Timber Creek’s Engineering Design and Development (EDD) class have got themselves a new project. Students found an old, broken micro mill machine in the storage room and have decided to recommission it for further use.
For those who don’t know, a micro mill machine is a machine designed to cut (or “mill”) mild metals, woods and plastics by using high-revolution spindles. It’s typically very useful for shaping jobs, as the cuts are extremely specific.
Nicholas Capitano explained the project. The machine is missing the key, as the students don’t know exactly where the machine came from, but they broke through. Once inside, they found that “some idiot,” as Capitano said, “has cut all the wires to the spindle control.” Fortunately, they were able to look up schematics and reconnect the wires. The machine is running, but the main challenge remaining is getting proper computer software.
Luis Pinero went on to explain the computer aspect of the project. He found the computer on the side of the road with a bad RAM, which he replaced and hooked up to a monitor, which was also found on — you guessed it — the side of the road. As soon as the computer was hooked up to the micro mill, the software downloaded, but continuously gave errors and was written mainly in Italian. They’ve restarted the computer and hope to progress from there.
Micro mill machines can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. By repairing this broken one, these students are saving Timber Creek the money that would have had to be spent on a brand new machine, as well as using their skills to create something that will continue to help other students with many projects to come.