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Foundational Shop Content

Essential knowledge for machine shop and fabricator workers

Shop Content Overview

The following curriculum provides entry level shop workers with the knowledge and background needed when starting out in a shop environment. It does not replace hands-on instruction, nor does it replace task-specific training. Rather, the job-specific training is more effective, impactful, and takes less of your expert’s time when workers already know the fundamentals. 

Note: content is currently under development with our beta pilot program partners, and additional job roles are being added based on partner demand. Schedule a call if you'd like to learn how your company could participate!

Job Role Pathways

Trainees will experience content in a curriculum we call a pathway that is designed for their specific job role. Some example roles we are actively developing:

  • CNC Mill Operator

  • Shop Helper, Machinist Assistant

  • Burr Hand, Grinder, Deburrer

An example CNC Mill Operator Pathway:

  • Machine Shop Overview

  • Life of a Part

  • Shop Safety

  • Machines, Tools, and Terms

  • Basic Measurement Tools
    (Calipers, Micrometers, Tape Measure)

  • Basic of CNC Mills

  • CNC Mill Safety

  • Typical CNC Tools and Operations

  • Tool Installation and Offset Setting

  • CNC Mill Startup & Shutdown

  • G-Code Introduction

  • Common Materials Overview

  • Reading Shop Drawings Intro

  • Units: Thou and Millimeters

  • Metric to Imperial Conversion

  • Drawings: Views/Projections

  • Drawings: Line Types & Section Views

  • Drawings: Tolerances in Depth

  • Drawings: Dimensions

  • Intro to GD&T

  • Drawings: Hole & Thread Callouts

  • Drawings: Misc Symbols

Foundational Content

These are intended to be chosen based on the needs of the entry level jobs at your specific shop. The goal of this content is to give workers the knowledge they would have had if they had vocational education or experience working in another shop.

Shop Overview / Life of a Part

Our Pathways usually start with a shop overview that explain how a part goes from raw material through various production steps to a finished product that can be inspected and shipped.

General Equipment Familiarization

Learn​ the names and purpose of typical machines found at shops, e.g., mill, lathe, bandsaw, drill press, brake press, hydraulic press, MIG/TID welders, grinder, surface grinder, CNC punch, laser cutter, water jet, EDM, etc.

Basic Tool Familiarization

Become familiar with the name and purpose of typical hand tools found in a shop, including calipers, micrometers, taps, dies, reamers, punch, ​height gauges, gage blocks, scribe, etc.

Measurement Skills

Learn the basics of using a measuring tape, calipers, micrometers, height gauges, go/no-go gauges, dial indicators, bore gauges. While hands-on training with these tools​ is essential, if workers have a base understanding, the hands-on training can focus on "feel" rather than basics.

Shop Terminology

Workers can't learn if they don't even know basic language. This includes terms like "thou", ream, tolerance, burr, CNC, tap, workpiece, CAD, fixture, jig, etc.

Shop Safety

This skill covers appropriate PPE, the importance of cleanliness, the dangers of metal cutting machinery, guards, general tool handling, when to wear gloves, and more.

Shop Math

Learn common shop units ("living 3 places to the right of the decimal", thou, mm), fractions, decimal to fraction conversion, and unit conversions.​

Drawings / Blueprints

Be able to read and understand dimensions, general tolerances, specific tolerances, common symbols, different views/projections, hole/thread callouts, line types, and an intro to GD&T.​

Common Materials

Learn the basic properties of typical materials used in shops, like aluminum, carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel, brass.​

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