The Plasma-CAM CNC Plasma Cutting Table is used to cut metal, based on student’s designs. They are able to form decorative signs, parts for other machines, and a variety of other creations. CNC machines are very common in the workplace; by using this machine in class, they are providing training for careers without requiring students to attend a Tech program. Since they are using the machine to make fundraiser items, they are also incorporating business training as students are taking orders, estimating prices, and more. Students are also learning how to use several styles of software to run the machine and have to use critical thinking skills to solve problems encountered throughout the process.
“In the future, as more grants become available, we will purchase the attachment that will allow us to use the machine to cut wooden and plastic signs/designs as well.” Stated by Jennifer Hamlin, FFA instructor.
Mrs. Hamlin can’t recall where she had first heard about the Plasma-CAM. She saw several of them in other schools as a teenager and she also used Plasma-CAM machines in college. The FFA had purchased the machine two years ago through a grant. They ordered it in the late spring and the machine arrived during the summer.
The Plasma-CAM brand has been around for many years and is regarded as having a solid reputation, which is why she chose the brand. As far as why she bought the machine in general, they needed to integrate more technology into our shop program and give students more options. Not everyone enjoys welding, not everyone enjoys woodwork, and not everyone enjoys using a cutting torch so this machine provides one more option for students enrolled in the class.
The machine allows more students to work at one time. It also helps integrate math, critical thinking, and communication skills. While the machine is cutting another, students are able to work on the next designs encourages teamwork as well.