The VCU Department of Mechanical Engineering machine shop and rapid prototyping service center is located at 601 West Main Street, Room 107.
Hours of operation
The machine shop is accessible to the students in the School of Engineering with appropriate training and certification. The shop is kept open for student use during the following hours:
|Monday||Closed for Winter Break|
|Tuesday||Closed for Winter Break|
|Wednesday||Closed for Winter Break|
|Thursday||Closed for Winter Break|
|Friday||Closed for Winter Break|
|Saturday and Sunday||closed|
The shop also assists researchers from all VCU departments by creating, modifying and maintaining lab equipment and test apparatus. As the shop has supporting resources, any project can be completed through our service.
The machine shop provides a wide range of services for all departments of the School of Engineering, including:
- Manual and CNC machining
- Sheet metal fabrication
- Welding, brazing and soldering
- Basic woodwork projects
- Rapid prototyping
- Project management
- Assistance in design for manufacturing
- Training students in machining fundamentals
It is our goal to support all projects, no matter how large or small. All levels of previous experience are welcomed and will be given the appropriate training. In addition to providing students with access to industry-standard machines, having access to an on-campus machine shop allows students to take what they have learned and apply it in practice.
The hands-on experience received in the machine shop helps them to develop practical mechanical design skills and gain a better understanding of manufacturing processes.
- Horizontal band saw
- Vertical band saw
- Variable-speed drill press
- Grinding and polishing equipment
- Belt and disc sander
- Manual engine lathes
- Knee-type manual vertical milling machines
- 2-axis CNC knee-type vertical milling machines
- Haas numerical control milling center with 20-pocket tool changer
- CAD/CAM software for CNC programming
- Metal shear, box and pan brake, notcher
- Welding and brazing equipment
- Rapid prototyping machines
- Precision measuring and inspection equipment
The shop also helps customers in finding outside contractors and managing projects. After a free consultation, a quote can be provided for the work requested. It is our goal to provide you with the lowest price, best quality work and fast turnaround. As the shop has supporting resources, any project can be completed through our service. Please feel free to contact us, at any stage of your project, to see what we can do for you.
Rapid prototyping service center
Our rapid prototyping center will bring your CAD-modeled idea into a three-dimensional functional model in a short period of time. In many cases, the produced model can be used as a functional part or as a final assembly. Depending on customer requirements we can use different technologies of rapid prototyping: FDM or powder/binder system.
FDM is a rapid prototyping process that uses a plastic filament of material supplied to an extrusion nozzle. The nozzle is heated to melt the material and can be moved in both horizontal and vertical directions.
The powder/binder/infiltrant systems use high-performance composites for printing strong, high-definition parts. For additional flexibility, models can be sanded, drilled, tapped, painted and electroplated.
Rapid prototyping services include:
- Advising in model design for rapid prototyping
- Assistance in converting CAD file into .STL for rapid prototyping
- Printing or assisting students in prototyping process
- Providing finishing operation if needed
- uPrint Dimension 3D printerMaterial: ABSplus plasticBuild envelope: 8″x8″x6″Resolution: .01″
- FDM 3000 Stratasys Inc. 3D printerModel material: ABS, ABSI, investment casting waxBuild envelope: 10″x10″x14″Resolution: .007″
- Z510 Full colour system. Zcorp.Material: Composite, direct casting, elastomericBuild envelope: 10″x14″x8″Resolution: .004″
- Ultrasonic and thermo cleaning stations
University core labs
Students and faculty in the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering have access to the university core labs. The core labs support and facilitate a wide variety of research in the biomedical, life, physical and social sciences. Some of the core labs are institutional, while others are associated with specific schools, programs or departments.
The services offered by these labs are available on a fee-for-service basis. Access to core labs for non-VCU academic and commercials users is also possible on a more limited basis. More information about the VCU core labs can be found on the VCU Research website.