This presentation will describe a new CNC machining training program developed in collaboration between the University of Tennessee (UT), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and IACMI – The Composites Institute. It is part of America’s Cutting Edge (ACE), a national initiative for machine tool technology development and advancement. ACE is supported by the Department of Defense Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) Program from the Office of Industrial Policy.

The new CNC machining training program is composed of two components: an online component followed by an optional one-week, in-person training opportunity. There is no cost to participate.

The online component is composed of:
● a machining tutorial, which covers topics including chip formation, tool wear, machining processes, machining equipment, CNC machining, computer aided manufacturing (CAM), and work holding
● CAM instruction through multiple lessons using an example part
● a machining dynamics tutorial, which describes the importance of considering machining vibration when selecting CAM parameters
● CAM lessons that leverage CAM+, a stand-alone app that simulates machining performance and is distributed with the program
● an introduction to machining cost
● multiple choice quizzes to assess learning and track progress.
The optional in-person training will be offered by Pellissippi State Community College, UT, and ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (Summer 2021, conditions permitting). It is composed of:
● Instruction for part setup, part probing, part program upload, and controller use
● Machining the example parts used in the online curriculum.

The intent of the new program is to educate and train the next-generation machine tool workforce, including future manufacturing engineers, machine tool designers, entrepreneurs, machinists, and others. It is appropriate for participants with or without CNC experience.

The program was launched on December 7, 2020 and exceeded 1000 registrations in the first 100 days. As of March 17, 2021, there were 1121 registrants from 41 states. This includes 400 from industry and 721 from schools (high school, community college, and universities).

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  • 1619455021-fd06292c425c57ee
    Tony Schmitz
    Professor and Director (UT) and Joint Faculty (ORNL)
    Machine Tool Research Center University of Tennessee
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    Knoxville, TN USA