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Grant Money

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  • Grant Money

    Here's the story: My brother works for a large electronics manufacturing company that has grant money available. Single grants to education in the amount of $8000 are available. The money is to be used in some way to enhance education in the area of manufacturing. I plan on writing a request for the money in order to help my CIM (computer integrated manufacturing) class. My lab is equiped with a small CNC Mill, Lathe, and robot. I have no equipment like conveyors or turn tables that can help simulate the CIM process, test equipment is also sparce. What I would like to do is buy another CNC mill to free up my lone machine, but $8000 won't quite do it. I have non CNC equipment like metal lathes and a small vertical mill, as well as woodworking equipment.

    My question to you all, given similar conditions, what would you spend the money on? Vacations for the teacher and other fun stuff are out. I stand a pretty good chance of receiving a grant, as my brother will walk it through the process and let me know if I made an error in the grant writing.

  • #2
    Better tools, more tools, more tools.


    • #3
      You could try for a hand me down from a manufacturer in your area. It could be a win win situation. They get a write off, and you get a tool to teach. Try some of the big name manufacturers in your area.


      • #4
        There are a lot of good suggestions....

        I suggest a small mill - like Taig or Sherline that is CNC setup, a small PC - of 400 MHz+ or so, and some good creation software - like Rhino, Mach 1 and the like.

        Hardware is good. Software makes it great.

        I think you can get the PCs donated, for the "project", discounts on software, and the small size of the mills - with the 110V power - makes it easy to setup anywhere.

        Should not take a lot of your 8K. Can get a letter from tool and software makers. Turning it to a "project" - with supporting donations - might improve your shot of getting funds.

        Hopefully, there are some other good ideas... Like plugging in your "local metal club" for some help - cranky old timers have been known to share their experience. To get that old and have most of their diigits says you should listen....



        • #5
          May be one good approach is to use the grant money to leverage more donations of tools and SW....


          • #6
            look into a SpectraLight CNC mill or lathe. I suggest this as it is the closest thing to FANUC standard you can get. The others do NOT have the same "Industry standard" coding, offsets, and such, and many do NOT have radius and height offset. Take it from one who has been burned by cheap stuff handed down to me (stuff that is very non-teachable with skills transfer to industry, only good for MasterCam drawings all said and done, the codes and versatility suck that bad). The LIGHT will run at read ahead, and will do 3-D vcery easily. You can get these full boat cost at about 9K, BUT!!!!!! if you start to look at getting rid of the:

            1. "stock packages" - which are a few chunks of metal you can find laying around for a few cents, but this costs about $150.00. Might also have machinable wax (added cost), but you can get this better, but then again, I call a company called "LAST A FOAM" in Tacoma WA, and get 40# insulating foam for nuthin, and it works as well and better.

            2. Tooling packages. You will need the tool holders, buy but a very few. You can make them quite easily. I got "snookered" for a "deluxe package" at $500.00, got 6 holders, could have got two. I have two of these machines, made ten holders in two nights - they want $65.00 each, but the real cost in stock is about .30 cents, and time about .6 hours each. I can even provide a drawing.

            3. Cutter packages - a few end mills and a drill for about $250.00?

            4. The CAD/CAM package - costs about $1500.00, and is standard to nothing. They use "SpectraCAM", which is nothing compared to MasterCAM, WHICH has a post, or I can send the post I have witten for ver 7.2 and 8.1 to you. I did NOT buy this
            5. Get rid of the curriculum package - $1000.00 - this includes the "SpectraCAM and a very basic CNC curriculum. I bought this, only cracked the books but three times, found only one lesson I was not already using, and i teach it better.

            5, If it comes with a computer in the package, the computer is probably overpriced. You can buy 1.8 gig kits from Tiger Direct for about $500.00 incl monitor. These "lights" work on a Pent 133 and up, and I have a small 2.1 gig HD on my machine- AMD 450K6III, and i run MasterCAM ver 8.2 on it as well.

            Get the details on each part of the bid, including individual items in each "package". I recently bid a mill and a lathe, and for each got the price to under 7.5 K all said and done. Problem is, while almost purchasing the lathe, got a full size Slant 2 Mattsuura Fanuc 11T donated.....Get it tomorrow......

            GET - the machine manuals, a basic tool package, and the general software, and all cables. These are fair priced. Also, if you can afford, get the "limit switch home package" (not sure about this, but have seen it on a later machine). If you can afford the CNC curriculum BOOK, not the software, get it. get as much software curriculum as you can, but avoid the "spectraCAM" and associated.

            Please do not mention my name as a reference, they kind of know me, and I have a good relationship there.

            [This message has been edited by spope14 (edited 08-07-2003).]
            CCBW, MAH


            • #7
              spope14 has great information. i have taught cnc machining for 16 years. hard to get good donations and 8 grand does not go very far.


              • #8
                Thanks for the replies. Thrud...Duh! Jerry, I thought of leveraging the money, but I gotta come up with a proposal first. There is not a local metal working club, but I wouldn't mind starting one. Just need time.

                Spope, I run MasterCam already and have posts. I Have a prolight 1000 mill. Would like a "real" Mill, although the prolight does OK. $8000 ain't what it use to be, but maybe a used BP with CNC? Computers aren't a problem. 400MHZ Pentium III vintage or better aren't too hard to come by in my school district. Modeling foam isn't a problem either. I have boxes of REN that are scrap from a local industrial design firm. Had a smithy mill/lathe combo donated last year. Not exactly what I would have purchased, but the price was right. Free!
                Thanks for the suggestions.



                • #9
                  I really like small tools.... I can put the Taig next to my PC in the computer room... and do things. Don't make chips there, though. Small is good because people can learn on the small tools and go buy their own stuff.... that they know how to use.

                  It is farily inexpensive for small tools, just like PCs are.... The Sherline or Taig CNC ready machines might hit the spot....

                  Not ever one can clean out the garage and load it with SB or BP machines... :>

                  -- jerry


                  • #10
                    Another suggestion for CNC and how to spend 8K. Check such machine companies as Methods Machine (Mattsuura), HAAS, Southwestern (Prototrack), Hardinge (Bridgeport), Robert E. Morris, Anilam, and even MSC. Tell them your situation, and maybe with some "advertising" on your part of what you get, you might get a good used machine, or a new one at a subsantial discount.

                    *k on the used market without a navigator will get you a machine that will take about 3K worth of work to get running. Do not forget rigging, which since 9-11 has gone "Out of sight" (last machine I had rigged cost about 3K all said and done).

                    Call a local shop, see what they might be getting rid of... Do you have room, this has been my problem with the last three donations..6800 sq ft sounds big, but small when itgets filled with full size gear...wish I had a bank of trainers now and then....BUT I LOVE MY TOYS!!!!!!!

                    Other ieas - look into a CMM type of rig, get a real heat treat oven or forge, Storage, carbide indexable tooling and INSERTS galore to fit the tooling (yes inserts galore, you buy the tool, and then the inserts cost about 1/2 the tool cost, but inserts packages with the tool by the tens and 20's are good - they often sell them at low price when you buy the tool...), Special micrometers and metrology such as blade mics, bore gauges, depth mics, angle irons, gauge block sets, surface plates, indicators or various types, Indicals, Comparator...I have spent 22K in the last four years on metrology.......

                    Safety gear....Anti fatigue pads, guards, parts cleaner, hydrosonic cleaner....

                    machine maintenance on your current gear, rebuild your bridgeports, rebuild your lathes, bearings on surface grinders, new chucks on lathes, collett sets that are incomplete now up to snuff on mills and lathes, new drill chucks and arbors, 4 jaw chucks you dream of, - take care of those bothersome issues that bug the crap out of you (spent 11K doing this in 1995, never looked back, good thing to do....)

                    What about tool grinding? Attachments for end mills for your surface grinders, drill grinders, reamer grinders. I have a TSD tool grinder for drills, reams, and end mills, cost about 2.5K, made its worth back in tools sharpened and money saved in 6 months....I also have a KO Lee grinder, have had for 17 years. Without these, i would spend about 3K in replacement tooling, now I grind my own, and spend the local regular bucks on "cool stuff" that enhances the program.....I have probably sharpened 3K in end mills in the summer months. Call this an investment. I can give you info on the TSD....gret sharpening too, very friendly for students and harried instructors....

                    Yet, I still stick by my original spec for the bucks. You get one chance at a machine - new, that will meet a training opportunity and an industry standard. All the rest you can get piecemeil.

                    CCBW, MAH