Digital Commons

The Digital Commons, located on the basement level of Gould Hall, consists of Windows 60 computer workstations and a 32-seat classroom. Scanners, printers, and plotters, as well as projectors and meeting areas, allow students to collaborate in small group settings.  To explore software available in the Digital Commons visit the Software + Application Server page.

COVID-19 note:  Until further notice, there will be only 16 workstations available for in-person use in the Digital Commons.  These workstations include the ones controlling the large format scanner and a tabloid scanner.  All other workstations, and the entire Digital Commons Classroom will only be available via the CBE Remote Access lab.

Operations Updates

CBE Faculty, Staff, and Students

Remote access to computers in the Digital Commons is available using the CBE Remote service. See for details.

The Digital Commons Classroom is unavailable during Spring quarter 2021, so that its computers can be dedicated to the CBE Remote service. To maintain appropriate distancing, in-person capacity of the Digital Commons lab outside the classroom is limited to 16. The remaining computers have been added to the CBE Remote pool.

If you’re planning to visit from off-campus, please call (206-543-8531) or email ( ahead of time to make sure someone will be there, since the situation changes rapidly.


  • Windows 10 (~16 machines in-person, ~75 machines via CBE Remote)
  • Scanners: standard, tabloid, large format (40-inch)
  • Plotter: 36-inch wide, heavy coated paper (pay with Husky Card (on-site) or Visa/MC (service bureau))
  • Printer: color, duplex, letter/legal/tabloid (pay with Husky Card)
  • Wacom Intuos3 Graphics Tablets (available for in-lab use from help desk)
  • Faculty loaner equipment pick-up/drop-off (at help desk)


  • Contex Large Format Scanner
    Recommended Settings:

    • Resolution: 150 dpi
    • Color Depth: 24 bit
    • B/W: Graytone

    When using tracing paper with the large format scanner, use fixed paper width (preferred) and a white backing sheet (cut off what you need from the roll above the large cutter, use trace tape on leading edge and sides).

  • Epson GT-15000 Tabloid Scanner (use VueScan software)


Dawg Prints Self-Serve Printers

UW Creative Communications has placed two self-serve printers in Gould Hall.

A color laser printer is located in the Digital Commons (007 Gould).

A monochrome laser printer is located at the east end of the BE Library (334 Gould).  This printer will be unavailable during Autumn Quarter 2020, as the BE Library will be closed to in-person use.

CBE lab/studio computers have drivers for these already installed. You can get driver installation packages for installation on your Mac or Windows computer by going to the UW Creative Communications link.

Paper sizes and prices (payment options: Husky Card, Dawg Prints Card, or Department Card (for CBE faculty/staff)) are below.  If your print job fails due to problems with the Dawg Prints system, you may be able to get a refund by filling out an online Refund Request Form on the Creative Communications site.

paper size

black & white

black & white



8.5″ x 11″ (letter)





8.5″ x 14″ (legal)





11″ x 17″ (tabloid)






Color Plotter

Tips for plotting in the Digital Commons (PDF).

The Digital Commons has an HP DesignJet Z6810 plotter with 36-inch wide paper (35 pound, heavy coated paper (roll), matte finish (ASTM D-523)) that can be accessed from computers in the Gould Hall computing labs (as “Student Color Plotter”) and remotely via the CBE Remote Access lab. Since this is a delicate piece of equipment, it is not self-serve like the Dawg Prints printer.

To address COVID-19 related issues, there are now two ways of plotting and paying for plots on the Gould Hall plotter:

  1. The traditional method of plotting using one of the in-person workstations in the Digital Commons, or one of the CBE Remote Access lab machines.  After you send your plot to the Student Color Plotter using this method, you’ll need to review it with a consultant at the Digital Commons help desk before it is released for plotting.  For Winter quarter, we plan to staff the Digital Commons help desk Monday through Friday from 9am until 5:30pm with a break from 12:30pm – 1:30pm. Since the COVID situation changes rapidly, please contact CBE Computing (, 206-543-8531) to coordinate.  Pickup and payment are also at the Digital Commons help desk.  Payment is by Husky Card.
  2. We have added a limited-contact Service Bureau option for people who are able to come into Gould Hall but do not wish to come down to the Digital Commons.  Using this method, you can submit PDF files to a shared Google Drive folder to be processed by student staff members.  Student staff will accept files, check them to ensure that they will plot correctly, and will communicate with you to let you know the cost and how to pay.  In this case, payment is done on-line using a credit card (Visa or MasterCard).

Submitted PDF files must be named with the submittal date (mm_dd format), your NetID, and the course number for which the plot is being produced, according to this convention:  mm_dd_NetID_DeptCourseNumber.pdf .  A sample file might be named 09_28_uwhusky_arch529.pdf .

Drop the file in the CBE Digital Commons plotting inbox.  A student member of our staff will be in touch with you with any questions, and to arrange payment and pickup.

Completed work may be picked up from the alcove next to Gould 117, near the water fountain.

Please send any questions to CBE Computing, at

The plotter is intended for use by BE students. However, individuals outside BE (but associated with the University of Washington) may visit the Digital Commons and plot to the plotter on a non-interfering basis, with the understanding that non-BE plot jobs will be lowered in priority to accommodate BE student needs. Please note that the BE plotting service is not able to support large-volume plotting for classes outside the College of Built Environments. Non-BE classes needing plotting services should use the general-access facilities elsewhere at the UW.

Plots are limited to a maximum length of 120 inches (10 feet). Pricing:

price per running foot

Students/Faculty/Staff in BE departments


Other UW Students/Faculty/Staff (special COVID-19 pricing)


The length of a plot is measured by the length of paper used, not the image size on the plot. Please note that if you produce a plot, you’ll need to pay for it unless there’s a problem with the system that caused it to plot incorrectly. So please preview your plots to be sure that you’re sending what you intend to send to the plotter.

Digital Commons Help Desk Schedule