There is an access form for Senior Design Lab — you will be sent the link once you have enrolled.

Lab Policy

We have taken a lot of care to create the lab policy because it’s not only important for you to be safe, but it’s also important to be mindful and leave the space in good shape for fellow students. Our labs are a place for discovery, but they are also a place you’ll want to hang out with fellow students, so it’s easy to get casual. Be kind and keep things neat for each other. Okay, read the policy.

Parts Ordering

For your group project, please use our form to place your parts order. When your parts arrive we will send you an email. You can check on the status of your order on this spreadsheet.

Software Ordering

Please use the same form for software—we may occasionally ask you to buy a license to make it easier for installation, but we will reimburse you. 

3D Printing and Laser Cutting – Detkin Lab/Sr. Design Makerspace

For smaller projects we have 3D-printers and a laser-cutter, but they are operated by our staff and lab assistants only. Please fill out a form to have your design made.

3D Printing and Laser Cutting – SEAS

For larger projects, you can send requests directly to the AddLab ( and ask for an estimate before printing. AddLab staff recommends printing on their Prusa or MakerBots until something more precise is needed. This will keep costs down and parts will be printed expediently. When you send an email to print3d@seas, please copy eseseniordesign@seas on the request.

Laser-cutting is provided free of charge to engineering students—check out the RPL facilities.

Additional 3D Printing and Makerspaces on Penn’s Campus

Education Commons (located near the Palestra)

Biomedical Libraries

Tangen Hall:this exciting DIY building offers a membership for Penn students through its Venture Labs program. You must receive training to operate equipment.

ESE Senior Design Standards and Compliance

Engineering standards are important in senior design experience-it provides emphasis on constraints, stakeholder needs and compliance that can result in much more robust final product. Even though you may not familiar with compliance of engineering standards, several technologies that are in use today will not be able to operate without strict guidelines (WiFi, 802.11 standards) from engineering standards. IEEE-SA, ASTM, AAMI, and ISO 9001 are some of the most well known engineering standards organization.
A helpful resource for conducting standards searches can be found at www., and discusses the value of standards.

As part of the requirement of ESE Senior Design your team will be required to explore and search for engineering standards that may apply to your project. Here is an excellent paper on including “Standards” in your capstone project.
Commonly found examples include:

  • Standards required to comply with FDA requirements for use of medical diagnostic products.
  • Management of patient data compliance (even if it is deidentified). This will be important to teams collaborating with UPHS or School of Medicine.
  • Teams that collaborate with companies off campus that have  ISO 9001 design control standards in place. You may be required to follow documentation requirements from the sponsor company as well.
  • Teams that collaborate with a team of researchers who are associated with a proposed activity that constitutes “human research” will need IRB approval. See Penn’s approval page here.

You will indicate the Engineering Standards/Compliance as part of the Senior Design Report in Fall and Spring. The Standards should also be included in the final 8min presentation in spring (ESE 451), and the  posters that will be displayed as part of the final demo day.  If the project does not fall into a standard that can be applied towards your project you need to explain it in your report. 

Safety Agreement Form for Project Building Remotely (this agreement is necessary for any team that is receiving parts as part of ESE senior design))

  • If your project needs to be constructed at home/off-campus location:
    • Lab staff will send you parts needed to build the projects.
    • You will need to submit the required safety agreement form for project building.
  • If the project requires soldering, there are additional precautions.

Safety Tips for Home Soldering

The following soldering+safety kit will be sent to team members who need to have soldering access for their senior design project.

Solder Kit: solder station, eye-wear, gloves, vent fan, desolder pump, solder, GFCI outlet.

Soldering Safety

  • A soldering iron is over 400°— stay away from the element and tip
  • Wear provided protective goggles and gloves as solder can flick
  • Don’t let the iron’s tip touch the cord
  • Dampen the sponge in your base and clean the iron’s tip frequently
  • Always return your iron back to its stand as it will burn your tabletop
  • Use tweezers and gloves when handling wires as they conduct heat
  • Make sure to turn your iron off and unplug it when finished
  • If you are in a house with young children or pets, move the iron to a safe place to cool (a room with a closed door)

Parts Safety

  • Components can explode or pop if subjected to voltages and current beyond their specifications
    • Electrolytic capacitors are polarized and can explode if used incorrectly. DO NOT exceed the voltage rating for electrolytic capacitors, as they may explode.
    • Some LEDs crack or pop when they are used without current-limiting resistors.
  • Some components in a circuit can get quite hot even though they are functioning properly. For example, linear voltage regulator ICs are often bolted to heat sinks to cool them down. Without a heat sink some of these ICs will get hot enough to cause severe burns.
  • Never make any DIRECT connections between circuits in your experiments and the AC outlets!
  • Do not work with power supply connected to the circuit, while debugging a problem.

Personal Safety while using devices intended for medical use

  • For help with design of senior design projects, ESE Senior design will be able to buy certain products from marketplace intended for improving design experience of the team. No such devices are allowed to be used invasively or connected electrically (e.g. electrodes) to the human body. Violation of this safety could result in a serious accident or injury to the team members and others.

Workspace/Personal Safety

  • Plug the soldering iron into a grounded socket and USE THE PROVIDED GFCI CABLE
  • Work on a fire-proof surface
  • Wear provided protective eye wear, gloves and wear cotton or fireproof clothing—especially on arms/leg
  • Use only lead-free solder
  • Work in a ventilated area (with kit’s vent fan)keep your head to the side of fumes (can be an irritant for asthma)
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water after soldering
  • Know where your fire extinguisher is and how to use it

First Aid

  • If burned, place affected area under cool water for 15 minutes and apply a bandage
  • If the area is larger than 3” seek medical help