Montana State University

Department of Physics

Montana State University
P.O. Box 173840
Bozeman, MT 59717-3840

Tel: (406) 994-3614
Fax: (406) 994-4452
Location: EPS building, Room 264

Department Head:
Prof. Yves Idzerda

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Physics Machine Shop

A student works on one of the milling machines

The Physics Machine Shop is a well equipped facility which supports the department research laboratories by providing bespoke machining capabilities.
Faculty, graduate and undergraduate students may use the four manual milling machines, two lathes, and surface grinder to fabricate components required for research projects.

ProTrak mill

The sophisticated ProtoTrak MX3 CNC mill and ProtoTrak LX2 CNC lathe are capable of creating complex parts, as shown in the nanosat below.
The machine shop supports drawings and designs created with Solidworks or Autocad software, both of which are available in the department.

The Machine Shop also has welding capabilities which include gas, MIG, and TIG for support of UHV surface science laboratories.


The nanosat is an example project machined in the shop. The 1-kg nanosat was designed and built by MSU students as part of the Space Science and Engineersing Laboratory (SSEL) program. It was modeled after the Explorer 1 mission to chart the Van Allen radiation belts but was unfortunately destroyed when the Dnepr-1 was launched in July 2006


For training on equipment, booking workshop facilities and all other workshop related matters, contact the workshop supervisor.


Updated: March 12, 2015 11:25