Research Prototyping Laboratory

The Research Prototyping Laboratory is a full service machine shop providing machining, fabrication services, and design assistance in support of research projects and laboratory experiments. The shop is equipped with conventional and state of the art computer driven mills and lathes. It is a one stop source for repairs, design services, fabrication, instrumentation services, and laboratory support.

Clarkson students on the Formula SPEED team work on their engineering project for competition
Student Machine Shop

The Student Prototyping Machine Shop is a fully equipped machine shop for student use. Manual lathes and mills as well as computer driven machining centers are provided for students to use for undergraduate research and engineering competitions. The Student Machine Shop is staffed by skilled machinists who train all students in the safe use of equipment and help solve fabrication problems.

A Clarkson student on the snowmobile SPEED team works on her engineering project for competition
MT Courses

In support of the student machine shop, the staff of TSS also provides safety certification courses. These Multidisciplinary Project Team Undergraduate Courses (MT Courses) are designed to introduce students to the basic theory and operation of the machines in the Student Shop.  These courses are required to use all equipment in the Student Machine Shop.
 

Clarkson students on the Steel Bridge SPEED team work on their engineering project for competition

Student Prototyping Machine Shop

The Student Prototyping Machine Shop provides students with a unique opportunity for growth through a “Hands on, Minds on” approach to engineering education. Students use the shop to build the complex components that are a part of the SPEED competitions, to test new ideas in Honors research with experimental apparatus that they have designed and built themselves, or for required coursework as in the many undergraduate course that feature design and fabrication.

Clarkson's Machine Shop is home to state-of-the-art equipment for students to use

The shop is supervised by Technical Support Service (TSS) to ensure safe use of the area and implement one of the more rigorous training programs of any engineering school. This training begins with the series of MT courses that students must take to use the equipment and follows with solid advice from the experienced staff on how to best bring their design ideas to reality, safely and efficiently. TSS is also actively working to keep the shop up-to-date and well maintained.

Clarkson's Machine Shop is home to state-of-the-art equipment for students to use

Our modern CNC milling machines and lathes as well as high quality manual machines, create a state-of-the-art facility. It has an extensive welding lab with TIG, MIG, Plasma table, and gas equipment. This facility also offers water jet cutting. 

The business hours are 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday thru Friday and extended hours on evenings and weekends under supervision.

Research Prototyping Laboratory

The Research Prototyping Laboratory provides fabrication and repair services for faculty in support of graduate research projects and undergraduate class and laboratory support.  The lab consists of a full service machine shop and electronics shop. It is staffed by two full time machinists, a senior laboratory technician, and the department supervisor. Having an active program of technology acquisition keeps our capabilities in line with the needs of Clarkson’s research community.

Clarkson students on the Mini Baja SPEED team work on their engineering project for competition

The machine shop is equipped with up to date CNC machines as well as manual machines. Although our main focus is fabrication, we are also involved in design at all stages of a project. From suggestions on material selection to ideas on how to fix problems along the way, we function as a technical/engineering advisory team.  This is as important to our customers as the fabrication that we do. We also offer modern welding services and electronic/instrumentation services.

A unique feature of this facility is that it is part of overhead for the university. Therefore, there is no cost to the faculty member for services provided, other than tooling and materials. This allows new faculty with limited funding the resources to establish a research program, and established faculty the freedom to develop new ideas.   To keep the work flow orderly we have a TSS Work Request Form that must be filled out prior to using our services. Once this is done, the request is placed in the work queue and the job is assigned. In most cases we are able to provide a completed project in two weeks. 

We have a strong customer oriented department. As such we have been able to contribute to the success of projects that help keep Clarkson University in a leadership position. 

MT Courses

Technical Support Services (TSS) also provides safety certification courses. These Multidisciplinary Project Team Undergraduate Courses (MT Courses) are designed to introduce students to the basic theory and operation of the machines in the Student Shop. These courses are required to use the equipment in the Student Machine Shop. Students are welcome to take any of the following courses:

MT51 Introduction to Basic Shop Skills

This course covers simple shop procedures including measurement and layout, drills and drill presses, use of hand taps and proper use of the various band saws. It involves the use of the composite lab and wood working equipment. It consists of two lecture/labs of three hours each and is offered as a pass/no credit. 

MT52 Basic Lathes Operations

This course covers the basic theory and operation of the metal lathe. Topics include tool grinding, turning, facing, boring, parting, threading, etc. It consists of three lectures of 1.0 hours each and three labs of two hours each. It is offered as pass/no credit. Prerequisite is MT51.  

MT53 Basic Milling Procedures

Basic Milling will cover the theory and operation of the Grizzly and Bridgeport Vertical mill. Topics covered include set-up of the mill, fixturing, zeroing parts, cutters and milling techniques for various materials. This course would consist of three lectures of 1.0 hours each and three labs of two hours each. It is offered as pass/no credit. Prerequisite is MT52.

MT54 CNC Machining

Basics of CNC Machine programming and operation of the HAAS machining centers. Topics covered include machine start up and homing, conversational programming, drill patterns, profiles and pockets. The course consists of three lectures of 1.0 hours and three labs of two hours each. It is offered as pass/no credit. Prerequisite is MT53.

MT55 Basic Welding Procedures

Basic welding addresses the operation and use of welding equipment in a safe and effective manner. Topics include general welding safety, oxygen-acetylene techniques, basic arc welding, MIG welding, TIG welding and use of the plasma cutting torch. The course consists of three lectures of 1.0 hours each and four labs of two hours each. It is offered as pass/no credit. Prerequisite is MT51.

MT56 Introduction to MasterCam

This course is an overview of the CAD software MasterCam. Students will draw, choose tool paths, create machine code and run programs on CNC mills using CAD. Lectures will be on Mondays and one lab will be scheduled during the remainder of the week. The course consists of three lectures of 1.0 hours and three labs of two hours each. It is offered as pass/no credit. Prerequisite is MT54. 

MT57 Advanced Lathes

This course will cover the use of the precision lathes in the student shop. Students will set up and machine on several different lathes using advanced techniques and tooling. Lectures will be on Mondays and one lab will be scheduled during the remainder of the week. The course consists of three lectures of 1.0 hours and three labs of two hours each. It is offered as pass/no credit.  Prerequisite is MT52.

MT58 CNC Lathe Procedures

This course covers the basics of CNC lathe operation and programming utilizing a HAAS lathe. Topics covered include machine start-up, operation and G Code programming. Students learn outside and inside diameter turning and threading, complex turning profiles and canned cycles. This course will consist of four lectures of 1.0 hours and three labs of two hours each. It is offered as pass/no credit. Prerequisite is MT57.