Good School to Learn CNC
I have been wanting to learn how to use cnc machines and im new to this. i want to know if anyone knows of a good school to attend in the Orlando, FL? I basically want to be able to run cnc mills and cnc stations. any help would be appreciated. thank you.
Florida doesn't spend much money on education. State technical schools are virtually nonexistent. Your best hope is to find a job as a button pusher in one of the many shops in your area.
Show initiative, put up with some crap (that means be patient), use your time away from work to learn the craft, and you will move up.
Too bad you are in Florida. Nice place to visit, but progressive things like education don't make it in a state with a high percentage of conservative retired folks.
Where I live (Indiana), people are conservative but we still have Vincennes University and Ivy Tech. They have great programs for people who want to be machinists. Other states are probably even better.
Is moving out of your cultural backwater an option? You could always move back after you got your training. Then you could be the big fish in a small pond!
Mid-Florida Tech, in Orlando, has a pretty good selection of curricula. Okay, okay, they also have a Hurco. Heard some good things about them and their CNC offerings. Worth a look?
You may want to buy a good book on CNC programing, I recommend Peter Smid CNC Programing Handbook it's a bit slow getting started but it's a great primer.
Knowing something about machining in general will help you immensely, Machine Tool Practices by Kibbe, Meyer, Neely, and White is a great book for starters, look for an older edition or at a library or used book store it will save you some money.
There are also some free on line courses I am currently taking this one Sandvik Coronant's on line course on metal cutting a bit tedious to read but informative.
There currently is a push to certify and standardize Machining Technology course through out the country if you do decide to go the academic route then find a school that is certified thy will cover things like heat treating as part of metallurgy, and have a good survey of Cad/Cam program and other drafting programs.
Pay to learn vs. Be paid to learn.
I would add a dissclaimer.....(the higher the quantity of runs)
in a shop, the less to be learned.
Not much but boredom on a run of 3000 pcs.
A small job-shop, a Tool & Die shop, best IMHO,
would be a plastic injection mold-building shop.
Every day will strain yer brain.
So few mentally quallified applicants are to be had,
that shops will offen give you a chance.
If you have to be told to have a pencil in your hand
before you ask for advice.
Or start watching for 9:30 brake at 9:05,
You won't last long.
Go Fir IT.
Unfortunately, the push is coming from within academia, not industry. And it has little to do with content and even less to do with quality. It is more about cash-strapped schools looking toward marketing gimmicks and a Happy Meal approach to education.
Originally Posted by Marcibb
There are some very good programs out there. Mid-FL tech may be one of them. Just don't take the admissions and recruiting team's word for it.
Talk to graduates. Find out how many can even sharpen a drill. Talk to employers. Ask if they would hire graduates from a particular school. Increasingly, the answer in both cases is no.
Listen to the guys that say: learn how to do manual machining FIRST.
Get a job in a crappy little job shop. Don't ask for much money. You are there for the education. Borrow the operation/programming manual for any CNC machines in the shop. Read them!
You will learn how to machine on the manual machines, and how to talk to the robot through reading the manuals.
I agree there are very good programs out there, I guess I must be in one of them, everyone that graduated had a job waiting.
Originally Posted by doug6949
Not sure about how things are in Georgia and I am sure you must be more knowledgeable than me on such things here it's Honda, PPG, Sperry and I am sure others to that are pushing for the programs to be certified.
You can download Mach 3 (free) on your computer and write practice programs and run them. You will see the toolpath motion on the screen. It can be helpful for the beginner.
I haven't been up there in a few years, but Daytona Beach Community College had a really nice machining program. I believe that they were offering a 2 year program. They had the partnership with Haas going so they had all new machines in there, a classroom full of just control panels that you could learn on and they were teaching Mastercam. Also they even had a wire EDM to learn.
I know it's a bit of a drive but it was a nice place and the teacher was pretty good there, I never attended there but heard from others that he was a good guy.
There was a program here in Brevard, but it has gone down the tubes. Check out Valencia or whatever the local community college is over there.
Same place that got me started, in a different state:
Hope your local chapter is as good as mine was so many years ago now.
I don't entirely agree with this. Certainly, schools are broke and looking for ways to increase enrollments. But in my area at least, there is a preponderance of shops seeking degreed machinists versus experienced machinists and some prefer certain schools over others. Some schools get a bad reputation because if you pay them enough and show up, they'll give you a degree. Employers know this and realize that your degree doesn't mean you know what you're doing. Then again, if you go to a school like mine, local employers recognize it as a school that produces quality machinists, not button pushers.
Originally Posted by doug6949
In Minnesota here, the state heavily invests in colleges including the 2 year tech school I go to. We have a truly excellent machining program, starting from fundamentals, theory and manual machining(including drill sharpening on a bench grinder ) all the way up to CNC programming, fixturing, lean, SPC, shop management, etc. I'll be $20k in debt when I'm done, but I haven't even graduated yet and I already have an excellent full time job.
I agree with the general sentiment about Florida though. Getting a really good machining education there will probably be difficult or expensive. Come august, my degree will cost me about $18k. For that much money, I could have picked up a small Kitamura VMC with enough money left over for copious amounts of used/cheap tooling, stock and books. If moving near a good tech school isn't an option, this might be. I'll tell you beforehand though. No amount of books can replace hands-on experience.
An operator job("button pusher") will expose you to some really neat fixturing ideas, machining and inspection methodology, CNC machine operation fundamentals, etc. You can get theory from a book, but theory doesn't make chips; experience does.
Tech schools are good for helping people figure out if they want to be machinists or not. You're going to learn how to be a machinist on the job for the most part.
We have a Precision Machining and CNC Automation program here at SCTI - Sarasota, Fl. 11 months long. 2nd year of this program in all new facility with all new machines. We are NIMS accredidated program - you can earn credentials in each module. We are also a authorized Haas Technical education center. We also teach Fanuc control as well. We have financial aid and also VA benefits.
Haas VF-2 mill with 4th axis Haas TM-1P Mill Haas ST 10 lathe Prototrak 2 axis cnc mill
2 Knee mills 2 engine lathe 2 surface grinders 1 large drill press saw and deburr dept.
Inspection dept. with optical comparator Classroom has 12 Haas simulator controls 2 seats of Mastercam X7
We teach manual and CNC - all students learn to program G code, learn setup old school and with probes,
CNC Mill - setup single or multiple vices, cut soft jaws or use hard jaws and parralels , import program, edit,
set up tools, toolsetter or old school gage block, set up work offsets, probe or edge finder or indicator.
CNC lathe - bore jaws or switch to collets - bar feed - import good program setup , edit, and run off plus inspect. set up tools old school or with toolsetter.
In addition we also run through the basics of manual machining. This isn't the old 2 yr type program where we make sine bars and precision vices as projects but we cover the basics. Most shops now use manual machines as secondary equipment but its good to have somene who understands and can "feel" how things are cut and held. Its obvious that anyone who has 2-4 years of manual experience would be farther ahead but I don't think its essential. I was successful when I did a 3 month course in 1986 and hit the jobshops right after. I have worked for almost 30 years in the industry all the way up to lead programmer. My last job was with biggest defense contractor in the US in Orlando running large Mazak 5 axis mill - turns.
Once a shop knows you have basic knowledge and are suited for a machine shop life they can fill teach you what they want you to know. Most older programs teach only manual old school but companies want people who won't wreck the bosses expensive CNC machines.
We may be offering advanced programs and Mastercam only in the evenings soon.
We graduated 16 last year and 80% are now working.
Check our Our Blog for more info and pics SCTI Precision Machining Education | SCTI ? Precision Machining & CNC Automation Program ? Education in Manufacturing
This thread is four years old.
What's up, JeffServ the second?
Interesting, having multipe years of so-called higher education, I have come to the conclusion that schooling offers an introduction, in most cases a very limited introduction. Learn CNC ? or have an introduction ?, two very different things. If you go to a community college with the mind set that the courses are an introduction you will be far better off, better yet get a basic lathe, learn the basics, read, take a course or two, some on line help: Master Task was good for me. Keep in mind that 90% or more will fade from your memory unless you are one of the rare Jeoporady Champs, (I am for sure not). Its all good, you will be able to kick some tires and once you get the introduction, what you do with it and learn from there makes the difference as most of us have found out. CNC is a complex, multi-field with lots of sub fields, again all helps but chart your own path and certainly do not think that taking one or two classes or reading one book will make you fluent.
Originally Posted by r6racer5394
I don't think learning CNC is that difficult you can learn to draw in Cad and create tool paths in CAM by reading the manuals. Learning to be a machinist is a trade that needs to be learned over time with good instruction. To me learning CNC does you no good if you don't know the trade and understand machining principles. I have learned most of what I need to run my 2 CNC machines but coming from the hobby side of this trade I lack in some of the principles of being a good machinist. I know how to make the machines move and cut that is the easiest part knowing how to hold things and machine strategies takes experience. The more I learn the more I know how much I have left to learn.
Originally Posted by r6racer5394
Think Snow Eh!
Guys. Seriously. 4 years old.
OP Hasn't been back since the day after he posted this.
It was bumped by a semi-spammer. (He does have real posts... So not real spam, I suppose)