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America's Cutting Edge Offers Free Online CNC Course

America’s Cutting Edge (ACE), Oak Ridge National Laboratory and IACMI — The Composites Institute, has developed a free CNC training program.
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A stock photo showing one man training another one a machine

America’s Cutting Edge (ACE), a national initiative for machine tool technology development and advancement, has developed a CNC machining training program in collaboration with IACMI — The Composites Institute and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This training program consists of an online course and (COVID-19 conditions permitting) an optional one-week, intensive, in-person training opportunity.

The spring 2021 online course is free, but requires registration. Topics include a machining tutorial covering chip formation, tool wear, machining processes, machining equipment, CNC machining, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and workholding; CAM instructions through multiple lessons using an example part, as well as CAM lessons leveraging the standalone CAM+ app; a machining dynamics tutorial describing the importance of considering machining vibration when selecting CAM parameters; and multiple-choice learning quizzes to assess learning and track progress. University of Tennessee, Knoxville professor Dr. Tony Schmitz developed the course in conjunction with the joint faculty at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. ACE estimates the online component is about six hours in length.

The summer 2021 in-person intensive training will take place at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tenn. It will include instruction for part setup, part probing, part program upload and controller use — leading up to machining the example part used in the online curriculum.

Interested parties can register at https://mtrc.utk.edu/ace/. Participants must register by March 12 and complete the online component by April 16 to be eligible for the in-person component, tentatively scheduled May 10-14 with other sessions to follow. Participants who complete the online training will receive a certificate of completion, 0.6 continuing education units (CEUs) from Pellissippi State Community College, a copy of CAM+ and a copy of Machining Dynamics: Frequency Response to Improved Productivity.

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