RCC 194

The Makerspace is a place to experiment, explore, build and test new projects and ideas. The configuration of the furniture is transformable, allowing for a malleable environment that can be adapted to fit the needs of your project. The Makerspace is fully stocked with materials that enable students to prototype, create and design their work. Everything from conductive thread and sewing machines to electronics for circuitry are accessible 24/7. A variety of equipment, including 3D printers and a CNC machine, as well as hand and power tools (see details below) are available to help make your projects more robust. Since the space is open to all four years of study, the Makerspace has also proven to be a good place to find ways to collaborate on upper year projects! Take a look at the details below to learn how you can optimize the Makerspace to create better classwork. Can't find the answer to your question? Email



STAFF Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
Steve 4 PM to 10 PM 1:30 PM to 10 PM      
Ashley 2 PM to 6 PM 2 PM to 6 PM   3 PM to 4 PM  
Zoe 3 PM to 5:30 PM 2 PM to 5:30 PM   1 PM to 3 PM 1 PM to 3 PM
Maisey 1 PM to 3 PM 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM 3 PM to 7 PM 10 AM to 12 PM
Alec   4 PM to 6 PM      


Hack Nights are an open studio opportunity to work on projects, share ideas and network with peers and profs. The one-on-one discussions and hands-on exploring help clarify topics learned in class, making them easier to handle on your own.

Hack Nights create a heightened sense of independence and ownership of your work, your overall understanding of new media, and its corresponding work cultures.  The instructors and students who come to hack nights become allies as they seek to solve problems, and get to know one another through their respective creative practices.

Hack Nights take place every Monday (from 4 pm onwards) and every Tuesday (from 6 pm onwards).



First and second year New Media students can bank volunteers hours by helping out in the Makerspace. Volunteer opportunities exist on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Volunteer tasks include maintaining the space (clean up and organization), testing equipment (mainly the 3D printers) and aiding in special events (workshops, orientation, hack nights, etc). Sign up here to start volunteering. Any questions you may have can be directed to New Media Specialist Ashley Lewis at  



New Media students are welcome to claim shelf space or a storage bin to house their project for a maximum of two weeks. They must label their projects using the laminated contact form cards provided. By claiming shelf space or a bin, you understand that all unmarked projects or projects left unclaimed for longer than two weeks will be removed. 

New Media students who are planning on leaving projects in the Makerspace that are too large for the temporary storage spaces (the red shelf and the plastic bins) must attach a completed Project Identification Form to their work. Forms can be found in the Makerspace - feel free to click here to download and print your own. 

Please be respectful of the space as a place for project work for all New Media students. The Makerspace is not intended to be a storage room but we understand that projects of various sizes may need to be kept there, temporarily, if work is in progress. Please try to keep your projects in the Makerspace for as few days as possible. Thanks for your cooperation! 



In the RTA Workshop, across from the Makerspace, in RCC158A are two workbenches dedicated to soldering. Each is equipped with two soldering irons, water for sponges, solder, wire cutters, helping hands and more. Students are welcome to leverage the materials to work on their projects but encouraged to leave the soldering workbenches tidy, as they found them when they leave. 



Located within The Soldering Room, across from the Makerspace in RCC158A, The Part Swap is a place to hunt for free parts for your project. Everything left here is up for grabs! Finished a project that you want to throw away? Strip the valuable and reusable parts and leave them for a fellow student in The Part Swap. 



Hand tools can be found hanging from the pegboard above the workbench in The Soldering Room, RCC158A. They are free to use without supervision. Please put them back when you are done with them. Power tools, including circular saws and routers, are available upon request. Please contact New Media Specialist, Ashley Lewis at to arrange a time to be taught proper form and safety procedure. Once signed off, you may use the tools under arms-length supervision. 



Students have access to utilize the laser cutter to prototype or improve the overall aesthetic quality of their work. The laser cutter is located in the basement of the School of Interior Design, 302 Church Street, as we share it with their students (see directions for access below). Workshops on using the laser cutter and formatting your files will be available for participation at the start of each semester. 

To Book Appointments for the FCAD Laser Cutter, request a time with Ashley ( and Zoe (

Please ensure that the reservation timeslot you select is specifically identified as being for RTA New Media students. Appointments identified as RSID Laser Cutting are reserved for School of Interior Design students.

A (single) 30-minute timeslot will typically provide ample time to complete a laser cutting project. If your project is geometrically very complex and/or it involves a significant amount of rastered content etc. you may need to select second timeslot (to provide 1 hour of cutting time).  Please note that the absolute maximum number of timeslots you are permitted to book is two (1 hour in total). If you anticipate that this will not provide enough time please contact your instructor for guidance prior to making a reservation.

To Get To The Laser Cutter, the doorway to SID (facing Church street) requires a dedicated OneCard. Your personal OneCard card will not open this door. To gain access to the basement of SID:

1. 5-10 minutes before your Laser Cutting reservation sign-out an SID Laser Access OneCard from the EDC in RCC166.

2. Use this card to get inside SID. To the left of the main door there is a stairwell that leads to the Laser Cutter basement space. The doors into the Laser Cutting room should be open. If they are not, knock vigorously to get the attention of the LC operator! There is no way to get to the basement using the elevator.

3. The SID Laser Access OneCard sign-out time cannot exceed 90 minutes. Fines will be applied if the card is not returned within the maximum sign-out time. The access card should be returned to the EDC as soon as you have completed your Laser Cutting timeslot. This will enable the the next user to get their card in a timely fashion. There are only two cards so returning them is essential.

If you need to get hold of the Laser Cutter Operator (e.g., if you are going to miss an appointment) then please email Oliver at

Please be respectful of the space in SID. We are guests in that building and the expectation is that access is for the basement only. Please do not leave garbage.

Supported Materials for laser cutting are all paper or wood based (no plastics/acrylics/pvc etc.). We do not have a dedicated stock of Birch and MDF that is available to you. It is possible to purchase 32”x16”  ⅛” birch (only) from Polytechnic Hardware or other suppliers.

Polytechnic Hardware
131 Dundas Street E
Toronto, ON M5B 2N6
Open Mon-Sat. 
Monday-Friday:  8am-4pm, Saturday:  7:00am - 8:00 pm

Additional RTA materials may be added during the semester. Those will be added to this document as they become available. Only use material earmarked for RTA New Media!

You can bring other materials to cut (paper, cardboard, ⅛” MDF) etc. We are not able to cut plastics/acrylic or very thick materials (over ¼”). Objects that are painted, laminated or that may contain noxious substances/resins etc. will not be cut. The Laser Cutter Operator has the final say on whether a particular material can be cut or not during a session. If you disagree with the decision please discuss this with your instructor.

The laser cutter can cut material up to 32” X 18”. You can downsize your materials using the power tools in the RTA Workshop in RCC158A. Oversized objects are not supported. Unless by prior arrangement, cutting is limited to 1 sheet per reservation.

Please provide the correct material type to the operator as the Laser Cutter needs to be configured for each material type.

Files can be provided to the operator on USB Keys, SD Cards or via a web download. Please note that the computer in the Laser Cutting room is a Windows based PC. It cannot read USB keys formatted for Mac use (i.e., Mac OS Extended). Please provide files on a FAT (PC Compatible) formatted USB Key. Files in Illustrator (AI) or AutoCad (DWG) are supported. Avoid other file formats.

The timeslots are provided specifically for laser cutting. The operator will oversee the cutting process, but will not permit editing of the file. It is expected that the file will be provided in a ready-to-print state.

Your File Size must be 16x20 or less, do not cut right to edge leave about 5mm clearance for machine. File color mode must be RGB. Line thickness must be 0.1pt

Red lines ( 255,0,0) will cut through.
Blue lines ( 0,255,0) will “engrave” ie etch but not cut.

An example file can be obtained by contacting the Oliver at c27zhang@ryerson.caWear ear and eye protection while in the space (ear protectors are provided). Do not stare at the laser while it is cutting as this can cause eye damage!



Our two Prusa 3D Printers in the Makerspace can be used to prototype or to make projects more unique and original. Workshops on using the laser cutter and formatting your files will be available for participation at the start of each semester. Once signed off you will be given access to this document that provides detailed instructions on how to operate the 3D Printers. 

Picking The Right Filament is very important. Please note that the Prusa Printer has very specific requirements for filament and will jam with poor quality materialOnly source from suppliers with a guaranteed tolerance of  +/­ 0.03 or less! The recommended supplier is BootsindustriesBootindustries are based in Quebec. Shipping is fairly fast, but not overnight! 

If the filament tolerance is not listed it will almost certainly be incompatible and will cause jams! When in doubt use the supplier listed above. 

The Following Suppliers Are NOT Compatible! 
Material from
Voxel Factory
Amazon Garbage
Anything sold by Creatron! 
Any filament indicating a .05 variance!



The CNC Machine is a computer controlled router/drill that can turn your on screen vector designs into wooded or acrylic objects. Our ShopBot CNC Machine is located in the RTA Workshop, across from the Makerspace in RCC158AWorkshops on using the CNC machine and formatting your files will be available for participation at the start of each semester. Once signed off you will be allowed to use the CNC Machine with supervision from a Professor or a lab assistant. 



The PCB Cutter, located in The Soldering Room in RCC158A, allows students to design and mill their own circuit boards. This machine will be fully operational in 2016. Check back here for updates. 



Q: Who can I talk to to get extra project help? 
A: If you need specific support in the Makerspace you can email for assistance. If you need more support feel free to reach out to New Media Labbies, Ashley Lewis at or Zoe Bockasten at

Q: Can I spray paint? 
A: No, spray painting in not permitted in any space in the RCC building. it is recommended you find a space outside with better


Steve Daniels
Director, New Media Program

Ashley Lewis
New Media Lab Assistant

Zoe Bockasten
New Media & Digital Media Lab Assistant