What is Nolop?
Nolop is a makerspace for everyone at Tufts that opened in January 2019. It’s funded by the engineering school, but if you have a Tufts ID, you can use it too. We’re trying pretty hard to be welcoming to all comers.

We have tools of all sorts, from laser cutters and 3D printers to drills and saws. Normally, for most of the tools, you can just walk in, read some basic instructions, and start building. For a few particularly dangerous tools, we ask you to take our safety training.

Is Nolop an acronym, like “NOLOP”?

No, it’s a last name. The Nolop makerspace was created in memory of Keith Nolop, whose nephews attended Tufts. The same family also created the Nolop Institute for Medical Biology at the University of South Dakota.

But what is Nolop like?

Here’s a quick panorama shot during the December frenzy, in which everybody is trying to finish their projects before winter break. This was around 5 PM on a Monday. Earlier in the semester, and most mornings, the place is far less busy.

Look at the About page for more pictures of Nolop.

Where are you?
Near the cafe in the SEC. See also more detailed directions to Nolop.

When is Nolop open?
Roughly speaking, 9 AM to 11 PM every day, but a little less on weekends. Check the hours page for specific details.

Can I get a tour?
You’re welcome to stop by any time we’re open and take a look around, but we might be too busy teaching to answer questions. If you’d like to schedule a tour for a group, please email brandon.stafford@tufts.edu.

What tools do you have?
We currently have:

  • woodworking tools, like a table saw and a drill press
  • rapid prototyping tools, like a laser cutter and 3D printers
  • electronics tools, like oscilloscopes and soldering irons
  • general hand tools, like drills, screwdrivers, and pliers

More specifically, we have these tools:

Laser cutterUniversalVLS 3.6021000.00
Table sawSawstopICS53230-364499.00
Vertical bandsawLaguna18CX2999.00
Sheet metal shearTennsmithT36-162310.21
CNC routerInventablesX-Carve 750mm1799.00
Drill pressPowermaticPM2800B1599.99
Sheet metal brakeTennsmithHBU48-161546.88
Dust collectorLagunaP-Flux 11529.10
3D printerPrusai3 MK3 kit750.00
Miter sawDewaltDW717489.99
Scroll sawDewaltDW788489.00
Soldering ironHakkoFX951-66256.99
Cordless brad nailerDewaltDCN680246.51
Air cleanerLevoitLV-PUR131179.99
Cordless drillDewaltDCD791B132.05
Hot wire cutterProxxon37080125.00
Cordless circular sawDewaltDCS571121.26
Drill/jigsaw batteryDewaltDCB20733.77

What do you NOT have?
In general, we don’t want to duplicate advanced, expensive tools that you can already get access to elsewhere on campus. In particular, we do not have:

  • precision metalworking tools, like the mill and lathe you can find in Bray
  • precision test equipment, like the spectrum analysers you can find in Halligan
  • chemicals for which you need a fume hood, like you can find elsewhere in the SEC

How can I get started using the tools?
Walk in the door, look at the person at the desk to the right, and say, “Hello. I would like some help making something.” We’ll talk over what you need and how you might go about making what you’re imagining.

What if I don’t have time to learn how to use tools? Can you just make this thing for me?
Maybe we’ll have a program like that some day, but generally, the point of a makerspace is for you to learn how to make stuff. If you just need something fabricated, talk to one of the innumerable fabricators in the area and offer them money to do the work. It does not make sense for Tufts to try to compete with local machinists, woodworkers, and the like, by repurposing teaching staff in high-rent real estate.