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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some commonly asked questions about the Kao Innovation & Collaboration Studio. If you can’t find the answer to your question below, feel free to email or come in during our normal work hours.

Where is Kao ICS?

The Kao ICS is located in G166 Zeanah Engineering Complex.

When can I come in?

The Kao ICS is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you need to schedule a time outside of normal hours to meet with a staff member, you can fill out the access request form.

We follow the University of Tennessee’s holiday and administrative closing schedule and also close for semesters-end maintenance for five work days leading up to “Study Day” before final exams start. Due to the Kao ICS Consultants being off and limited staff is on hand, we will be open during spring, summer, fall and winter breaks but on a case-by-case basis. Please plan accordingly and come during times of full operation to get trained up before Study Day. Email us if you have any questions.

What can I make?

We do have the right to refuse to create certain objects, parts, or files. These include but are not limited to anything that could be considered a weapon according to UT’s “Student Code of Conduct” section 4.17 “weapons”, improperly sliced prints, overly large prints, or anything that is considered “out of reason” to our technicians.

All suspicious activity will be reported to the appropriate authorities and/or lead to permanent suspension from the Min H. & Yu Fan Kao Innovation & Collaboration Studio. This includes but are not limited to lightsaber hilts, sword blades, gun barrels, and more. Please visit the Kao ICS or email if you have questions on what can and cannot be made.

Do I have to pay for any materials I use?

Generally, no. The purpose of the Kao ICS is to help students create their own projects for both personal and academic use, and we try to remove costs as a barrier to making these projects happen. However, we ask that if you plan on using a large amount of material, you either purchase your own materials or consult with our staff if you plan on using a large amount of material.

How large can I 3D print my objects?

The Kao ICS has implemented a 20 hour per week with a 10 part limit for the 3D printers. This rule will ensure equal access to our free filament and printers. Note that it includes all parts printed, regardless of failure, cancellation, completion, or other actions outside of special circumstances. If you have gone over this limit, please contact us at or stop by at G166 Zeanah Engineering Complex. Refer to our 3D printing information to read more about what volume our printers can handle.

Do I have to be an engineering student to participate?

Everyone is welcome in the Kao ICS. However, the materials that we make available for 3D printing are funded by engineering course fees, and as a result, we prefer that non-engineering students provide their own filament for 3D printing.

If you are involved in a research group outside of the Tickle College of Engineering and wish to use our facilities, please contact Tom Duong to request permission.

I have never used ___ before. How can I learn?

We’re always eager to help students learn new tools. Just come in during open hours, and consult with one of our staff! Please check the page for the equipment you plan to use for additional safety requirements.

Can Maker’s Club help me with my school projects?

No. The Maker’s Club only helps students with personal and club/organization projects.