Support Machining & Fabrication Services

Professional machining & fabrication services* are available on a fee-for-service basis for department researchers, MECH and MANU students and Engineering Student Teams. We will also happily perform fee-for-service machining work for other UBC departments if we have the capacity to do so (typically only outside of Term 2). Please note that we are primarily a machine shop that makes machined and fabricated parts in metal and plastic to specification and also that we strictly do not perform work for non-UBC purposes (i.e. private individuals or commercial enterprises).

Please note that work will be prioritized as follows:

  1. Course instruction involvement and teaching support for MECH and MANU
  2. Research support for MECH
  3. Operations support for MECH
  4. Approved MECH Student Groups support
  5. Requests external to MECH (sub-prioritized for teaching, research, and other)

Submitting Part-making Requests

Machined or Fabricated Parts

For machining & fabrication work, if you are confident that your submission is complete and meets the requirements for part specifications expressed below, please use the link below to make a submission.

*Please note that the utility used for this is not FIPPA compliant and you are not required to enter any personal information that you wish to keep private. This form is not on a server secured by UBC and information may not be secure. If you wish to submit work in an alternate fashion, please contact


  • Please fill in all required fields
    • For water jet cutting, attach 1:1 scale, annotation-free DXF files and indicate material specifications and part quantities;
    • For machined parts, attach complete specification drawings in PDF format meeting the requirements outlined below and Solidworks or NX model files. If you need guidance on how to produce proper drawings, you may find this video helpful:
  • You will receive an emailed invitation within 5 business days to join your job project on an online utility called PodioPodio is used by us to manage your job, including any changes to specifications, uploads of revisions etc.
  • The invitation should arrive in the inbox of the email address that you entered on the submission form.
  • Use the invitation to create an account on Podio using the email address linked to your job.
  • Please be sure to check the account and allow emails from If you don't receive the invite, please email
  • Once a Podio file has been shared with you, please use the Comment utility for further communications.


Know before you submit

Requests are handled in chronological order of submission.

Review of requests is dependent on staff availability - staff may busy with existing submissions or other higher priority duties.

Charges apply for technical support requests, including review of part specifications. Minimize your charges by ensuring your specifications are correct and complete before you submit by having an independent party (team mate, supervisor, you lab's research engineer) complete a drawing check. See requirements below.

Some guidelines on our technical requirements for specifications and our current rates are provided below. You may also wish to ensure that the size of your parts fits within our equipment capacities.

The Support Machine Shop is equipped with CNC milling and turning capabilities as well as conventional milling, turning, drilling, cutting, welding and forming capabilities. In addition, the shop has access to abrasive water-jet cutting and wood and plastics machining and fabrication equipment, including limited FDM 3D printing.

Also, please note that the machine shop does not have a formal QC certification as is required for some types of work (e.g. pressure vessels requiring a Canadian Registration Number) nor certified welding services.

 Requirements for Machined Part Specifications:

There are generally 3 stages to a machined/fabricated part request.

Stage 1: Specification

The first stage is a check for complete and achievable specifications made by shop personnel. Full specifications for all of the parts to be made are required before a request can advance to the next stage (no job splitting; if you only have complete specifications for some of your parts, consider submitting multiple requests). Specifications must include:

  1. Dimensions for the size, location and orientation of all part features expressed in a detail drawing (neat sketches are acceptable)
  2. Surface finish requirements
  3. Tolerances for each dimension for size location and orientation of features
  4. Material type, grade and condition (e.g. Aluminium 6061-T6)
  5. Quantity of parts required

Drawings should conform to CSA CAN3-B78.1-M83 or ASME Y14 series drawing standards. View this excellent video by Youtube channel Tarkka for some basic guidance.

For CNC machining work, the designer shall ensure that all detail drawing specifications align with all solid model features. We will need both detail drawing specifications and solid models in order to complete your job.

If you need help to develop your specifications, please approach us and we'll be happy to incorporate this with your request. Please understand that machining work on a job cannot begin without these important details defined.

Stage 2: Machining Wait Queue

The Wait Queue is for requests for which specifications are complete and frozen, while waiting for availability of machinery, tools, materials and personnel. No changes other than job cancellation or reduction in quantity, are permitted once a request is in this stage. Other changes to specifications require a new request with updated specifications, including new, renamed files for drawings and models, i.e cancelled requests shall not be used as placed-holders for updates and an in-process request shall not be expanded.

Stage 3: Machining & Fabrication

Work proceeds when specifications, machinery, tools, materials and personnel are available.

Current Rates

Technician Time $38/hr internal work
$120/hr UBC clients external to the department*
Machine Run-Time $60/hr abrasive water-jet cutter internal rate; $120/hr external rate
Tooling: no charge for nominal wear - tools consumed to finish the work and custom tools charged at cost
*The shop does not perform work for clients outside of UBC


Rough estimates for cost are provided free of charge, however time for more detailed delivery estimates requiring more than 1/2hr of technician time to prepare will be charged at the shop rate.

Note that jobs are accepted into the queue on a first-come first served basis once the specifications are clear and complete. Jobs may be delayed if material is not on hand so be sure to check the shop's stock. It generally helps if you procure materials to ensure they are here when your job is otherwise ready to start.  A staff member can order materials for you as part of the job at the standard shop rate.


We are able to provide some basic steel, aluminum and stainless steel fabrication services, welding structures such as machine frames and apparatus. Please come and discuss your needs before submitting a work request.

Please note that we do not have a ticketed welder on staff and that any welding requiring certification (e.g. pressure vessel welding) will have to be sent out.

Please see our Machine Shop Equipment Capacities before submitting a design to our Support Machining Services team.

Other Department Services

If you need help with installations in your lab, repairs to building services, furniture, moving, disposal or access, please contact

For shipping, receiving or purchasing please refer to the information posted under Stores, Purchasing, and Shipping.