Machining & Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM)
Manufacturing across the country is changing and creating many high-paying opportunities for trained, highly-skilled individuals. The LISD TECH Center teaches manual and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining – where the most job openings and best earnings potential are available. Successful students are often recruited for employment prior to graduation. Some companies offer students full employee benefits and opportunities for apprenticeships including college tuition reimbursement.
The Machining & Computer Aided Manufacturing program teaches students how to work in today’s advanced manufacturing facilities, to operate manual machine tools and to operate/program Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines such as the machining center, turning center and surface grinder. Students will learn machine shop safety, industrial blueprint reading, related math, precision measurement and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM). Some basic welding and fabrication is included in the curriculum.
To Be Successful
Successful students in this program have good math skills, are comfortable with technology, pay attention to detail, are mechanically inclined, enjoy working with their hands, are good problem solvers and are self-motivated. Math is an important element of the program as students produce work that must meet precise measurements.
Program Success Indicators
- Read and understand decimal numbers to four decimal places
- Read and understand whole numbers and fractions
- Read a ruler and measure to within 1/32 of an inch
- Have a fundamental understanding of geometry and right angle trigonometry
- Use charts and technical manuals as tools to complete lab projects
- Have exposure to computer-based design software
- Manage time effectively to ensure projects are completed to meet deadlines
- Take pride in working hard to solve problems and complete lab projects accurately
- Work independently on minds-on, hands-on lab projects
- Pay close attention to various details and follow written and verbal instructions
- Clean and maintain a safe work area
- Have patience and persistence in order to complete detailed lab projects
- Attend class consistently to have adequate time in the lab to complete all required projects
- Work beside other students without becoming a distraction or being distracted
- Prepared to learn new skills or improve skills each day
- Use fine motor skills to operate machinery
- Apply academic principles learned in the classroom in an industrial lab
- Ask questions and seek advice when unsure of proper procedures
- Being mechanically inclined is important
- Maintain focus to ensure all safety procedures and machining processes are closely followed
- Be able to look and listen closely in order to analyze machining operations
- Work without being distracted in a noisy environment
- In order to participate in FIRST Robotics, be prepared to attend class outside of normal school hours
Note: Additional education may be required.
- CNC Machinist/Programmer
- Tool and Die Maker
- Mold Maker
- Tooling Engineer
- Mechanical Engineer
- Industrial Engineer
- Manufacturing Engineer
High School Credit*
*The LISD TECH Center recommends the academic credit listed. Credit can only be awarded by local districts. The academic credit listed above is for completion of 2 years.
- 1.0 3rd Science (in lieu of)
- 1.0 World Languages (in lieu of)
- 1.0 Visual, Performing, & Applied Arts
- 1.0 4th Math
College Credit Opportunities*
*College credit can only be awarded by the college or university. Certain requirements must be met outside of completing the program.
- Davenport University
- Ferris State University
- Jackson College
- Siena Heights University
Jackson Area Manufacturers Association’s (JAMA) Academy for Manufacturing Careers**
** Successful students may earn credit waivers for related apprenticeship courses.
Al Constable, a former Sand Creek and LISD TECH Center student, started his career as a tool and die apprentice and completed his coursework at Jackson Community College. After working in the tool and die field for thirteen years, Al earned his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. He began his tenure at the TECH Center as an Advisory Committee member in 1988 before becoming the instructor in 2001.
Scott Dennis is a 1988 graduate of Sand Creek High School and the LISD TECH Center's Drafting program. Scott continued his education at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York where he graduated with a BS in Industrial Design. After college, his first job was designing injection molds in Vicksburg, MI for three years. Scott worked at other companies designing jigs and fixtures, neon signs, and metal fabrication. In 1999, Scott was hired by Recco Products to start up a Cad Engineering department and oversaw all company engineering and customer drawings, as well as managed production tooling and CNC programming for all of Recco Products stainless steel filters. Scott got the opportunity in 2005 to teach Blueprint Reading part-time at Kalamazoo Valley College to people who had never seen an engineering drawing before and needed to understand all the detailed graphics and symbols that go into them. Scott left Recco Products in 2015 to move back home to Adrian to be closer to family. He decided to get his certification in CNC machining in 2016 from the Southern Michigan Center for Science and Industry in Hudson, MI. Scott last worked at Meridian Mechatronics in Deerfield, MI as a CNC machine operator.