Machine & Student Shops
The Physics Machine Shop (M-shop) provides design, construction and maintenance of prototype research equipment to the Physics faculty, students, and postdocs.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, the Physics R&D Shop is not accepting walk in or in person work requests. Please use our Machine Shop Job Request Form to place an order. If you have questions about, or would like to discuss your project prior to placing your order, please contact Jesse Lopez at 510.642.2496 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit a job request using our Machine Shop Job Request Form.
The job request form was updated as of 9/1/2019. For instructions on how to submit a job request, see this step-by-step guide. For those familiar with the older form, consult this walkthrough of udpates to the form.
- 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.
- 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
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 M-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.
A majority of the work conducted in the shop is directly related to the education of our students. Students and postdocs 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 M-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 the machining tools and equipment as well as machining safety. The student shop is a model for at least two other department student machine shops on the Berkeley Campus. Often former students return and tell us what an advantage it was for them to have had the resources of the machine shops available to them.
B-1 Le Conte Hall
Jesse Lopez, Supervisor 510-642-2496