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Precision Machining | Heartland Career Center

Project | 01
Heartland Career Center Aug 2018-19 | Precision Machining & Advanced Manufacturing Class​

I took a precision machining class at Heartland Career Center during my senior year of high school. As a result of my prior engineering experience and my strong work ethic, I was given extra work and responsibility. I was allowed to run the CNC machines before most of my first-year peers. My instructor handed me the manual for the CNC lathe and book for our CAD program, MasterCam, and asked me to learn it and see how clear the instructions were. My instructor would often start projects where he was making several identical parts and have me keep the process going.

I started learning machining processes on manual lathes and vertical mills. Our first mill project was creating a steel die. Our first lathe projects included making dies of different diameters and knurling a section of each.

Coordinated with learning MasterCam, my instructor let me use the 3D printer and the CNC mill to test how well I could adapt a model in MasterCam into the correct code.

My instructor asked me to come up with something that could be a simple, non-religious based Christmas decoration that could be created using the 3D printer. Working within the size constraints of the printer, I created a small snowflake ornament.

I created an aluminum cross on the CNC mill as the fall semester ended. While the text engraving on the back was fairly simple, the crown of thorns engraving on the front was a little tricky, as I had to hand draw each line and then program each path based on the lines. The thorns were particularly difficult, and the lines often did not want to touch the curves where I wanted them to land.

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