Mastercam Reaches All Ages

The supposition that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” certainly does not apply when it comes to mastering the benefits of CAD/CAM with Mastercam. At Renton Technical College in Renton, Washington, students in their fifties are getting a firm foothold on a manufacturing career just as quickly as those recently graduated from high school. Some of the older students work swing or graveyard shifts at manufacturing companies, others have been recently laid off or have their sights set on a career with more opportunities than their current job situation.

Mastercam has been a major influence at Renton Tech for more than 20 years, as has Francisco Martinez, head of the school’s 2-year Precision Manufacturing Technology program. While the younger men and women have had daily contact with computers almost from birth and catch on really fast as expected, those in their 40’s and 50’s have responded exceedingly well. Mr. Martinez gives much of the credit to the Mastercam tutorials, with easy-to-understand and well-illustrated lessons. He stays with the Mastercam lesson plans right from the basics to actually machining the parts shown in the tutorials.

Mr. Martinez introduces his students to Mastercam in the sixth quarter, after they have mastered basic and G-code programming. He starts with simple geometry and 2D programming of tool paths, such as contouring and pocketing. Once they are comfortable with 2D, they proceed to 3D programming, as well as 4-axis and 5-axis machining. They have 25 computer stations in their Mastercam lab, all loaded with the latest Mastercam software. By using state-of-the-art Mastercam technology, Mr. Martinez knows that his students, both older and younger, and their future employers all benefit from the newly acquired CAD/CAM skills.


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