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America’s Cutting Edge (ACE) is a national initiative for machine tool technology development and advancement. It is supported by the Department of Defense Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) Program from the Office of Industrial Policy. The machine tool research and development for ACE is based at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), whose Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) is a global leader in developing and validating systems and processes that leverage digital frameworks for manufacturing innovation. According to Adele Ratcliff, IBAS program director, “ACE is intended to help the United States recover the technical and manufacturing leadership position and enable our ability to design and make the machine tools required to produce so many of the products that are used in modern society.”

As part of the ACE program, IACMI – The Composites Institute is offering a new computer numerically controlled (CNC) machining training program. It is composed of an online component, which may be followed by an optional one-week, in-person training opportunity. The online curriculum was developed by Dr. Tony Schmitz, Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) and Joint Faculty at ORNL. The in-person training is offered through collaboration between IACMI, UTK, and ORNL. If you’d like to learn more, watch the introductory video.

The online component includes approximately six hours of instruction and 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, which includes tool wear, the influence of machining parameters, and the role of machining dynamics
  • multiple choice quizzes to assess learning and track progress.

The optional, one-week follow-on training is composed of:

  • instruction for part setup, part probing, part program upload, and controller use
  • machining the example part used in the online curriculum.

The program’s intent is to train the next-generation machine tool workforce, including future manufacturing engineers, machine tool designers, entrepreneurs, machinists, and others.

To register for the online training, visit the following website.