Facility: Micromachining Laboratory

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Function: Design/Fabrication/Repair

Department: Earth and Space Exploration, School of


The SESE micromachining laboratory is a world leader in metal micromachining for terahertz waveguide applications. The micromachining lab has produced splitblock waveguide structures in brass, aluminum and tellurium copper for frequencies ranging from 100 GHz to 2.7 THz, for both its own research and outside customers. Structures fabricated in virtually any metal are possible, as well as machinable plastics, composites and some ceramics.The micromachining laboratory is equipped with a Kern Model 44 micromilling system. This state of the art 3-axis CNC milling machine is capable of +/- 0.5?m positioning accuracy and repeatability, and can routinely produce on the part measured accuracy of +/- 2 ?m. Feature aspect ratios of up to 10:1 are achievable. The 50 krpm spindle is capable of accepting tools from smaller than 25um in diameter to as large as 10mm. A 32 position toolchanger allows automated machining of relatively large, complicated parts. Advanced computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software is used to program the machine. A solid model of the part is necessary for programming, although the micromachining lab can create a solid model for machining from 2D prints. All dimensions of critical features are measured using a precision metrology microscope equipped with high accuracy micrometers in the x,y and z axes. Metrology precision of +/- 2?m can be achieved with this system. Parts will be delivered with a measurement report, where the measured dimensions of all critical features will be summarized. All critical dimensions will be held to +/- 2.5?m, modulo measurement errors of +/- 2?m. Based on previously machined structures measured with an interferometric microscope, we can deliver surface roughness for micromachined features of Ra<0.1?m.The micromachining lab is staffed with a dedicated machinist, Matthew Underhill. He is supervised by Dr. Christopher Groppi, who has extensive experience designing and fabricating terahertz waveguide structures and other micromachined metal components using these techniques.Specifications:Number of machining axes: 3 (XYZ)Preferred part solid model format: STEP or SolidworksOn the part accuracy +/- 2?mMeasurement accuracy:+/- 2?mSurface Finish (Ra) <0.1?mMinimum feature size (xy):30?mMinimum feature depth:5?mMaximum feature aspect ratio: 10:1Split block alignment: +/-2?mMinimum radius of curvature: 10?mWork Volume: 300mmx300mmx300mm

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