FAQ

Browse Common TEKMILL Questions & Answers.

General

What is Tekmill?

Tekmill is a center of deep knowledge in Tech/Biotech Entrepreneurship, Business Development, Design, and Manufacturing. Providing key services in these areas, we help our clients rapidly achieve their objectives, whether that is launching a new technology start-up, providing tailored spaces and equipment training to foster innovative, safe, and successful prototyping, upgrading large scale production facilities with custom fixturing, producing high precision machined parts at low to high volumes, developing firmware for medical products, or providing critical personnel for a new project.

What services does Tekmill offer?

Tekmill provides services that align with our areas of deep expertise and current needs of our customers.

       Services

    • The Shared Fabrication Center
    • Start-up Formation, Structuring, Funding, and Acceleration
    • Engineering: Mechanical, Software (Firmware, App, VR), Electrical, Robotics
    • Machining, Welding, Assembly, 3D Printing, Laser Cutting (non-metal)

Shared Fabrication Center

What is the Shared Fabrication Center?

The Fab Center is a place where corporate tenants in the University of Illinois Research Park can access to the space, equipment, and design professionals they need to create advanced prototypes. The Fab Center provides training and oversight for university student interns working on these projects.

Who can join?

Any corporate tenant of the University of Illinois Research Park can join by paying an annual membership fee.

How do I learn to use the equipment?

Tekmill experts provide machining, 3D Printing, Woodworking, CAD modeling, and Welding. We provide training in all these areas based on the needs of your project and your starting skill level.

What types of projects can I do?

Any project that requires physical space is a great fit. These can include a new prototype device, product, and virtual or Augmented reality.

Who has access to facility?

As a corporate member, any of employee or intern can be given access from 8 AM – 6PM. The Site Director may be given 24 hour access.

What if I need a private space?

The internal spaces in the Shared Fabrication Center are reconfigurable and are adjusted according to the member’s needs. Each private space includes walls and a lockable entrance.

Can new equipment be added to the center?

Onsite equipment is maintained or purchased based on the members’ current projects. New equipment purchases are decided by the Member Oversight Committee.

Is there oversight of my employees and interns?

Tekmill provides on-site supervision and oversight of employees and interns that are working in the Shared Fabrication Center. Tekmill can also provide project management.

Engineering

How do I get started on a project with Tekmill?

All inquiries can be sent to [email protected] or call us directly at (217) 353-5111

What is the typical process of project?

We want to be sure we are meeting all of your needs and expectations, whether those are cost, quality, or function. We’ll start with a discussion of your needs and then capture those into a customer requirements document that describes your project in detail. From this we can generate the engineering specification, deliverables, timelines, and cost estimates. Throughout the design process we work closely with you to be sure we are meeting your needs at every step.

Can an engineer work at my location?

Engineers can either work on location if needed. Also, TEKMILL contractors can work as embedded members of your team full or part-time. This brings valuable expertise to your project at lower cost.

Machining and Assembly

What capabilities do you have?

We have all types of CNC machining (turning, milling, cutting, etc.), CMM, welding, 3D Printing, Metal and non-metal laser cutting, and assembly. We also have large network of vendors that provide additional services such as EDM, waterjet, painting, anodizing, and heat treating. TEKMILL is especially well suited for complex and high precision parts and assemblies.

What types of parts and assemblies have you done?

We have fabricated a wide array of parts and assemblies including optics for life-science instruments, high precision optical housing for medical devices, automotive production parts, automotive factory fixturing, and end-of-arm tooling for robotics.

How do I make an order?

All inquiries can be sent to [email protected] or call us directly at (217) 353-5111. To upload a file, click here.

Is there a minimum order quantity?

We regularly work on both prototypes and high-volume orders.

When will I receive my parts?

Our standard lead time is 4 weeks. However, we will get your parts to you as soon as possible and can expedite your order for a modest fee.

Can you certify the parts?

Yes. Our Third-party calibrated and certified CMM can determine if your part is made to specification and tolerances.

Can you handle high volume?

Yes. We often work fulfill orders for Tier 1 automotive suppliers and are also used to complying with PPAP and documentation requests.

Tekmill @ EnterpriseWorks

How do I gain access to the makerspace?

Access to the makerspace at Enterprise works requires the completion of a brief safety training module. Once you have completed the module your ID badge will be given access to the space. To sign up for training contact us at [email protected]

How can I learn to use the equipment?

We highly recommend participating in free hands on training for some of the more dangerous and active pieces of equipment such the lathe, mill, and band saw. Training is regularly available and can also be arranged. Contact us about training at [email protected].

Who do I contact if something is broken?

TEKMILL maintains the equipment and tools in the makerspace. If there is any issue with the equipment or tools please contact us at [email protected].

Is there additional equipment available beyond the makerlab?

TEKMILL and UIUC have extensive fabrication capabilities beyond what is available in the makerspace. Feel free to contact us if your project is beyond the scope of the makerspace equipment. Also, if there is equipment you would like to see in the makerspace that is not already there, just let us know and we may be able purchase it for EnterpriseWorks use.

Startups and Business

How do I get my company started?

We have a lot of experience with new entrepreneurs, especially tech startups.  The best way to start is with an initial discussion that includes all founders. Each startup is unique.

Is my company eligible for grants?

If you have a technology based small business, especially with federal funding lineage, you are likely eligible for SBIR or STTR grants, in addition to other government funding opportunities. TEKMILL has successfully helped startup companies raise millions in federal non-dilutive funding.

Can Tekmill help with grant writing and submission?

Yes. We can help you find funding sources, identify relevant announcements, and guide you through the process of proposal development and submission.

How do I handle accounting and finance?

Often when a company is first started the books are relatively simple to maintain and can be done by the founder. However, as transactions become more complex and more often, accounting services can be helpful to keep you focused on building your company. TEKMILL provides part-time or full-time accounting services including accounts payable/receivable, forecasting, tax preparation, and payroll. The services are tailored to your business and needs to minimize your overhead cost and keep you operating efficiently.

Does Tekmill provide investment?

Tekmill can connect you with its network of angel investors and venture capital firms, and help you to create a winning presentation. Most importantly, Tekmill create the all important prototype these investors want to see.

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