From Basics to Patents

Founded almost a hundred years ago, Prince Technical High School in Hartford, Connecticut, addresses many vocations for students drawn from all over the central region of the state. One of the most high tech of these vocations is metalworking, which is brought to a high level of cutting edge experience in the school’s Automated Manufacturing Technology department.

A tour of the department’s facilities evokes comparison with outside industry’s modern machine shops, with rows of manual/CNC milling machines and lathes, and even a Haas CNC cell comprised of a CNC machining center and two CNC lathes. What is most outstanding among this complement of technology is the establishment two Mastercam labs with a total of 36 CAD/CAM stations. The programming done in Mastercam by the students becomes a direct download to the CNC equipment for the students’ projects.

As students advance from 3D modeling, to advanced design principles, to advanced areas of manufacturing technology, they are encouraged by instructor Jim Clarke to bring in their own projects from the outside to keep them excited about what they are learning in the department. A student who has become the perfect “poster child” for this concept is Jêsus, a recent graduate. After learning the basics beginning as a freshman, he designed and manufactured two automotive parts that he patented and turned into a profitable business during his senior year. He claims that with Mastercam, he can make “just about anything.”

At a recent manufacturing employment expo, Prince Tech’s seniors attended with their Mastercam drawing portfolios and many were hired right on the spot. What Prince Tech is teaching is exactly what today’s industry is looking for.

Do you have a young person that you would like to motivate to learn more about Mastercam and manufacturing? If so, please check out our Mastercam Innovator of the Future Competition at www.mastercam.com/iof.

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