How would you equip and arrange a new project / prop construction room?


I work at a Junior College and am seeking advice on how best to layout and equip a new project / prop construction shop. It will be built as part of a larger expansion project of our existing fine arts building and is expected to be around 250-300SF. This area will be a luxury and may get cut, but I would like to plan it out regardless.

My ideas for this space include 3d printer(s), laser cutter, cricut machine, an assortment of hand tools, hardware, paint, and upholstery tools. How would you equip this prop making / project room? What items are must haves, luxuries, and dream items? Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. If you have photos or floor plans that you could provide that would be amazing. Thanks!

P.S. We are working with a Consultant on this project. Also, I will be posting similar posts for a costume shop, and scene shop, so if you can help with those areas as well please do so.


Renaissance Man
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We love our laser cutter and vinyl cutter. Those get used a lot. We have yet to actually need the 3-d printer for theatrical purposes. We have a bunch of hot-glue guns that get a lot of usage as well as an assortment of hand tools and battery powered drills and jig-saws. We also have a band saw and bench sander that get used daily. I can grab some pictures later today if needed.


Well-Known Member
If you're including a laser cutter, don't forget to account for proper ventilation in the room design! To some extent that may also be a concern for the 3D printer (depending on the type of filament you want to use and how heavily it will be used).


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Much like my post in the other thread about your scene shop, layout and logistics are paramount. Use of space, is this room used only as a functional prop shop? Or is this where the prop making class is taught? If its a classroom as well, you'll probably set it up differently than if its just a working shop.

Maybe the biggest question is, What does your department consider a "prop"? My old shop called anything that wasn't stationary a 'prop'. That fake grand piano the shop built was a prop. What is furniture, props or scenery? You need different space and layout reqs if you're reupholstering couches rather than just fixing antique table lamps and building enchanted hand mirrors.

Often, special fx are in the prop's domain. Access to water and a drain nearby is really useful. My college prop shop was close enough to the stage that they would set up a little kitchen when necessary to prep practical food for the show. One play needed a character to bring a dead rabbit back from a hunting trip. Director hated the fake dead rabbit, so we got a real one. Its nice to be able to accommodate most asks.

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