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Cool Tools for Engineering

The machine shop at the R. B. Annis School of Engineering is buzzing, but these aren’t your average saws. New equipment is being used in the mechanical engineering curriculum to educate students about the different processes to cut materials. Learning what the devices are capable of doing helps students become better engineers, said José Sánchez, director of the School of Engineering.

The specs of these machines are as impressive as the size. The Maxiem 1515 is a water jet cutter that can slice through objects that are five-feet thick with a positional accuracy of .003 inch. It can also carve a delicate UIndy Greyhound emblem that fits in your hand. Not bad for a machine that weighs 10,500 pounds with a full tank!

UIndy engineering students will also be using a VF-2 Mill and TL-1 Lathe from Haas, a Miller TIG Syncrowave 250 TIG Welder and an Epilog Zing 24 Laser Cutter along with 3D printers. Students get access to the equipment starting their freshman year, with safety training and supervision from a machinist.

“Our program encourages students to learn how to use these machines as it gives them a deeper understanding of how things are made,” said Sánchez. “At many places, you have a machinist doing all the work for you. At UIndy, you will work with faculty and a machinist to safely develop your own prototypes and finished products.”