Asee peer logo

Popping The Top On Basic Machining Instruction

Download Paper |


2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Manufacturing Processes Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

15.954.1 - 15.954.17



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Joel Dillon United States Military Academy

author page

Harold Henderson United States Miliary Academy

author page

Jeffrey Butler United States Military Academy

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Popping the Top on Basic Machining Instruction


Learning manufacturing processes, particularly machining, is an important part of the education of mechanical engineering majors. In most universities’ machine shops, there are typically many more students than any one type of machine tool. This situation, compounded by the fact that machining a part typically follows a strict manufacturing sequence, makes it difficult to have students create a single part that requires the use of more than one machine tool without forcing them to wait in line for one machine while other machines sit idle.

One solution to this problem that was used previously at the United States Military Academy at West Point was to have students create a separate simple part on each machine tool. This eliminated having a manufacturing sequence for any one part and allowed students to be split between the various machines. However, this approach also removed the important learning point of following a manufacturing sequence and thinking ahead to fixturing on the next machine in the sequence. Additionally, students were left with a series of relatively worthless trinkets that had little to no intrinsic value.

This paper describes the design and implementation of a simple bottle opener project that serves as the framework for an entry-level introduction to machining in an undergraduate manufacturing course. The bottle opener’s design allows students to machine it using various manufacturing sequences, so they may start on any of several machines and end up with the same final product. This paper also provides an assessment of the effectiveness of the implementation of this project through the use of student grades and performance, an assessment of the quality of team products and prototypes in a follow-on project, surveys, interviews with students, and course-end student feedback. The results of this assessment should be useful to any program that incorporates metal part fabrication techniques into an engineering course.

Dillon, J., & Henderson, H., & Butler, J. (2010, June), Popping The Top On Basic Machining Instruction Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16098

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015