Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Precision Machining & Prototype Fabrication

SwRI’s Precision Mechanical Fabrication Shop has extensive experience in the fabrication of precision parts for spaceflight systems. The shop operates under a quality program that meets the requirements for NASA and the military. The shop has provided mechanical components for many successful space missions.

Services provided by the shop include:

  • Rapid prototyping and End Item hardware fabrication
  • CNC machining
  • Water jet cutting
  • EDM
  • Precision welding

Special Processes Laboratory

Our Special Processes Laboratory supplies a variety of services to the Institute and other clients. These services are quick turn-around and completed in-house.

Metal Treatment

  • Chromate conversion on aluminum per
  • MIL-C-5541E and ASTM B117
  • Chromate conversion on magnesium
  • Passivation of stainless steel per QQ-P-35C
  • Anodizing of aluminum per MIL-A-8624F
  • Colors: black, red, blue and grey
  • Black oxide of stainless steel
  • Ebonal-C


  • Gold electroplating per AMS 2422D, nickel electroplating on, electro-less gold, and electro-less nickel on the following materials:
    • Copper
    • Brass
    • Magnesium
    • Aluminum
    • Stainless steel
    • Plastics
  • Electro-less copper
  • Electro-less tin
  • Copper electroplate
  • Tin-lead

Silkscreen Printing

  • Components
  • Equipment panels
  • Labels and signs
  • Magnetic and reflective signs

Chemical Machining and Etching

  • Stainless steel (up to .012)
  • Brass
  • Aluminum


  • Equipment panels
  • Gaskets
  • Plastics

Etched and Photo Printed Labels

  • Fotofoil (Soft anodized aluminum)
  • Colors: black, blue, red
  • Etch and backfill stainless steel
  • Wall and desk nameplates

Printed Circuit Boards

  • Double-sided plated thru holes
  • Multilayer (up to 6 layers)
  • Flexible circuit
  • Polyimide
  • Teflon
  • RT duroid
  • Rogers TMM3, TMM4 Ceramic
  • Photo-plotting