Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

2017 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings



Conference Name

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio, June 24-28, 2017


This paper describes a laboratory experiment and a team project to teach manufacturing concepts to new students. This project is one of two team projects of 1.5 credit portion of a two-credit course in exploration of engineering and technology. This course teaches students skills they need late and teamwork is a major skill that they acquire. They organize into a group with specialized responsibilities for the purpose of calculating the total production time and cost of a manufactured part using turning, drilling, and milling operations. Students also learn or improve spreadsheet skills while performing data entry and necessary machining calculations.

The students do not perform any metal cutting themselves, but they observe a machine shop technician manually perform this long and somewhat dangerous set of operations with 10 major cuts. Students take pictures of the operations and collect data while being exposed to rather messy realities of metal cutting. A 1018 mild steel with a diameter of 3” and a length of 10” is turned down to a diameter of 2.25” in three passes for a length of 7” on a manual lathe. Then, a 2” deep and 1.75” diameter hole is drilled on the uncut side of the part on the same machine. The part is moved to a HASS CNC mill that removes, lengthwise, top 0.84” section of the turned 7” cylindrical section and drills a 1.5” diameter hole in the middle of milled area. This experiment is repeated by using several spindle speed, feed, and depth of cut combinations. Sample chips unique to each cutting parameter set are also collected. Each cut is timed and the part is weighed before and after each cut to calculate experimental metal removal rate for each cut. All experimental observations are compared against analytical results for each machining parameter set.

Calculated energy for each cut is compared against the maximum energy the motor can deliver at the cutting point. Necessary set up times and other unavoidable time losses are also noted and used in eventual calculation of total production time of per part. Actual tool (carbide insert), energy, raw material, and hypothetical labor and overhead costs are used in calculation of total production cost per part under various annual demand scenarios. Learning curve effect is also included for non-machining activities.

The outcomes include much better understanding of production related concepts such as machining parameters, production time, and costs in manufacturing. Each team of three students write a technical team report to document the manufacturing experience they had. Upon exit survey, it was observed that the current students gained a much better understanding of manufacturing concepts compared to those in earlier semesters when manufacturing discussions were not accompanied a project based experience such as the one described in this abstract.


Posted with permission of the publisher.

© American Society for Engineering Education, ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings, Columbus, Ohio, June 24-28, 2017.

Original Publication Citation

Sarper, H., Jaksic, N. I., & Vahala, L. (2017, June). Metal cutting and manufacturing economic project for freshmen. Paper presented at the 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio.