A Thank You

I stopped by a machine shop garage sale on my way home from work and learned that the machine shop was closing due to retirement.  Dwight Koch was closing down his machine shop.  He was kind enough to donate some end mills and other miscellaneous parts to our program.  It is wonderful how much local businesses support programs like ours.  Thank you to all that have helped us out over the years and I wish Dwight the best retirement.  Thanks again.


From Solidworks to Vectric Aspire to CNC

We have known about designing boxes and cabinets in Solidworks and then cut the parts out on the CNC for some time, but we hadn’t made it happen yet.   I love this system because it takes the best of both softwares and helps create awesome work.  Solidworks handles the Assemblies so well and Vectric Aspire handles the vectors and post-processing for CNC so well.   Continue reading

Our Introduction to Arduino Unit

We have so much material to cover in our beginning manufacturing and engineering class that we don’t get very in depth their first year.  It is mostly an introduction and some hands on experience, practice and then move on.  This is true for our Arduino unit.  This is most students first experience with electronics and coding, so we start simple.

This is not a how to use the Arduino, but rather a how I teach Arduino.

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T-slot CNC table hold downs


Holding things down on a CNC can be the most frustrating part of the entire process.  Luckily for us our main machine has a vacuum table and we use window sealant foam for the back of the wood.  This works amazingly well for parts that are not cut through.  We have had to get creative for parts that need cutting all the way through.  Our large machine has an MDF table that has T-Slots cut into it and it requires hold downs.  I have seen all sorts of solutions for this, but few solved my main concern of wanting to carve on the entire board unhindered by the hold downs.

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Graduate Honored

A former student has been honored with a picture on the homepage of our local community college.

Here is a link to Everett Community College and their advanced manufacturing programs.


The student did very well in our program and was also part of the local Goodwill Youth Aerospace Program.  The Goodwill program has done wonderful work with Snohomish County students interested in manufacturing fields.

goodwill youth aerospace program