March 3, 2022 – On Tuesday, March 1, eight students gathered at Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC) in Knoxville, TN, for a tap test demonstration as part of the Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) Programming 1 class. Learning CNC programming in a hands-on environment is the first college class of its kind locally. The course grew out of the curriculum for the America’s Cutting Edge (ACE) CNC machining training led by IACMI.
“I thought it was really awesome,” shares 20-year-old Dalton Sutton. “I was really intrigued by the technology.” He’s taking this course because he’s already designed and secured a patent for a new style of skateboard. When he found out how much it would cost for a CNC operator to design a mold for him, he decided to learn the skills himself. Sutton adds, “I like to design how to make products better. That’s been my passion since I was a kid.”
That sort of fiery, innovative spirit is what professor Jose Nazario is hoping to foster in CNC Programming 1. “I’m trying to give them real world experiences, not just give them a block and say, ‘hey, cut this’” says Nazario. “It’s applying industry experience in a college setting, where it can be done without the risk of getting fired.”
Including a tap test demonstration in the curriculum is a chance for students to see the latest innovations in industry. A tap test is a method that allows CNC operators to increase productivity by assessing optimal conditions without expensive trial and error. It gives both visual and sound distinctions in tool quality with regards to “chatter.”
IACMI partners with the University of Tennessee to manage an ACE CNC machining training program for composites and metals. The training includes both an online and in-person component. ACE is a national initiative to bridge the skills gap in domestic manufacturing and restore the prominence of the U.S. machine tools sector.