Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Subcategory: Civil/Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering
Courtney Pickett - J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College
Co-Author(s): Adam Clark, J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College, Huntsville, AL
CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control and has been around since the early 1970’s. Prior to this, it was called NC, for Numerical Control. While people in most walks of life have never heard of this term, CNC has touched almost every form of the manufacturing process in one way or another. CNC machines typically replace the manual aspect of labor. For example, drilling holes where a drill press can be used to ‘machine’ holes. A human can drill holes by placing a drill in the drill chuck that is secured to the spindle of the drill press. Then they can ‘manually’ select the desired speed for rotation and activate the spindle, compared to manually having to measure and drill by hand. A Qualitative research was conducted to identify the preference between manual machining and computerized machining, which includes programming. The purpose of doing this research process is to compare and contrast the pros and cons of modern day machining equipment to manual machining. During research, a survey regarding the question of which method of machining students preferred, Manual or CNC was distributed. The surveys were distributed to students who have had experience with both manual and computerized machining equipment. 25 students were surveyed on their preference to use Manual or Computerized Machines. 24% preferred Manual and over half preferred CNC programming. This could be due to generational gaps. However, age and other demographic data were not used in the survey to assist with this assumption. Additional research will include demographic data to identify if machining preference is related to generational gaps. Future research will also address the following question: How will manual machining and CNC machining progress or stall in the demanding manufacturing world?
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This work was supported, in part by: NSF GA-AL LSAMP Grant #1305041.
Faculty Advisor: Adam Clark, firstname.lastname@example.org