PEC Labs & Equipment

At the heart of the Precision Engineering Consortium’s facility are four temperature-controlled, vibration-isolated laboratories in which faculty, students, and staff develop new ideas for metrology, precision fabrication, and control. The laboratories (temperature controlled at 20 degree C to ±0.03 degree C) are equipped with the most advanced measurement, computational, and fabrication resources worth over $2 million.


The Precision Engineering Consortium’s computer scientists, physicists, and engineers form a unique multidisciplinary team. These researchers have an impressive array of resources at their disposal in our facility as well as access to the resources of the entire university via collaboration with other laboratories and other faculty. The PEC research team can provide engineering consultation, prototype fabrication and state-of-the-art metrology services to industrial and research communities. This includes services to other on-campus research groups. For more information, please contact Jacob Marx ( at (919) 515-3977.

Measurement Facilities

The PEC is well equipped for various types of measurement.

Surface Finish and Form Measurement

Griffin 4 Axis XYZC Stage With CA Probe

  • Noncontact 3D Profilometry
  • Vertical: 0.5 µm resolution/ 100 mm Range
  • Horizontal: 0.5 µm resolution/ 150 mm Range
  • Horizontal Repeatability: 0.1 µm

Zygo NewView 5000 Interferometric Microscope

  • Noncontact 3D Profilometry
  • Vertical: 0.1 nm resolution/ 5 mm Range
  • Horizontal: 0.5 µm resolution/ 50 mm Range

Form Talysurf Stylus Profilometer

  • Contact 2D Profilometry
  • 10mg stylus load
  • Vertical: 5 nm resolution/ 6 mm Range
  • Horizontal: 0.5 µm resolution/ 120 mm Range

Zygo GPI Laser Interferometer

  • Noncontact 3D Surface Measurement
  • Vertical: 2 nm resolution/ 0.1 mm Range
  • Horizontal: 10 µm resolution/ 150 mm Range


  • Noncontact Spherical Measurement
  • Confocal, chromatic probe, ±20° angle of incidence
  • 100 mm radius hemispheric working volume
  • 60 nm resolution

Zeiss Micura Coordinate Measuring Machine

  • 3D Contact Measurement
  • 500mm x 500mm x 500mm working volume
  • Capable of scanning surfaces
  • ISO 10360 Maximum Permissible Error:
    • E0 (um): 0.7 + L/400
    • THP (um): 0.9

Fabrication Facilities

The PEC has purchased or built laboratory-scale and production-scale diamond turning machines (Pneumo ASG2500 and Nano Form 600), precision grinders, and a computer-controlled focused ion beam machining system. Custom controllers have been developed and integrated in these machines tools to improve and expand their performance.


Rank Pneumo ASG2500 Ultraprecision Lathe

  • Maximum Workpiece Diameter: 300 mm
  • Travel: 250 mm (X-axis), 150 mm (Z-axis)
  • Feedback: Laser Interferometer with 2.5 nm resolution

Rank Pneumo Nanoform 600 4-axis ultraprecision machining center

  • Maximum Workpiece Diameter: 600 mm
  • Travel: 300 mm (X-axis), 300 mm (Z-axis), 100 mm (Y-axis)
  • Feedback:
    • Laser Interferometer with 1.25 nm resolution (X&Y)
    • High-resolution encoder with 1 nm resolution (Y)
    • High-resolution encoder with 1 arcsec resolution (C)

Federal Mogul Westwind Grinding Spindle

  • Air Turbine Drive
  • Air Bearing Spindle
  • 0-60 kRPM

Fast Tool Servo
(for machining rotationally asymmetric surfaces)

  • Travel: 35 µm
  • Bandwidth: ~1kHz
  • Feedback: ADE Capacitance Gage with 12.5 nm resolution

Variform Fast Tool Servo
(for machining rotationally asymmetric surfaces)

  • Travel: 400 µm
  • Bandwidth: ~300 Hz
  • Feedback: LVDT 10 nm resolution

(A piezoelectric milling device)

  • Travel: 20×8 µm elliptical path
  • Max. operating frequency: 4 KHz

Displacement Measurement

LVDT’s and Eddy Current Probes Vibration & Force Measurement

Computational Facilities

The PEC’s computing facilities include DSP systems for data acquisition and control and workstation PCs connected to the high-speed campus network. Engineering software site licenses for applications such as ANSYS, AvantEdge, Maple, Matlab, Mathematica, and SolidWorks/Simulation provide access to the latest computing tools for precision engineering.

Other NCSU Facilities

PEC students also have access to other university facilities, such as the Analytical Instrumentation Facility that includes high-resolution scanning electron microscopes.