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Any benefit to a Mech Eng. learning CNC machining?

  1. Jan 2, 2014 #1
    I graduated 18 months ago with my BSME degree and currently work full time as a Mech. Engineer. I enrolled in night school at a local community college to take a CNC machining certificate course this spring. The course is 2 semesters long and focuses on opereation of CNC equiptment mostly lathes and mills, programming CNC equipment using G code and learning MasterCam. The main reason I chose to do this is because I am interested in learning the subject. However it costs $2600 per semester. Which is not a lot of money but not really cheap either. I finshed paying off my loans from my bachelors degree so I am not in any debt and I can pay cash for both semesters without having to take out a loan. Is this somthing that could look good on a resume or help me become better at my job or is the satisfaction of learning somthing I am interested in the only benefit I will get from this class.

    In my current job I would say 2/3 of my day is spent designing parts that will be machined on CNC equipment. So I was thinking at the very least it should help me design parts that are easier and more effcient to manufacture if I have a better understanding of how it is done. What do you guys think. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2014 #2


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    It can't hurt, I'm assuming most of the actual CNC stuff is done by a machinist at your current job? At the very least it will provide greater insight into any potential problems you might come across in your designs.

    I don't know how employers will see the cert, but again, it can't hurt.
  4. Jan 2, 2014 #3
    Yeah I use a CAD package to do the 3D models and 2D drawings and then those go out to the shop where a machinst will write a program and then machine the parts.

    I don't expect to start actually maching parts at my current job. I do wonder if knowing how to program in G code and use MasterCam would look good on a resume for future engineering jobs or is that somthing that doest really matter and should be left off.
  5. Jan 5, 2014 #4
    Anyone else care to weigh in?
  6. Feb 22, 2014 #5
    I have worked as machinist but not as an engineer. That said I would recomend against taking the class. I have had a couple friends that took similiar courses and they spent a lot of time learning g-code and working on mastercam. These skills are of very little use to an engineer as you will barely scraping the surface during the course, learning from engineer not a machininst the has cut thousands of parts and has sizable experience to pass on, and these task will be done by a machinist anyways. I do however feel it would be worth reeding some online machinist magazines such as Modern Machine Shop and doing some online research about machining. And try to imagine paths to cut parts after you have an understanding of machining basics. As engineer it will be helpful to know what features are affordable and/or possible to machine. For example thin deep whole are really difficult and don't even think about not putting a rafius on an interal corner. Also I feel these classes can be a perfect example of "a little knoledge is a dangerous thing" because I have met to many engineers have taken a machining course get the idea they are machinist and end with false ideas or unwilling to consider machinist ideas and opinions. In summary learning about machining could be helpful but this course will likely have you spending a lot of time learning stuff you will never use again will not covering larger machining concepts.
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