The EMIT program received a 3D Printer thanks to the EMIT drafting 1 and 4 teacher, Michael Murray who applied for a grant for $1,500 dollars which was deservingly awarded. Since then a multitude of 3D printers have come into EMIT’s possession, majority of which are Makerbot printers but also have a Power Printer by the Z-Company and a Cube printer. 3D Printers work by means of 3D printing or additive manufacturing which is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.
The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. Powder Printers on the other hand work by having an inkjet print head moves across a bed of powder, selectively depositing a liquid binding material. A thin layer of powder is spread across the completed section and the process is repeated with each layer adhering to the last. When the model is complete, unbound powder is automatically and/or manually removed in a process called "de-powdering" and may be reused to some extent.
The Lathe that was purchased for EMIT by Ms. Brookins, herself and is used to create parts by spinning the part and having a cutting tool take material off of the diameter of the stock. It works by having a tool placed in a tool holder then a part placed in a chuck that is attached to the spindles and as the part spins, dials on the carriage and compound move the tool along the part. This type of machine typically is used in making pulleys, bolts and just about anything round. The Lathe is used for FIRST to cut down bushings, create a round stock for the robot, as well as a shaft for the conveyor. EMIT’s Lathe comes from Grizzly Industrial, Inc. and is the 11”x26” Light-Duty model with a Gear Box. The Lathe is one of the most versatile machines you could need and EMIT is grateful to have one.
Another versatile machine that has been utilized in EMITs lifetime has been the laser cutter which is yet another machine generously provided by Ms. Brookins. This laser cutter in particular was the Hurricane Lasers, Andrew Category 5 model which worked by directing a very powerful laser beam, at a precise focal length, onto a material which they either cut or etch, depending on how the laser cutter has been set up. Laser cutters cut materials similarly to other computer controlled tools, only they do so using a beam of light as opposed to a blade. This devise was utilized significantly in the TLA's 2040 Vision and Waterborne Trash Filtration.
The Skilsaw is a machine used at FIRST Robotics to cut wood and other soft materials with great precision. EMIT uses it to make small cuts or cut outlines in the wooden pieces. This is helpful in FIRST because if the need to make a wooden model of a large part presents itself, EMIT can use the Skilsaw to cut out the smaller pieces of the part. It can also be used to cut other materials such as plastic, acrylic, and aluminum. EMIT's Skilsaw in particular is a 3386 Model with a 9 Inch blade.
When Ms. Brookins left EMIT, she left them a gift to remember her by. The CNC is like a milling machine that works with metals, and other materials to make pretty much whatever engineers need. From gears, to hinges, to screws, the CNC machine is there. The way the machine works is it uses G code to communicate with the user, then either cuts or drills into the selected materials. There are also six different axis’s, which include x, y, z, a, b, and c. Once the object is done, the machine cleans itself up by using a Coolant Hose, which clears debris and cools the bit. The CNC machine is one of the machines EMIT students are in the process of learning to use.
A drill press is a machine made for drilling holes on a fixed stand. The press can be moved vertically and horizontally to align the drill but with where you would like the hole to me created. It is much more accurate than a handheld drill because there is less of a chance for the hole to be put into the wrong place due to human error. Along with drilling holes, a drill press can be used to sand, tap, and deburr what we have drilled a hole in. Here in EMIT, both the Central Machinery 2-Speed Benchtop dill press and the Grizzly G0705 drill press.are utilized to perform such tasks.