Cambridge Polymer Labs was created as a result of the research of three CIT graduate students, Jon Elwood, Ericka Elwood-Woolum and Wilfred Bergman. The company worked in defense solutions and research for the military. Jon Elwood became the director of the facility and was married to Ericka Woolum. The company had been working on a new piece of power armor before the bombs fell. They were on a military contract to produce this power armor for soldiers fighting in the war.
When the bombs were dropped, Jon Elwood was told by the military that only essential personnel would be given a military escort to safety. Because of this, he locked the scientists, including his wife, into their labs until the project was completed. If the team was able to complete the project, Elwood would have reached out to his contact in the military and received a safe escape. Unfortunately, he kept every scientist besides his wife out of the loop with what had truly transpired above them, fearing that it would send them into a panic and they would be unable or unwilling to complete the project.
This act of deception widened conflicts between the scientists and ultimately led to the deaths of a portion of the research team and the ghoulification of the remainder.
When first entering the polymer labs, directly to the left is the orientation room, where Molly briefs the Sole Survivor on a job acquired in the quest Cambridge Polymer Labs. Before entering the orientation room, the male and female restrooms are located to the right. To the right lies a passage that brings the player character to the clean room and allows access to the rest of the facility. Behind the service desk is a storage area and a door to the right of the player character. This door brings the player character upstairs to more storage areas to the immediate right of the top of the staircase, as well as an office location to the far left of the second floor. In the center of the 2nd floor is the director's office. A terminal is located within that further explains what happened before the destruction of the building.
The research area has a layout like a vault. On the first floor, as well as the second floor the Sole Survivor will find several numbered samples containers for the Cambridge Polymer Labs quest. A glowing one can be found in a highly irradiated area near the northernmost section of the first floor. This is also the location of the U-238 also needed for the quest.
There is a "polymer coating applicator" machine that can combine polymers and isotopes on the first floor after radioactive decontamination. Isotopes and polymers can be found throughout the area.
From room C1, a passageway has been made along ventilation pipes to the other side of the labs, in order to gain access to the locked room C3 holding the radioactive containment password. At the end of the pipe system, Ericka Elwood-Woolum's skeletal remains are found.
Experiment samples numbers & namesEdit
The Piezonucleic power armor can be created once by combining "U-238" with "Sample 611 Gold" and "Sample 3111 Lithium hydride."
- Massachusetts Surgical Journal issue #6 - In the director's office (Master locked door) on the second floor, next to a computer terminal. Key to the room can be obtained from Molly.
- Vault-Tec lunchbox - When entering the building head straight back to the wall and on the right one will find it on the counter.
- Piezonucleic power armor - Reward for completing the experiment.
- Hazmat suit - In the southwestern-most room (the room immediately left of room C4), on the first floor of the room where the player character first encounters the feral ghouls.
- Fusion core - In the west corner of the director's office on the second floor within a display case.
- Research Samples.
- Unidentified sample 49 (cobalt) - 2nd floor, the room (room C1) on the east catwalk, on the desk with the skeleton wearing the trilby hat.
- Unidentified sample 611 (gold) - 2nd floor, the room off of the (collapsed) west catwalk, on the desk next to the active computer terminal.
- Unidentified sample 11317 (hydrochloric acid) - In the first room on the polymer coating applicator machine.
- Unknown sample 3111 (lithium hydride)- In the same room as the hazmat suit (just south of room C4).
- Unidentified sample 413 (gallium) - In the first-floor room (room C4) directly across from the room with the polymer coating applicator.
- Unidentified sample 65 (tungsten) - In the northwestern-most first floor room. The Sole Survivor needs to go through the room with an unidentified sample 413 to get there.
- U-238 can be found in the isotope containment chamber. One can unlock it via the terminal in C5 (which can be accessed via room C4; one can confirm which room is which by reading room numbers on the walls). The isotope containment chamber is the room immediately to the left of room C2, or rather it's the room immediately to the right of the staircase if facing the said staircase. Be sure to have Rad-X/RadAway/a hazmat suit before entering as there will be a glowing one inside as well. Across the radioactive "pond," there is a shelf that has a single test tube in a rack which is the U-238.
- Suicide note - Next to the skeleton of Tom Franklin on the 2nd floor in the research area. The skeleton wears a hat, a pair of sunglasses and is next to a teacup and a box of rat poison.
- Radioactive containment password - A holotape on the counter in room C3. Gives access to the isotope containment terminal in the room below it, C5.
- Depending on one's answer to Molly's interview, they may receive different items according to their job title. The janitor will receive a jumpsuit and a mop, sales will receive dirty tan suit and a pen, research personnel will receive a lab coat and battered clipboard and security personnel will receive dirty army fatigues, patrolman sunglasses, and a baton. If the speech check is failed, the player character is assigned as a lab assistant and receives a lab coat and a battered clipboard.
- One will not be able to drop the samples after the quest Cambridge Polymer Labs ends. The solution is to ask a companion to inspect the reagent in the tube then Inspect Chemical Reagent will appear. Then place another reagent in the tube while the first reagent is still in the tube. Keep asking your companion to inspect the tube, then place another reagent in the tube until all reagent quest items are removed from the inventory.
- A player character can use the computer to identify each sample by placing each sample in the tube but despite one sample being called gold, it cannot be used in crafting.
- There is only one correct combination placed into the Polymer Coating Applicator that produces any result: Lithium hydride, gold, and U-238. Any other combination will cause an error message on the terminal and will produce nothing.
- Cambridge polymer labs are a good source of crystal, which can be found in microscopes.
- An eyebot can be met in the wasteland playing recordings of recruitment ads for the labs.
- If one fast travels to Cambridge Polymer Labs and runs along the road on the left until reaching a lawnmower and returns back, a random encounter will appear every time. Eventually, random encounters will stop spawning here as there is only a limited amount that will spawn before stopping, like at every random encounter location.
- During the orientation, Molly will state that the lab assisted in creating Liberty Prime, which was vital in the defense of Anchorage. However, in Fallout 3, terminal entries state that Liberty Prime wasn't even ready when they were taking back Anchorage, meaning that Liberty Prime was never in Anchorage.
Cambridge Polymer Labs appears only in Fallout 4.
Behind the scenesEdit
Cambridge Polymer Labs does advanced research for the United States military. In real life, this work would be for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). However, in Fallout, it is called the Defense Experimental Research Projects Initiative, or "DERPI."
PC Playstation 4 Xbox One Sometimes if one drops a research sample, there is a chance that it will de-spawn and be replaced with a floating object labeled "NONE."[verified]