Before taking this class my exposure to heavy machinery was limited. I had used a milling machine and lathe to build a hammer during my freshman year of college, but that experience was conducted under the supervision of the instructor at every step of the process. As this was a basic introduction to a workshop environment, there was no discussion of any other machines in the shop besides the ones being used for the specific project, and those machines were manual rather than CNC-programmable.
My exposure to the computer programming aspect of manufacturing was limited enrolling at Great Oaks. In the spring of 2020, I enrolled in a six-week CAD program at Butler Tech and gained a basic knowledge of how to design a part and draw a blueprint in SolidWorks.
While I enjoyed the class, I was still disappointed that there was not a program at the school that involved the use of automated machinery to build actual parts. This influenced my decision to enroll in the CNC Manufacturing course at Great Oaks.
As a result of enrolling, I have gained a more in-depth understanding of machine operation, different techniques to manufacture desired parts, blueprint reading, GCode programming, and machine maintenance and troubleshooting. Having this knowledge and the certifications that come with it will help me to stand out among other job candidates in the manufacturing industry. The ultimate reward for me, however, is that I now have a chance to be employed in field that offers mental fulfillment as well as financial success. Employment in an industry that pays well enough to support oneself is itself a great achievement, but it also helps when the job in question requires exercise of both the body and the mind.