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Engineering | 2004

“Web Based Machining Instruction for the Emerson Lab”

Matthew Ulinski



The Emerson Lab is a hands-on manufacturing lab with tools and machines students use to fabricate physical items for class assignments or for their own pursuits. Everyone who uses this instructional lab must go attend a set of lab safety and machine-specific presentations. Often students attend the presentations well before they need to use the facility, and when they are ready to work, they no longer have the confidence that they understand all the requirements or how to adjust the machining tools. At other times, students are skilled and confident using one tool, but have forgotten specifics about another. While they can ask experts in the lab, a self-serve resource would benefit these students.

For this project we developed a web-based tutorial to complement the training program for teaching basic machining operations. The tutorial covers the equipment and the steps required to make a basic lamp -- the project that each student needs to complete in order to prove that they have gone through the training and have permission to use the Emerson Lab. The tutorial materials can be accessed outside the lab, or if the students need assistance as they are making their lamp, they can access the site from within the lab using a touch-screen kiosk. In addition to the tutorial materials, there is also a reference to advanced techniques and lab-specific information, so this resource benefits not only beginners, but also advanced users of the instructional lab.


  • flash animations
  • video of demonstrations
  • custom website
  • touchscreen computer
  • sound-isolating hood for using computer in loud area
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