• AMT

New CNC Machining Education Program and Boot Camp Funded by DOD

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

Tony Schmitz, Professor and ORNL Joint Faculty

Visiting Professor, Technische Universitaet Wien | SME Fellow | ASPE Fellow

Professor, Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


A new CNC machining education program has been developed in collaboration with IACMI – The Composites Institute and Oak Ridge National Laboratory as part of America’s Cutting Edge (ACE), a national initiative for machine tool technology development and advancement. ACE is supported by the Department of Defense Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) Program from the Office of Industrial Policy. 

The intent of the new program is to educate teachers and the next-generation machine tool workforce, including future manufacturing engineers, machine tool designers, entrepreneurs, machinists, and others. It is appropriate for participants with or without CNC experience.  

The program is composed of two components: an online component followed by a one-week, in-person, boot camp-style education opportunity (conditions permitting). The online component (to be offered in Spring 2021) 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 

  • Multiple choice learning quizzes to assess learning and track progress

The in-person boot camp will be offered by Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, TN, in Summer 2021 and is composed of: 

  • Instruction for part setup, part probing, part program upload, and controller use 

  • Machining the example part used in the online curriculum

There is no cost to participate, but registration is required. Registration is now open at https://mtrc.utk.edu/ace/. Registration closes on 12/31/20. 

To learn more about this project, you can watch an on-demand webinar facilitated by Greg Jones, Vice President, Smartforce Development, AMT and including the key stakeholders on the project here on IMTS Spark.