Machine Tool Students Create Lighthouse for Andrew Card

Machine Tool Students Create Lighthouse for Andrew Card

The students in Machine Tool Technology at Southeastern Technical Institute created a gift for Andrew Card, Jr., when he visited the school in October.

Jessie S., STI Machine Tool Technology (Advanced Manufacturing) Program

Shane O., Junior, Southeastern Regional Precision Machine Engineering Shop

AJ V., Junior, Southeastern Regional Precision Machine Engineering Shop & SOAR student instructor

Kylee E., Sophomore, Southeastern Regional Precision Machine Engineering Shop

Mr. Medeiros, Instructor

Dream up an idea, bring it to the computer for pictures then develop the dimensions and process to make it work.

Everything in the machine tool shop starts with an idea. In this case, the team developed the idea of a lighthouse. They worked on a base, the ‘water’ complete with waves, the ‘island’ for the lighthouse to sit on, and the lighthouse itself. The process itself revolved around measuring. First, the students learned how to begin the project from Mr. Medeiros using the Sharp manual machine. Then they needed to automate the process to be able to manufacture more pieces in higher production. They worked the measurements and math to set up automation in order for the machines to change tools, etc., on its own using G-code.

The ‘water’ base, complete with rippling waves, was made out of Corian donated to the school district. First, it was drawn in Autodesk Inventer, then tested out in the Sharp manual vertical milling machine.  Holes were also drilled in the Sharp machine to secure the piece in the Haas vertical CNC mill. Starting slowly and paying close attention to the programming of the machine, the students tweaked as needed to make sure the end product was as desired. Minor mistakes, even something as small as a decimal in the wrong place, could have led to significant damage to the piece.  Using the laser engraver, the Southeastern Hawk logo was added to the base.

The round ‘island’ was also machined out of Corian donated to the school district. The machine tool students developed a prototype of the round ‘island’ and then milled the round pieces using the Trak K3 vertical milling machine. Special shout out to the Carpentry students for taking the sheet of Corian and cutting it down to blanks, small squares and rectangles used to machine the ‘base’ and ‘island’.

The lighthouse was made out of aluminum donated from Machine Inc. in Stoughton. The students worked out the details on paper, then went to the machines again with their measurements and math. Machinists must have a thorough understanding of the math behind the design in order to refine the process to manufacture the best product possible in the most timely and efficient manner.

Instructor Mr. Medeiros said, “The goal is to teach the students to dream it up, put it on paper, add dimensions and process into production.” He said the lighthouse design will be used going forward as a project during freshmen exploratory when the shop is showcasing it’s skills to potential students. Thank you to Jessie, Shane, AJ, Kylee and Mr. Medeiros for their contributions to this project, and gift for Andrew Card, Jr. It is a great representation of the Southeastern students and multiple shops working together for a common goal.

The Machine Tool Technologies (Advanced Manufacturing) Program is a 900-hour program for adult learners that begins every spring semester. Students learn everything from the basics of manual machining to current technology in the industry. Internship provides real-world experience, with many students being hired prior to graduation.

Precision Machine Engineering is the high school program in the same shop for high school students to experience designing and manufacturing precision parts and 3-D prototypes as well. The adult and high school students work on projects together.

Click here to read more about Andrew Card’s visit to Southeastern.