Suitable for use with wood, plastics and some metals.

For hardened steel or any other specialist materials, please ask a member of staff for advice.

Please note: This machine can’t be used for any material that may create harmful dust.


General use of the bench drill is covered in your Members Induction. Please ask a member of staff before using the pillar drill for the first time or are unsure of how to secure your work or drill properly.


Technical Information:

Adjustable Angle: 45°

Base: 31.4 x 20cm (approx)

Sewing Machines

These are compact and precise mechanical sewing machines for home use made by the Japanese brand brother. It is an ideal machine for beginners, but even those with years of experience will be able to appreciate its qualities.


In the past our sewing machines have been used to make or repair clothes but also to create installations, all kind of wearables for medical purpose, inflatables, upholstery and much more.


You can use this sewing machine for any project involving natural fibres like cotton, linen or wool; fine fabrics such as silk, satin, taffeta or velvet; knits (medium to heavyweight only); synthetic fabrics like rayon or polyester; upholstery; leather or suede.

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