Development of a moderate-cost device for teaching numerical control programming

Matthews, Edward
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The study was undertaken to develop a machine which could be used to provide a realistic experience in the operation of a numerically controlled machine at moderate cost. The machine was designed to be used in the high school industrial arts laboratory. The machine was controlled by a microcomputer which was interfaced to stepping motors which powered a plotting table and the quill feed of a drill press. A router bit was placed in the chuck, so student selected designs could be cut in wood or plastic;The development of the machine and computer program was followed by a study of the effects of its use in a high school industrial arts curriculum on the students' acquisition of numerical control and automated manufacturing concepts, on their development of numerical control programming skills, and on their attitudes toward numerical control and the unit of study;The results of data analysis of the posttest and attitude instruments did not support use of the prototype machine to enhance concept acquisition, skill development, or positive attitudes toward the unit of study, although it was noted that all but four of the approximately 230 students participating in the study or pilot studies developed skills sufficient to complete at least one numerical control programming project successfully.

Industrial education and technology