My culmination project will be on CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machine operation. Operation of these machines requires training and knowledge of materials. My objective will be to research the capabilities of CNC machines today and learn what it takes to become a professional CNC operator for the entertainment industry. I will also gauge how far I can progress from the level of a total beginner to industry professional in one semester.
The roles I will play are student, researcher, operator and drafter. I will be initially start with researching the history of the CNC machine and what other industries use it. The information may come from books, the internet, YouTube videos and even the library. I will prepare a short list of questions then visit shops that use the technology such as Showman, Hudson, Black Walnut and conduct interviews with the operators and other shop workers. I feel that the main purpose of the CNC machine is to help us build and create. So, in the meantime I will be working on training to use the CNC at school using CAD to create and test my own designs and those of other students, the entertainment department and friends should they need it. Training is where I plan to invest most of my time and money as I may have to supply my own materials at times.
During this process the plan is to meet with Professor John McCullough every two weeks to help evaluate the substance and progress of my culmination efforts. Below is an abbreviated timeline and projected goals.
|Jan-Feb||Research, meet with advisors|
|Feb-Mar||Begin interviews, CNC training, drafting, prototype samples|
|Mar-April||CNC Training, drafting, prototype samples, finish interviews|
|April- May||Prepare presentation, functional samples|
I am aware that there will be other expenses that will include travel, meals, gas, books and materials. In order to record my progress I already have a notebook solely dedicated to recording my hours and budget, a camera to record videos, interviews and if possible have a voice recorder should I not be able to record at a facility or the person who is being interviewed. I might even record miles travelled!
Even if I don’t get a job as a CNC in the near future I will still have the basic skill set and knowledge to catch up with the technology should the opportunity arise. What I hope to get out of my project is to acquire a new skill that will put me in a position to open more opportunities for myself. I would like to confidently put CNC operator in my resume skill set and feel comfortable working with this technology in any brand of machine. It would be great to be able to have a conversation with someone over the topic and make new contacts.
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