Mastercam Prepares Students for the Great Outdoors


For decades, tales about the fantastic fishing and hunting venues that abound in the state of Montana have affected many a young boy or girl listening to their parents and grandparents urging them to take advantage of the state’s “great outdoors.” Nowhere has the message been more greatly received than in Jim Weber’s Welding and Machining III class at Helena’s Capital High School. Here, the program’s seniors are crafting fly rods, hunting knives and class rings that are professional in manufacture and appearance.

Mr. Weber developed the project last year, using the Mastercam CAD/CAM software and Haas CNC machine tools that have been his go-to capabilities for the school’s two-year machining program for more than a decade. The beauty of this fly rod project, according to Mr. Weber, is that it gives the kids all sorts of opportunities to become proficient in both CAD/CAM and CNC machining skills. All of the reel seat parts are designed and solid modeled in Mastercam and then programmed in Mastercam for machining. They perform engraving, 2D, 3D, and 4th axis machining to customize the reel seat design, usually with a stylized trout or bass. The sky’s the limit on how tricked-out the kids want to make these rods. What they design in their Mastercam stations, they can create with the CNC machine tools.

The school has thirteen Mastercam stations and Mastercam Design licenses for twenty computers. Seniors are required to do a ton of solid modeling and 3D machining before graduation. The fly rod is actually one of three required projects. Seniors begin their year with the design and manufacture of a hunting knife, another must-have for Montana’s great outdoors. The second project is the design and manufacture of their individualized class ring, featuring a great outdoors motif, so being able to design and build their own hunting knife and fishing rod and then to go out and use it while wearing their unique class ring is a very big incentive for the students.

See more Mastercam educational success stories here.

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