Introduction: Pier 9 Resource: Autodesk's Pier 9 Workshop

About: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

This Instructable is for anyone interested in Autodesk's Pier 9 Workshop.

The Pier 9 Workshop has a brand new website!

Please visit us HERE for current projects, events, and updates about the happenings at the workshop. For more information about the Artist in Residence Program, please see their new site, or fantastic vimeo channel.

As of 08.2015, this instructable will no longer be maintained.


Welcome to the Pier 9 Workshop!

We are excited to open the doors to this world-class fabrication facility on the San Francisco Bay.

Our state-of-the-art facility exists to serve three main goals:

  • The interface between software and hardware is becoming more important to how people design and make things, and thus more important to our business. Deeply understanding this connection requires hands-on experience. We have many high-end, production-level machines because we expect even consumer-level hardware to very soon have extremely sophisticated capabilities.
  • We want to create a place to demonstrate and showcase the things we make, be it software, hardware, or ideally, the combination of both.
  • We intend to explore and push the boundaries of our software and hardware tools, and to create an environment where people try and succeed in doing what is currently thought impossible. While it is extremely rare that production-level tools are available in a non-production environment, it is just this type of environment that fosters innovation.

The workshop is primarily open to employees and artists-in-residence. We expect that they will amaze and surprise us with their creations, and inspire the tools we build, our customers, and us.

Our facilities include: a cutting edge digital fabrication lab, a woodworking shop, a metalworking shop, a 3D printing lab, laser cutting and printing capabilities, an electronics workshop, a commercial test kitchen, and an industrial sewing center as well as smaller specialty project areas.

Step 1: Becoming a Shop User

If you are an Autodesk Employee and would like to become a shop User, the first step is to take the Global Workshop Safety Training (online ~1hour) that is offered through the Employee Learning Center (ELC). After completing this course, you will be prompted to sign-up for the On-site Pier 9 Orientation. Once you have completed both portions, you will be granted badge access to the workshop, allowed use of hand tools and portable tools, and you will have access to give tours of the workshop to visitors.

Sign up for the Global Workshop Safety Training to get started.

This pair of online and onsite trainings is a mandatory prerequisite for use of the shop at any level and is required before taking the individual Machine Training Courses.

If you would like access to the Commercial Test Kitchen, follow the steps outlined in the Kitchen Instructable.

Step 2: Shop Tours

All Autodesk employees who have taken Global Workshop Safety Training and the Onsite Pier 9 Orientation can lead tours through the shop!

Scheduling a group tour of the Pier 9 Workshop:

Step 1: Find a tour guide

  • Tour groups are responsible for locating and securing their own approved tour guide. Anyone who has taken General Workshop Safety is approved to be a tour guide.
  • Interested in learning how to guide a tour through our workshop? Sign up for Docent Training.

Step 2: Submit the Tour Request Form

Step 3: Tour Approval by Pier 9 Workshop Staff

  • You will receive a confirmation email from the Pier 9 Workshop staff letting you know whether your tour has been approved. This will include relevant information regarding trainings or events that may affect your tour.

Tour Guidelines:

  • Tour groups are responsible for arranging their own approved tour guide.
  • Anyone who has taken General Workshop Safety is approved to lead a tour.
  • Tour groups that exceed 20 attendees must be split into multiple groups, each with their own tour guide.
  • All tour attendees must wear closed toed shoes to go inside the workshop.
  • A typical tour takes 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Tours can be as long or as short as you and your tour guides decide.
  • All Tour Participants are required to sign individual safety waivers as well as the Pier 9 guest log upon arrival. If you would like to distribute the safety waiver ahead of time, check the box on the Tour Request Form to do so.
  • For more in-depth Visitor Safety information, click here to download the Autodesk Visitor Safety Pamphlet.

Step 3: Tool Trainings

All Training Courses are administered on site in our Pier 9 Workshop. The prerequisite for these machine Training Courses is the Global Workshop Safety Training paired with the Onsite Pier 9 Orientation.

We have an incredible selection of machine courses on offer. You can elect to take any combination of trainings that are relevant to your work and interests.

  • User Meets Machine provides a detailed list of the Training Courses, time required, and machines covered.
  • You can sign up for all of our courses by searching for 'Pier 9' in the Employee Learning Center (ELC). You will need an Autodesk employee ID and login to gain access to this site and the courses will be charged to your department's Cost Center.
  • The Training Course Calendar will show you all of our upcoming classes.

Our Machine Catalog provides a detailed inventory of the tools we have in the workshop.

Our Training Courses include:

3D Print Shop

  • Epilog Lasercutter Training (2hrs)
  • Metabeam Lasercutter Training (2hrs)
  • Objet 3D Printer (3hrs)
  • M-Core 3D Printer (2hrs)
  • Vacuum Forming Training (2hrs)

Digital Fabrication Shop:

  • Omax Waterjet Training (4hrs)
  • ShopBot Router Training (3hrs)
  • HAAS Mill Training (2hrs)
  • HAAS Lathe Training (2hrs)
  • DMS Router Training (5hrs)
  • Mori Seiki Mill Training (20hrs)


  • Basic Woodshop Training (2hrs)
  • Wood Lathe training (2hrs)
  • Advanced Woodshop Training (router table, planer, jointer) (2hrs)
  • Paint Booth (4hrs)


  • Basic Metalshop Training (2hrs)
  • Metal Mill Training (3hrs)
  • Metal Lathe Training (3hrs)
  • Bender/Brake Training (2hrs)
  • Mig Welding training (2hrs)
  • Tig Welding training (2hrs)
  • Aluminum Welding training (2hrs)

Step 4: Workshop Rules + Hours

Using the Shop
Our goal is to make the shop space empowering, safe, inspiring, and easy to use. Shop Staff and Shoparones are all here to provide project guidance and general good attitudes. Please ask questions, assist other Users, and make this an awesome place to be! Don’t hesitate to let Shop Management know if we can improve the shops in any way by emailing

Shop Hours
9:00am – 6:00pm, regular business days (Shop Staff will be on duty)

Workshop Access

  • A Shoparone or Shop Staff member must be present at the Pier at all times.

EXCEPTION: 3D PRINTS. You may schedule, retrieve or clean a print at any time without a Shoparone.

  • There must always be someone in the shop with you, within earshot (not at their computer 300ft away). This can either be a Shop Staff member, the Shoparone on duty, OR another User who's working in the shop.

    EXCEPTION: LASERCUTTERS. You may work on the lasercutters alone if there is someone downstairs (CNC room or Woodshop) that can be quickly alerted in case of fire, etc. (earshot). Shoparone or Shop Staff must also be on duty at the Pier.

    After Hours Access

  • Check the Shoparone Calendar to see if the workshop will be staffed.
  • To request shop coverage:
    • add a calendar event titled: REQUEST
    • include your name and contact information
    • To gain editor access to the calendar, send an email request to
  • To request 24hr badge access, email with information about your project, expected use of the shop, and need for 24hr access.

Project Storage

  • Pier 9 has limited project storage. Please talk with Shop Management in advance of starting a large project so we can strategize and assist.
  • All users can put in-progress work into the grey Akro bins in the outdoor container. Clearly label this bin with your name, phone and email.
  • Workbenches are periodically cleared by staff. If your project needs to be left out overnight (glue ups, etc), please label with your name, phone and email.


  • Do you already spend a lot of time working in the shop? Do you love helping people with projects and getting to know our machines? Then join the shop team and become a Shoparone! Email
  • Shoparones assist with the shop in many ways, primarily by overseeing the workshop outside of Shop Staff hours (nights/weekends).
  • All Shoparones and Shop Staff are trained to respond to emergencies on site.
  • This designation requires roughly 20 hours of safety training (offered periodically) that includes: Hazardous Spill Response, First Aid/CPR, Fire Extinguisher Operation, and Emergency Response Training. Some Shoparones also elect to get certified in Forklift Driving and Hazardous Waste Handling (not required).

Chemical Safety
If you plan to work with chemicals or purchase chemicals for use at Pier 9, please refer to the links below. Check back periodically as the Approved list is continually updated.

Pier 9 Approved Chemical List - lists all chemicals allowed on-site, their storage location, and links to the MSDS sheets.
New Chemical Request Form - Fill out this form to obtain approval of a chemical that is not currently on the approved list.

Paint Booth Use/Training

  • All paints and adhesives must be used in the paint booth. This minimizes personal chemical exposure, reduces fire risk, keeps our shop clean, and keeps us in compliance with the environmental regulations of the city, state, and Port Authority.
  • Basic Paint Booth Operation training is available frequently and incudes information about our chemical purchasing and hazardous waste processes.
  • You can sign up for this training on the ELC.

Commercial Test Kitchen Access

To gain access to the Test Kitchen, please follow the steps outlined in the Kitchen Instructable and read through the guidelines for working in that space.

Shop Ground Rules

  • the shop is open only when there is a Shop Staff Member or a Shoparone present at Pier 9
  • never work in the shop alone, always have someone within earshot
  • be safe, be smart, be awesome
  • look smart by wearing your safety gear at all times
  • Shop Staff is always here to help, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance, advice or a morale booster
  • always clean up after yourself, a good shop user leaves all workspaces cleaner than they found them
  • put all scrap and waste material in the appropriate recycling or waste container, use the labeled shop vacs, and alert staff to any hazardous waste
  • return all tools to their original locations when you are done with them
  • place in-progress projects into grey bins in the project container outside and label the bin clearly with your name and contact info
  • workbenches will be cleared daily, label your workspace if you are continuing work the following day!
  • only use tools you are approved to use, operating tools you have not been trained on will result in your shop access being turned off
  • if you are bringing any chemicals to the workshop, including: finishes, liquids, adhesives, solvents or cleaning fluids, you must bring them to the Shop Manager or EHS Manager (Environmental Health and Safety) for approval.
  • no unauthorized users are allowed in the shop
  • as a Workshop User, you may lead tours for visitors. All visitors must wear safety gear and sign the waiver. Visitors cannot touch equipment or be in the shop unaccompanied by a Shop User.

For more in-depth information on all Pier 9 Safety Procedures, click here to view the Pier 9 Safety Manual.

Step 5: Tooling and Machines

Our Machine Catalog details the incredible collection of machines and tools in our workshop. Autodesk employees can sign up for a training courses a'la carte to learn any of the individual machines in our facility.

User Meets Machine is a guide to the Training options, including information on the length of the training and the machines covered in each course.

Machine Training Manuals for all of our courses can be downloaded individually with an Autodesk ID and login.

Step 6: Initiating a Project

Keep in mind when initiating a project in the Workshop: our Staff can provide you with Training and Access to the tools, Users bring the rest!

Take a look at some of the instructables and projects currently being made in our shops in the Pier 9 Group and the Artist in Residence Group.

Our Machine Catalog details the machine inventory in the workshop and may help you determine how you would like to produce your project.

When planning your project, remember:

  • Users must bring personal project materials
  • we do not provide shipping or receiving for project materials
  • large-scale projects need to be cleared with Shop Staff in advance
  • no liquids/chemicals are allowed in the shops unless approved by the EHS Manager
  • please refer to our Approved Chemical List in advance
  • request for project materials to gain approval using our Chemical Approval Request Form
  • use our handy guide to Purchasing Project Materials at Pier 9 for reference

To discuss a project in depth, email the Shop Staff

For questions regarding hazardous materials, or chemicals in the shops, email our Environmental Health and Safety Manager.

Step 7: Additional Resources

Shop Access Instructions: Becoming a Shop User

Sign up for Global Workshop Safety Training

See the Calendar of upcoming Training Courses

Sign up for Machine Training Courses offered at Pier 9

Downloadable pdf catalog of all Machine Training Manuals

Schedule a tour using the Shop Tour Request Form

Project Questions: Initiating a Project and/or email with specific questions

Projects being made at Pier 9: Pier 9 Group or the Artist in Residence Group

List of all Tools and Required Trainings: User Meets Machine

Catalog of all Shop Machines: Machine Catalog

Guide to Purchasing Project Materials at Pier 9

Guidelines for getting certifyCertification process for using the Commercial Test Kitchen

Approved Chemical List for the workshop

Request for New Chemical Approval

Pier 9 Safety Manual

Emails to will be delivered to:

  • Noah Weinstein - Creative Programs Manager
  • J Sassaman - Shop Manager and Creative Projects
  • Joy Johnson - Shop Coordinator
  • Julia Cabral - Environmental Health and Safety Manager