We started our 6th year and thinking about a new direction. We are going to take High School seniors next year to add to the college level CNC Machining instruction. I did want to start looking at a new path. I attend the HTEC CNC educators conference every year. (Haas Technical Education Centers). I meet with other instructors who also have become my friends. In session and just talking we discuss how to teach better.
Brian Cummings from Worcester Technical High School in my home state of Massachusetts and Dan Frank from Rocklin High School in California had started teaching Autodesk Fusion 360 CadCam system. I had been teaching Mastercam CadCam but curious about Fusion 360. So I wanted to learn about it.
In the CNC machining world, the machine runs assisted by a computer. You still need to be a machinist to use a CNC machine but now you have help. The CNC runs on G code generated manually or with Computer Aided Machining – CAM. You can simulate the process you want to use at a computer. Then generate the G code and import into the CNC machine. Setup your fixture – Setup your tools – test out the program and start making parts. Its the best way to make one or 100. In a very clean safe environment –
The CNC machine became dominant in the 1980s as the way to machine metals, plastics, wood etc.
I had used many other brands of Cad-Cam before so like I said I was curious about Fusion 360. What helped the most was Titans of CNC Academy.
We installed the CadCam software in the class room and we did one project – the Titan 1M. We had to do the CAD work (design a solid model) – then do the CAM work ( set up the process and generate the G code) – at finally setup and run the expensive Haas CNC Milling Machine. It was very easy using Titans videos.
I was very impressed with the results. Students seem to have a better understanding of the process of machining and manufacturing from the computer simulation. So when they get on the CNC machine they have a better grasp of what they want to do.