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Virtual 3-D Laboratory for CNC Machining and Automation Curriculum

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1357.1 - 23.1357.14



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Paper Authors

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Yalcin Ertekin Drexel University (Engineering Technology)


Irina Nicoleta Ciobanescu Husanu Drexel University (Tech.)

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Dr. Ciobanescu Husanu is an assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering Technology at Drexel University. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University and also a M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering. Her research interest is in thermo-fluid sciences with applications in micro-combustion, fuel cells, green fuels and plasma assisted combustion. Dr. Husanu has prior industrial experience in aerospace engineering that encompasses both theoretical analysis and experimental investigations such as designing and testing of propulsion systems including design and development of pilot testing facility, mechanical instrumentation, and industrial applications of aircraft engines. In the last eight years, Dr. Husanu gained experience in teaching ME and ET courses in both quality control and quality assurance areas. Dr. Husanu has addressed a broad spectrum of students. After instructing various levels of education, she was granted experience in thermal-fluid, energy conversion and mechanical areas. She also has extensive experience in curriculum development.

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Radian G Belu Drexel University (Tech.)

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Dr. Radian Belu is an assistant professor within the Engineering Technology program at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He holds the second position as research assistant professor at Desert Research Institute–Renewable Energy Center at Reno, Nev. Before Drexel University, Dr. Belu held faculty and research positions at universities and research institutes in Romania, Canada and the United States. He also worked for several years as a project manager and senior consultant. He has taught and developed undergraduate and graduate courses in electronics, power systems, control and power electronics, electric machines, instrumentation, radar and remote sensing, numerical methods and data analysis, space and atmosphere physics, and physics. His research interests include power system stability, control and protection, renewable energy system analysis, assessment and design, power electronics and electric machines for wind energy conversion, radar and remote sensing, wave and turbulence simulation, measurement and modeling, numerical modeling, electromagnetic compatibility and engineering education. During his career Dr. Belu published several papers in referred journals and in conference proceedings. He has also been PI or co-PI for various research projects in the United States and abroad in power systems analysis and protection, load and energy demand forecasting and analysis, renewable energy analysis, assessment and design, turbulence and wave propagation, radar and remote sensing, instrumentation, atmosphere physics, electromagnetic compatibility, and engineering education.

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Jack G. Zhou Drexel University (Eng.)

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Virtual 3-D Laboratory for CNC Machining and Automation CurriculumGlobal competitions are forcing manufacturers, designers and engineers to constantly innovatenew product manufacturing strategies in reducing product development cost and time.Contemporary manufacturers have the option of selecting optimum technologies or processes tosuit their manufacturing environment. When these technologies are judiciously combined toaddress a specific manufacturing challenge such as the one presented in the paper, rapid productdevelopment for quantity production, will produce suitable results in terms of cost, quality, andtime. Equipping engineering students with the skills and knowledge required to be successfulglobal engineers in the 21st century is one of the primary objectives of undergraduate educators.The key to unlocking the full potential of the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) programmersand engineers lies in the ability to use the full range of the productivity tools incorporated intothe CNC equipment and software, while providing realistic operation, part programming, andmaintenance environment. Using actual CNC equipment or machine tools to deliver the hands-on experience that is vital to acquiring and demonstrating competence might be too expensive,especially when multiple locations are used for training purposes. Software simulators andhardware emulators can mimic the actual lathes, machining centers, and compound applications,while lowering the overall instructional cost, enabling students to acquire the required skills in asafe environment.The fundamental challenging problems in manufacturing education are related to: (a) Improvingthe student–instructional technologies interface to incorporate the required learning tools; (b)Improving teaching and learning effectiveness in online course and training. Therefore, the 24hour access to intensive and informative training tool is desired.This paper discusses the development of a virtual 3-D laboratory set of activities consisting oflearning modules and tutorials that will provide students with a realistic interaction with CNCmachine. The simulators used enable development of complex machine troubleshootingscenarios that are not feasible on real equipment. These simulators provide a realistic operation,part programming and maintenance environment at a fraction of the cost of using a real CNChardware or a production machine tool, therefore lowering the training costs. These simulationtools are basically means of optimizing part, machining process and tooling design. Hardwareand software simulators allow the users to learn how to program and operate the CNC machinein a virtual environment while the goal of the tutor system is to enhance student learning whenthe instructor is not available. Incorporating 3D animation allows students to visualize themachining processes and provides greater understanding of the challenges and operatingcharacteristics. Machine simulation includes real components like coolant, sound for machiningoperations and chips generation. Simulation software has over fifty different control models sothat not only our students will get familiar with the HAAS CNC milling machine that exist in ourlaboratory but also other universal control models such as Fanuc (Fanuc USA) or Sinumerik(Siemens).

Ertekin, Y., & Ciobanescu Husanu, I. N., & Belu, R. G., & Zhou, J. G. (2013, June), Virtual 3-D Laboratory for CNC Machining and Automation Curriculum Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22742

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