Machine Shop


The shop is a source for custom part prototyping and machine part problem solving. Its services include machining, fabricating, welding, design and precise measurement of mechanical parts and assemblies.

  • Pig Chamber

    CAD/CAM Design

    AutoCAD/CAM, Inventor and MasterCAM are used to design parts, assemblies, mechanical drawings, and create programs to control the CNC machines. CAD is also used to view most part models or drawings that were made in a different CAD program.

  • Machining

    Computer numerical control (CNC) machining is a method for automating control of machine tools using software embedded in a microcomputer attached to the tool.

    Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) is a non-traditional method in which material is removed from a workpiece using thermal energy. Much like processes such as laser cutting, EDM does not need mechanical force in the removal process.

  • Welding/Fabrication

    • Brazing/soldering
    • TIG/MIG welding
    • Sheet metal bending and forming
    • Fixture Design
    • Heat treating of materials



  • 5 CNC milling machines
  • CNC lathe
  • Four manual lathes
  • Drill presses, saws, welding equipment, sheet metal fabrication equipment
  • Measuring tools calibrated yearly by standards traceable to NIST per the guidelines specified in the latest revisions of ANSI/NCSL Z540-1 and ISO/IEC 17025.


  • Metals including steel, aluminum, and titanium
  • Plastics
  • Garolite
  • Specialty material

Additional Services

  • Carpentry
  • Laser plastics
  • Water jet cutting
  • 3D Printing

An alternate to requesting Machine Shop staff to professionally machine parts for you is for you to machine the parts yourself at the Engineering Student Machine Shop located in the Siemen’s Center room G450 at the corner of Washington St and Madison St, a 5-10 min walk from Van Allen. The Student Machine Shop there provides training and access to milling, cutting, drilling, sanding, waterjet cutting and more from 8 am – 4 pm daily.

Coming soon: a Physics Student Machine Shop for simple tasks, such as drilling.


$86/hour University of Iowa clients; $100/hour external clients

Requests and Inquiries

Jobs may be submitted to the Machine Shop by filling out the Shop Inquiry form to the right. The request will generate a ticket, which will ensure the job gets scheduled and completed.

Alternatively, the Machine Shop maintains an open-door policy, and you can go in person to request the job. Machine Shop staff will create the ticket for you.

UI ProtoLabs

The machine shop collaborates with UI Protostudios a state-of-the-art, rapid-prototyping facility located at MERGE coworking space in downtown Iowa City. Focusing on biomedical and electronics prototyping, Protostudios helps Iowa entrepreneurs create prototypes and advance their research or business 


The shop supports many University of Iowa Department of Physics and Astronomy projects, including space physics, high energy physics, plasma physics, and astronomy, but also collaborates with other departments across campus. External clients include: 

  • Penn State University
  • CERN
  • JPL
  • NASA


Brian Busch
(319) 335-1845 

UI Clients: submit work requests to

Machine Shop Staff

Brian Busch

Brian Busch

Matt Miller

Matt Miller

Toby Tompkins

Toby Tompkins

Shop Inquiry

Add the MFK number above for UI related requests. Please enter in the following format: XXX-XX-XXXX-XXXXX-XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXX-XXXXX-XX-XXXX. For more information, please visit: