University of Wisconsin-Madison Physical Sciences Lab

Machine Shop

If you need a part replaced quickly or a complex machine built, the PSL machine shop is a full-service machine shop. Our experienced instrument makers operate a variety of small and large machine tools and equipment for fabricating and assembling a wide variety of projects. In addition to the fabrication of new instruments and parts, the PSL instrument shop repairs, maintains and upgrades new and used scientific research equipment.

Shop Supervisor
Rory Holland — (608)877-2214

Example Projects:

Hot Water Surgical Table Hot Water Surgical Tables

These hot water tables were built per a sample purchased by the client. These are used to keep the body of the animal warm during testing.

Enhanced Hot Water Drill Hose Reel Enhanced Hot Water Drill Hose Reel

The PSL instrument shop fabricated and assembled several major components of the enhanced hot water drill in collaboration with the UW-Madison ICDS. The reel holds 2500 meters of 4-inch (10cm) diameter high-pressure hose. It is one of the biggest pieces of equipment ever made in the PSL shop.

Ram Drill Heat Sink Ram Drill Heat Sink

While drilling with the Ram Drill (also known as the Shot Hole Drill), bearings in the air motor were failing due to heat. A new aluminum heatsink, with more surface area, was made.

Major equipment and services in the PSL machine shop

  • High Bay 11.6m (38′) wide × 67m (220′) long × 4.6m (15′) high with a 5-ton traveling bridge crane and a 5-ton gantry crane.
  • Hermle four-axis CNC precision universal milling and boring machine (horizontal and vertical spindles) with travels of x=850mm (33.4"), y=630mm (24.8"), and z=500mm (19.7")
  • Fadal four-axis CNC precision milling machine with travels of x=508mm (20"), y=406mm (16"), and z=508mm (20"); table size is 406mm (16") × 749mm (29.5)"
  • Hitachi CNC lathe, 380mm (15") diameter swing over the bed; 210mm (8.25") turning/cutting diameter; 380mm (15") cutting length; 51mm (2") diameter bar capacity through chuck; 1 micron (0.000,040") repeatability
  • Fryer tool room mill model MB-14 (4-axis CNC or manual operation), travel 1016mm (40") by 508mm (20") by 559mm (22")
  • Sharp tool room mill-Model TMV- (CNC or manual operation), travel 787mm (31") by 394mm (15.5") by 470mm (18.5"). MILLPWR 3 axis (table, saddle, quill) CNC system by Acu-Rite.
  • Faro Edge Coordinate-measuring machine, 7-axis with 9 ft. diameter. Volumetric accuracy: ±.041mm (±.0061in). Single Point repeatability: .029mm (.0011in). Laser Line Probe specifications – Accuracy: ±35µm (±.0014in), Repeatability: 35µm, 2ợ (0014in), Stand-off: 80mm (3.15in), Depth of Field: 85 mm (3.35in), Effective Scan Width: Near Field 53mm (2.09in) Far Field 90mm (3.54in), Points per line: 752 points/line.
  • Mastercam ® CAD/CAM 3-d software for interfacing with the CNC equipment
  • Horizontal boring mill with travels up to 1562mm (61.5") x 1905mm (75") × 1232mm (48.5")
  • Vertical turret lathe, capacity 1575mm (62") diameter, 1270mm (50") high
  • Lathes, capacity up to 1524mm (60") between centers, 1219mm (48") swing over the bed
  • Cylindrical external precision grinder, 254mm (10") × 1219mm (48")
  • Surface grinder, 203mm (8") × 609mm (24")
  • Universal grinder, 406mm (16"), internal/external taper capabilities
  • Power shear, 3048mm (10′) width, mild steel capacity of 6.4mm (1/4")
  • Power punch, 15 tons, or 19mm (3/4") diameter hole in 6.4mm (1/4") thick steel
  • Inspection equipment including large surface plates, optical comparator, optical flats, precision levels, etc.
  • ESD-safe white room and other clean rooms for assembly
  • Painting facilities
  • Ovens for curing b-stage composites and heat treating metals
  • Coil construction facilities
  • Wide variety of materials in stock including standard and exotic

For the more unusual measurements we frequently perform sub-arc-second or near-nanometer measurements in house.

Welding Shop

  • Specialized Welding
    Specialized in welding new ultra high vacuum chambers and chamber components. Also the repair or modification of used vacuum equipment and other scientific instruments.
  • Materials
    Stainless steel, aluminum, copper, titanium, carbon and alloy steel, and other specialty metals covering a wide range of thicknesses and sizes.
  • Metal Joining
    Tungsten inert gas (TIG), gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), metal inert gas (MIG), gas metal arc welding (GMAW), manual shielded arc welding, brazing, and soldering.
  • Metal Removal Oxy-fuel flame cutting, plasma arc cutting, and air carbon arc cutting.