Teaching CNC Machining in Modern Manufacturing

General Topic:

Where should my CNC Machining Curriculum be now?




Keegan family

Anyway – I didn’t want to give anyone the impression that they would be Cadcam Programmers on Day one on the job. So I didn’t teach it and wasn’t really required to do so previously. The newer Florida FL-DOE frameworks does spell out to teach intro Cad and Cam.

Phase 2





So I have seen very impressive work done by students when given a hand code project. It brings me back to the 80s when I started and had to program by hand. I could teach that proficiency on a higher level Skills Style contest but I have to think is that going to be used on the job? program a tough part by hand? I believe all should know that G Code basics. Be able to search and edit – move tool #s, and work offsets at the machine. Write a simple program to cut a circular soft jaw. or a quickie face mill operation. I have some older Skills USA national prints and I salivate doing that to show some one how much I know just to show off.


But would even I ever do that today on a real job? I think of why would I teach rotary table for a manual mill or how to use a manual horizontal milling machine. A Noble skill but we have evolved passed that. We had a horizontal mill in my trade school in 1983 and we never turned it on. I hear stories about the old timers and how they could do curves with a rotary. I used a Prototrak 2 axis to do a bolt circle or even bore a circle or curves in the early 90’s. So have we evolved from complex G code? Consider the time it takes me to teach and them to do. Today we have only 3 Milling G-code projects and that NIMS CNC Level 1. that’s as far as I want to go. 50% of the students will complete all of those and same with CNC lathe.

This has been bugging me and how I want to evolve and keep up with the best shops and even educate some shops that are lagging behind. One of my grads was so proficient with Fusion 360 after 11 months he is doing all the setup and programming now at his new job and he only left 3 months ago.


At STC we are also going to segway into Mastercam after we do Fusion 360 but only as an intro. I think the way we are setup here in Fla. – we are basically one year tech schools – all you can do is teach intro and hope fully build some proficiency in that time.

I would like to have an advanced CNC Machining course at night where they come back to dig into it some more after they have been on the job. So that would be advanced CNC and Cadcam. We also could be teaching other machinists who may not have attended STC but would like to move up.

About cncdude5x

Lead Instructor for Precision Machining & CNC Automation Educational Program at Suncoast Technical College -
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