New CNC Plasma Cutter

The University of Minnesota Department of Art has a new ShopSabre Sidekick 4 Plasma Cutter that is now available for student and faculty use. The machine has a 52" x 49" cutting area and can cut metals up to 1" thick.

For file work, please prepare a vector drawing using Adobe Illustrator, Rhino or any other vector-based softwares.

Since this is a new system, we will offer limited appointments throughout the semester. If you're interested in using the Plasma Cutter, please contact Robin Schwartzman at

Spring 2019 Lab Updates

Hello and welcome back to the semester! It may be cold outside, but it's warm in the XYZ Lab with some new updates to share.

Spring 2019 Lab Hours
Mondays: 9am-noon, 1pm-8pm
Tuesdays: 9am-noon, 1pm-4pm, 5pm-8pm
Wednesdays: 9am-noon, 1pm-10pm
Thursdays: 9am-noon, 1pm-8pm
Fridays: 9am-noon, 1pm-8pm
Saturdays and Sundays: noon-4pm

Spring 2019 Updates
-Baby Blue has a brand new laser tube and is cutting like new!
-Our Epson Artisan 810 scanner/printer has been replaced is up and running like new.
-There is now a small photo backdrop setup in the back room for you to photograph your small parts made in the Lab.

Spring 2019 Lab Staff
Mark Schoening
Nooshin Hakim Javadi
Fletcher Wolfe
Camille O'Leary
Anna Van Voorhis
Morgan Oie
Vlad Gruin
David Fasbender
Robin Schwartzman

We look forward to working with you this semester!

Meet the Fall 2018 Lab Staff

Mark Schoening Focusing mainly on the practice of painting and printmaking with slight diversions into the creation of three-dimensional objects. Mark’s work has been included in exhibitions in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, Minneapolis and Copenhagen, including the Decordova Museum’s 2008 Annual. His work has been featured in numerous art fairs, including Pulse NY, Pulse Miami,
Berlin Liste, Art Copenhagen, and the Dallas Art Fair. He has been a featured artist in New American Paintings, and his work has appeared in Beautiful Decay, Flaunt Magazine, and the Huffington Post. Schoening’s work is in the collections of the Decordova Museum and Third Point Management among others. Mark received his BFA in painting from Massachusetts College of Art and his MFA from the University of Minnesota. Mark is a visiting lecturer in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota, and runs The Porch Gallery; a seasonal exhibition space in Minneapolis.…

New - CLA Alumni Access!

New for Fall 2018!

Alumni access to the XYZ Lab is available for CLA alumni only, in the support of their continued artistic practice post-graduation. Alumni access is dependent on technician and machine availability throughout the Academic year, as enrolled students will always have XYZ Lab priority.

CLA Alumni MUST make an appointment at least one day in advance to use the XYZ Lab. To make an appointment, e-mail Robin Schwartzman at

Tamsie Ringler's Cast Iron River Lee

This summer, Term Assistant Professor of Sculpture (and foundry master!) Tamsie Ringler has been working in collaboration with the XYZ Lab to help produce a 3D map of the River Lee in Ireland. We'll walk you through the process, from file work to CNC. If you'd like to read more about the entire project, you can visit the National Scuplture Factory.

We started with a simple silhouette of the river and brought it into Adobe Illustrator.
In Illustrator, we went through a process of Live Tracing the river and turning it into a series of vector lines. Then, we brought the file into Rhino to break it into smaller segments that would fit on the CNC router.

From here, we added some toolpathing to the curves using a 7 degree draft angle bit and did a few preview simulations.
Next, we were ready to move to the CNC router. We chose pink insulation foam as the material to cut because it's lightweight, would pack well in a sand mold and would travel well overseas. However, it took many…

Visit us at Maker Faire!

We'll be at MSP Maker Faire at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 2nd from 10am-6pm. Come on by and visit our outdoor booth to learn more about the XYZ Lab, the Department of Art and see what our students have been up to this year. We'll see you there!

ARTS 3890/5890 Final Projects - Spring 2018

Maya Dailey

Anna Van Voorhis

Matt Weber

Van Hoang

Alex Castrodale

Vlad Gruin