The MMA was established to form a partnership between Erie Community College and local manufacturing companies for the benefit of both industry and students. ECC works to educate the future manufacturing workforce. This Alliance provides a crucial connection to industry to ensure ECC is meeting the training needs of local manufacturers.
For the past seven years, students of Erie Community College’s exemplary Industrial Technology Program have enjoyed an award-winning presence on the national stage of Mastercam’s Wildest Parts design competition. This year, they continued what has now become an annual tradition of design dominance.
In a field open to students from nearly 75,000 schools around the country, ECC’s David Chrapa and Tom McDonough notched first and second place overall as the college’s participants once again mastered the decades-old contest’s Postsecondary Division. This is the eighth year in-a-row that an ECC student has been awarded either first, second or third place in the event, which challenges students enrolled in Mastercam courses to create a unique, original design using Mastercam software.
Lancaster native Chrapa earned first place for his Ferris Wheel project, one that he made as a working model that his kids might enjoy. In order to create this rotating apparatus, David did much of his designing within SOLIDWORKS and brought his CAD files into Mastercam. He created some of his own fixtures and used a mill, a lathe, and a waterjet, with some components being machined first on the waterjet and then on the mill.
Eden resident McDonough took second prize for his Model 3 Steam/Air Engine, which can actually run on 1psi of air/steam, but can also withstand 90+psi. In creating this part, Tom learned a lot about feeds and speeds of different materials, making fixtures, and how to run Mastercam efficiently. In all, he estimates that he invested 70‐80 hours into machining the model along with many more hours invested in designing and programming the part.
This victory is the latest achievement for an ECC Industrial Technology Program that is leading the way in Western New York advanced manufacturing by providing trained graduates to answer the region’s dire need for skilled laborers, manufacturers and technicians. Its enrollment has surged over the past decade and is now utilizing state-of-the-art training labs and advanced equipment for students eager to enter the area’s expanding industry.
The Industrial Technology department has received a Perkins Grant to purchase 4 new Lathes, 4 new milling machines, and a VF3 CNC Mill. The new Lathes will allow ECC to greatly enhance the IT121 Machine Tools I Course, with some curriculum revisions, resulting in higher student outcomes. In addition, the department has purchased 5 Fanuc CNC Simulators. Syracuse Supply has matched ECC’s purchased of the 5 simulators by donating five simulators to the college. These simulators are dual in nature, providing simulation for both CNC Mill and Lathe simulation. The Fanuc simulators have long been requested by industry to enhance the program by offering valuable industry experience to our students. These simulators will be utilized in 3 different courses within the department. IT102 CNC Mill Programming, IT103 CNC Lathe Programming, and IT202 Advanced CNC.
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