The Shop’s machinists are experienced in all metals and non-metals, plastics, graphite and other materials in the research environment. They are ready to provide high quality, efficient and cost-effective machining.
The Shop offers Harding lathe work ranging from miniature to 20-inch diameter, 80-inch length;also two new C.N.C machining centers ,mill and lathe. we also provide welding of all materials, including aluminum and stainless steel; and providing MIG, TIG, stick and oxy-acetylene and plasma , sheet metal work; shearing; bending; and fabrications.
Materials we CAN laser cut
We can cut the following materials. If you do not see your material listed, we would be happy to try cutting it as long as it does not contain chlorine Plastics.
- ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
- Acrylic (also known as Plexiglas, Lucite, PMMA)
- Delrin (POM, acetal) – for a supplier, try McMaster-Carr
- High density polyethylene (HDPE) – melts badly
- Kapton tape (Polyimide)
- Mylar (polyester)
- Nylon – melts badly
- PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol)
- Polyethylene (PE) – melts badly
- Polypropylene (PP) – melts somewhat
- Two-tone acrylic – top color different than core material, usually for custom instrumentation panels, signs, and plaques
- Depron foam – often used for RC planes
- Gator foam – foam core gets burned and eaten away compared to the top and bottom hard shell
- Other Materials
- Cloths (leather, suede, felt, hemp, cotton)
- Magnetic sheets
- Rubbers (neoprene) – for a supplier, try McMaster-Carr
- Teflon (PTFE, Polytetrafluoroethylene) – for a supplier, try McMaster-Carr
- Woods (MDF, balsa, birch, poplar, red oak, cherry, holly, etc.) – for a supplier, try Midwest Products
Materials we CANNOT laser cut
We do not or cannot cut the following materials:
- Metals – We cannot cut through any metals. We do stock an acrylic-based, dual-tone plastic with a faux-metal finish on one side. If you need metal parts, you might consider a water jet cutting service
- Polycarbonate (PC, Lexan) – we stopped cutting Lexan due to the fumes
- Any material containing chlorine
- PVC (Cintra) – contains chlorine
- Vinyl – contains chlorine
- Glass – we can engrave glass, but we cannot cut it
- Printed circuit board (FR4 and other material types)
- Carbon fiber
- High-density polyethylene (HDPE) thicker than 1/16″ – We are unable to cut HDPE thicker than 1/16″, and HDPE of any thickness melts badly when laser cut
How to supply your own material for laser cutting
If you plan to supply your own material, please specify the sheet size of the material you plan to supply. Material sheets must be no larger than 12.0″ x 24.0″ if you are raster engraving parts, or if you can only supply a CDR, AI, SVG, or PDF file (not a CAD file set up for laser cutting), your material must be no larger than 12″ x 24″. Please send the material to the shop.
If you are sending the material yourself, please include a note that has your full name, day-time phone number, and email address that you check regularly. The material must be very flat (not bowed, warped, or rolled; otherwise the laser cannot focus properly).
If a material supplier is shipping to us directly, please be sure they include your full name in the address. If possible, the shipping receipt, label, invoice, or packing list should also include your day-time phone number. Please instruct the supplier to select the flattest material and ship it flat, not rolled, folded, or bent. We list a few material suppliers above in the material cutting costs, prices, weights, etc. section.
It is always good to supply extra material just in case something goes wrong with the cutting, and for testing and calibration purposes, especially if you are sending materials we have not cut before.
- Five Bridgeport milling machines with digital readouts
- Lathes in five sizes
- Two new state-of-the-art computer numerically controlled (CNC) mill and lathe Haas Machining Centers with all programming developed through Cad-cam software for part design
- Full-welding set-up for all materials, including a plasma cutter
- Brother HS3100 Wire EDM
- Versa Laser 12 by 24 table
- Dimension /elite rapid prototype machine