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UBC Students Use Game Tech to Teach About CNC Machines

UBC [1]Vancouver – A team of four students at the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Advanced Wood Processing [2] has just released an innovative educational “video game” [3] on the basics of CNC technology and tooling. The application allows users to explore a virtual machine shop to learn about topics related to the electrical and mechanical components of CNC machines, as well as tool design, physics, and metallurgy.Learn CNC [3]

While many websites provide technical overviews of CNC technology, it is often difficult to obtain accurate and objective information, and the presentation is typically text-heavy. This video game takes a different approach by using an interactive 3D environment to teach 3D concepts such as tooling angles. The educational content is supported by pictures, graphics, videos, 2D animations, and 3D animations.

The project was developed at the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing at UBC, Canada’s education and training centre for the wood products manufacturing industry. The original concept was proposed by Richard Hewitt, a recent graduate of UBC’s Wood Products Processing program, and Robert Shum, a UBC Computer Science student. The two subsequently hired and managed a team of fellow UBC students to help develop the application, as well as contributing their own animation, video-editing, and programming skills. Funding was provided through BCCampus [4], a BC government initiative that promotes a fusion of technology and education to create open learning opportunities for students and adult learners.

The educational game is available for Windows PCs and can be downloaded for free at:
http://www.learncnc.org