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Space at ACE

Prototyping and validation centre for new technology

Products Collage

Get your idea off the ground with the Space at ACE!

ACE is a proven development centre known for excellence in engineering, testing and prototyping. Our partnership with Durham College, FastStart and Spark looks to provide easy access to state-of-the-art facilities and engineering and technological expertise to innovative startups, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and local businesses that wish to develop and grow. The goal is to enable businesses to thrive, allowing for the building, testing and validation of their products.

ACE has both lab and workshop space, which is available for businesses to explore and solve design challenges as they progress into the physical development of their product.  

Student-led startups from UOIT's Brilliant Entrepreneurship program and Durham College's FastStartDC program can also have access to testing, validation and design services that are unique among university and college campuses. 

The lab

ACE is home to extensive high-tech lab space that facilitates exploration and problem solving by providing key resources to companies in the design stages of their product. Our labs are ideal for companies with a need to build and test electrical, electronic, mechanical, mechatronic or control technologies. Innovations that can be refined in the lab space include products related to unmanned aerial vehicles, energy-efficiency technologies or autonomous vehicles.

The workshop

Along with advanced lab space, ACE makes a fully equipped workshop available to businesses. It contains more than $1 million of advanced-fabricating equipment, including numerically controlled mills and lathes, welding equipment, hand tools and injection-molding machines. This workshop is supported by students of Durham College and the team of skilled fabricators, designers and engineers at ACE. Our knowledgeable staff have the ability to leverage these assets and build just about anything for anyone, from students to startups, SMEs and the local business community.  

Space at ACE removes existing barriers to accessing early-stage engineering and technology advisory services. Give us a a sketch of your requirements and we will provide design input, aid in the sourcing of materials, and build it for you. ACE will turn your idea into a reality—affordably.

Machine Shop Picture Collection


  • Lathes

    Lathe in Workshop

    Lathes have a wide range of applications and can used to:

    • Reduce the diameter of cylindrical pieces made of material such as metals, plastics and wood.
    • Cut threads into pieces, e.g. cutting threads to make screws.
    • Part/cut pieces to desired lengths.
    • Face pieces to creating flat edges at exact lengths.
    • Drill/bore into pieces, e.g. creating a tube.
    • Cut pieces on precise angles.
  • Radial arm drill

    Radial Arm Drill

    Radial arm drills can be used to quickly and efficiently drills holes of varying depths and diameters in a variety of materials such as steel, aluminum, copper, plastic and wood. Radial arm drills have interchangeable bits and culets to create different types of holes, e.g. holes for screws. They can drill holes ranging in diameter from fortieths of an inch to 2.5 inches.

  • Mills

    Mill in Machine Shop

    Mills can be used to efficiently and precisely drill, tap, fly cut, bore and side mill materials such as steel, aluminum, plastic, copper and wood. For example, it can be used for creating pieces like yokes that call for various types of holes and complex shaping.

    Our mills include:

    • Easy-to-use and adjustable quick-change culets and removable vice grip.
    • Adjustable revolutions per minute (RPMs) with a wide range of speeds.
    • Extensive variety of tooling allowing for limitless machining capabilities.
    • Large variety of clamping sets to fixture many different-size pieces to mill.
    • Additional indexing table allowing user to turn down pieces. 
  • Sandblaster

    Sandblaster in Machine Shop

    Sandblasters sand pieces by removing outer layers of material and debris on metals and plastics to produces a rough texture on the piece. May be used for prepping pieces for painting or removing layers of paint, rust, etc.

  • Disk grinder

    Disk Grinder in Machine Shop

    Disk grinders are used to sand and remove outer layers of material and debris from metals such as steel and aluminium. They are often used for deburring pieces (dulling sharp edges) after cutting.

  • Bench grinder

    Bench Grinder in Machine Shop

    Bench grinders are used solely for the precise and delicate grinding required of drill bits and welding electrodes. They allow for dull drill bits and the electrodes used for welding to be sharpened without the damage that can be caused by a disk grinder.

  • Surface grinder

    Surface Grinder in Machine Shop

    A surface grinder allows for the very precise grinding of a variety of metals, excluding aluminum. Surface grinders can be used for grinding very flat, extremely smooth surfaces when high accuracy is desired. For example, our surface grinder can shorten a piece of metal to thousandths of an inch.

  • Surface table and height gauge

    Surface Table & Height Gauge in Machine Shop

    The surface table is an extremely flat table paired with height gauge allowing for precise measurement of pieces as well as the marking of pieces for cutting. It is useful when utmost precision is required for the length of pieces.

  • Router and plasma cutter

    Router and Plasma Cutter in Machine Shop

    Combines a computer-controlled router cutter that can be used for cutting complex 3D shapes into plastic or wood, and a computer-controlled plasma cutter that can be used for cutting complex 2D shapes in metals, plastic or wood. It is useful for creating unique designs.

  • Mig welder, tig welder and welding table with exhaust extractor

    Welder in Machine Shop

    Our mig welder allows for the quick and efficient welding of metals for large to small pieces. The tig welder uses small welding electrodes for increased control and precise welding of various metals when working with delicate or thin pieces.

  • Paint booth

    Paint Booth in Machine Shop

    The Paint Booth can be used to paint a large variety of different-sized pieces and ensures there is safe ventilation while painting.

  • Compound miter saw and table saw

    Miter Saw and Table Saw

    Our compound miter saw and table saw can be used to cut wood to desired sizes for pieces.

  • Tool room

    Space at ACE has a tool room to aid in the creation of your prototype complete with:

    • Drill press: Used to drill different-sized holes into various types of metals.
    • Hydraulic press: Automatic one-ton press used for flattening pieces or pushing in bearings.
    • Arbor press: Manual press used for flattening pieces or pushing in bearings.
    • Stomp shear: Manual shear used to cut sheet metal to desired size.
    • Cutoff grinder: Grinder used to cut pieces of metal to desired size.
    • Vices: Used to hold pieces and allow for adjustments.
    • Tube bender: Bends tubing at specific angles.
    • Break: Allows for the precise bending of metal (up to 14 gauge).
    • Hydraulic shear: Automatic shear used to cut metal to desired size.
  • Tool chest

    Space at ACE has a variety of tool chests with equipment that can be used in the creation of prototypes, including:

    • Hand tools: Drills, saws, nail guns, screwdrivers, wrenches, etc.
    • Measurement tools: Dial calipers, mychrometers, dial indicators, gauge blocks, etc.
  • 3D printing

    Cimetrix Logo

    ACE has partnered with Cimetrix, which provides 3D-printing technologies that can quickly produce prototypes and manufactured goods directly from 3D CAD files.
    Cimetrix has a comprehensive selection of 3D technology as well as composed senior-level industrial and mechanical designers to solve your most demanding challenges with unmatched speed, cost and precision. Quickly and affordably turn ideas into working prototypes by utilizing Cimetrix’s 3D-printing capabilities. Systems include 3D printers and laser scanners for:

    • concept development
    • direct digital manufacturing
    • prototyping
    • quality control
    • reverse engineering

    Some of Cimetrix's 3D printing technologies include:

    • Stratasys-patented FDM®, PolyJet and WDM 3D-printing technologies.
    • Artec 3D laser scanners.

    The following documents provide further information on Cimetrix’s service offerings and printing capabilities:

    • Who We Are – Cimetrix Overview.pdf
    • Fortus Systems Material Overview.pdf
    • PolyJet Systems and Materials Overview.pdf