Contact Us
Richard Willard
Director of Science Services, Machine and Instrument Shop
610-526-7492
rwillard@brynmawr.edu

Machining

New machines and equipment are added on an as-needed basis, so the list of capabilities change.

Please consult the updated Equipment List for the most current information.

Machining Techniques

The Bryn Mawr College Instrument Shop is a very well-equipped and -staffed machine shop. After designing and making the drawings for the custom instrumentation, the job is sent to the shop to be built. The instrument makers work with faculty and students to be sure the projects fit their needs. SSSD staff welcome and encourage challenging projects by asking questions and offering advice. Just because someone else could not do it somewhere else does not mean that it cannot be done here! Pushing the limits is just another day at the office.

photo of machine oil cannisters

The Instrument Shop has two CNC milling machines, one being a 2 axis mill and the other is a 3 axis mill. The 2 axis is run by a new controller that runs G-code from a post processor. The 3 axis mill is run with proprietary software by entering the dimensions into the computer on the mill. The milling machines are the work horses for the type of work we do. We have used them to run a verity of large end mills but we have also machined parts with an end mill as small as .010" in diameter. This was used to mill slots in plastic for holding small nerves for the Biology department. We routinely mill special shapes and machine oddly designed parts to fulfill the needs of our faculty and student projects. To round off our milling capabilities we also have a large milling machine that is used for the big jobs.

Adding to our machining capabilities is a large variety of attachments for the mills. We have a boring head that can be set to .0005" tolerance. We have different sized vises and many jaws for all types of holding. We also have a rotating headstock for milling angles and large parts.

The shop also is equipped to handle a large range of lathe machining needs. We have a Hardinge instrument lathe that does most of the thread chasing with a taper attachment for turning custom tapers. The other lathe is a large Okuma that can handle the big stuff.

machine equipment

Our Instrument Shop also does sheet metal work and welding on aluminum, stainless steel, steel, and other metals when needed. We have a new TIG welder that we use to make vacuum chamber parts to be used with the UHV systems. Spot welding small thermocouple wire has also gotten easier with our new AC resistance spot welder.

We have a combined 60+ years of experience in the shop to draw from but when something new comes along we are excited to learn all about it. Doing research into new techniques is part of the fun.