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  1. #1
    r6racer5394 is offline Plastic
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    Default 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.

  2. #2
    doug6949 is offline Hot Rolled
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    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.

  3. #3
    Mike K is offline Cast Iron
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    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!

  4. #4
    ScottAtHurco is offline Aluminum
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    Default Mid-Florida Tech

    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?

  5. #5
    Marcibb's Avatar
    Marcibb is offline Hot Rolled
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    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.

    Marci

  6. #6
    machine1medic's Avatar
    machine1medic is offline Titanium
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    Default 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.

    BUT
    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.
    m1m

  7. #7
    doug6949 is offline Hot Rolled
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcibb View Post
    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..
    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.

    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.

  8. #8
    LoveMachine is offline Aluminum
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    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.

  9. #9
    Marcibb's Avatar
    Marcibb is offline Hot Rolled
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    Quote Originally Posted by doug6949 View Post
    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.

    Marci

  10. #10
    Polaraligned is offline Hot Rolled
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    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.

  11. #11
    Kris P is offline Hot Rolled
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    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.

  12. #12
    KilrB is offline Stainless
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    Default

    Same place that got me started, in a different state:

    NTMA Chapters

    Hope your local chapter is as good as mine was so many years ago now.

  13. #13
    Miketd is offline Aluminum
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    Quote Originally Posted by doug6949 View Post
    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.

  14. #14
    John Welden's Avatar
    John Welden is offline Diamond
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    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.

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