R&D Machine Shop

R&D Machine Shop

The Physics R&D Machine Shop provides design, construction, and maintenance of prototype research equipment to the Physics faculty, students, and postdocs as well as UC affiliates and other customers. 

 6 weeks

Submit a job request using our Machine Shop Job Request Form, or stop by the shop at Physics South room B-1 to make your request in person.

For instructions on how to submit a job request, see this step-by-step guide. Contact Tommy Gutierrez at (510) 642-3557 or tommyg@berkeley.edu with any questions. 


Why use the R&D Shop?


About us


Physics R&D Machine Shop

Why use the Physics R&D Machine Shop?

  • The Physics R&D Machine Shop Staff is very knowledgeable when it comes to manufacturing components for physics. We specialize in machining the materials commonly seen in the physics environment: Stainless steels, OFHC, 1100 Aluminum, Invar, Titanium, Macor, and Delrin, just to name a few. We can maintain your tight tolerances and precision finishes.
  • We work directly with you to ensure that you will meet your objective. Many years of experience helps us to prevent unexpected problems in the manufacturing, assembly and operation of your project.
  • We speak your language. We know about pressure, vacuum, seals, temperature, electrical circuits, hydraulics, pneumatics, expansion / contraction, magnetic fields, etc. We offer this support and understand your needs.
  • All work is done in house and on site. This gives us complete control over every aspect of what we do. When you have a question, we have an answer. It is very likely you will work directly with the person machining your part. There is no information lost in translation.
  • Our Machine Shop Job Request Form allows you to add your files, notes, and MSDS. This keeps all of the important documents in one place. We can open most CAD files and create machine tool paths directly from them. We use Solidworks, HSMWorks, Surfcam, and Fusion 360.

When you use the Physics R&D Machine Shop you are not only being supported by the shop, you are also supporting the shop. The continuance of our mission can only exist with your continued support. 

Capabilities of R&D Machine Shop

  • Precision machining and assembly using conventional lathes, milling machines, surface grinders
  • CNC capabilities include 2 axis lathe (turning), 3, 4, and 5 axis milling, and electrical discharge machining (EDM wire cutting)   
  • Sheet metal work - shearing, braking (bending), rolling, notching, and spot welding
  • Bandsawing - horizontal and vertical
  • 3D printing in ABS, PLA, and ASA
  • CAD/CAM programs include: Solidworks, HSMWorks, Surfcam, Fusion 360, and GrabCAD Print
  • TIG welding of aluminum, stainless steel, and copper. Soldering and brazing
  • Machining of aluminum, oxygen free copper (OFHC), other brass and copper alloys, 304 and 316 stainless steels, titanium, invar, plastics, ceramics and composites 
  • Leak detecting with Varian 936-60 Mass Spectrometer Helium Leak Detector
  • Digital measurement and inspection
  • Design and engineering support

About Us

Combining their many years of experience, the machinists are highly skilled and very knowledgeable, specializing in developing working instruments, detectors, and other experimental devices from typically vague instructions given by the graduate students and faculty.  The R&D Shop also provides design and equipment maintenance services to the Physics Instructional Labs.  Our capabilities include use of standard and special machine tools, such as the lathe, vertical mill, drill press, grinders, saws, dividing engines, gear hob, precision Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine tools, and Electrical Discharge (EDM) machining, and optical measuring devices.  

The machinists have the technical knowledge required to manage systems and equipment in the areas of electrical power, mechanical apparatus, ultra high (10-10 ATM cc/Sec He) vacuum, magnetic, computer interfaces, and computer analysis and programming. The shop also provides precision welding of various vacuum chambers and apparatus. They are also knowledgeable in the numerous characteristics and properties of materials involving corrosion, expansion and contraction, yield strengths, compatibility, and thermal transfer.

The machinists are well versed in Surfcam and Solidworks software that enables the shop to assist in the design of complex shapes of machined components.

Students, postdocs, and customers interact directly with the machinists, thereby gaining invaluable knowledge about design, materials, and techniques used for their jobs.  They also learn how to create usable drawings and how various processes work to produce their instruments.  This level of interaction and shared knowledge is unavailable outside of the department.  Although other campus Shops provide similar services, the services and education provided by the R&D Shop are tailored to the needs of the Physics researchers. 

In addition to the educational experience found in the main Machine Shop, the Physics Department has a full-time Student Machining Shop. This shop provides graduate and undergraduate students with training in the operation of machining tools and equipment as well as machining safety.  

FY2022-23 Machine Shop Rates

For Machine Shop billing-related questions please send an email to physi-recharge@berkeley.edu. For more information on campus policies concerning recharge activities, please see the offerings listed by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

Customer Type Labor Materials
On-Campus Customers $122/hr cost + 20%
Other UC Campuses & Affiliates $151/hr to $242/hr cost + 32%


R&D Machine Shop
B-1 Physics South

Tommy Gutierrez 510-642-3557
Gordon Long 510-642-3557
Jonathan Bradford 510-642-3557