Mastering Printing at Corona High

Eric Lee has been infusing creativity into practicality in his Design Manufacturing Technology program at Corona High School in Corona, CA, for more than twenty years. When he began teaching at the school, one CNC mill and one CNC lathe were about the extent of high tech in manufacturing in the classroom shop. Today, his students turn out beautiful work on CNC equipment that includes two lathes, two mills, a router, a laser engraver and a state-of-the-art 3D printer to demonstrate additive manufacturing. Thirty-seven seats of Mastercam® are kept busy creating programs for the machines.

After learning the basics in manual woodworking, students begin their CAD/CAM lessons with pen sets, desk organizers and wall clocks and then move into metalworking, designing and manufacturing items that appeal to their lets-make-it-fun creative instincts for things such as gearshift knobs, racing pedals and skateboards. One of Mr. Lee’s students, Paul Araujo, even won Mastercam’s 2012-2013 Wildest Parts Competition, using Mastercam for router work to design and fabricate a unique fish-skeleton skateboard combining 2D and 3D operations. Mastercam’s 3D projection machining created a consistent, smooth finish while following the natural curves of multiple surfaces.

Looking to the future of additive manufacturing, Mr. Lee has a Dimension® 3D printer in his classroom’s shop and the students have used it to produce projects ranging from a model steam engine to a model airplane motor. He teaches 3D modeling for the printer in Mastercam and saves the file as an STL file. Software for the printer creates the sliced programming language for each part. “Since additive manufacturing is the developing trend in industry,” says Mr. Lee, “our students are learning the basics of what they’ll need to know in the real world.”

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