top of page


The following curriculum provides entry level workers with the knowledge and background needed to begin working 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. Each skill involves 5-10 minutes of microlearning videos and cards, and 10-20 questions to engage and reinforce over time. A typical pathway takes about 3-4 weeks to get through at 1-2 hr per week. Trainees continue to do 3-5 min practice sessions for another 2-3 months to reinforce what they learned to ensure knowledge is retained for the long haul. *Note: this is a provisional list and not all content has been developed yet. Please see our beta program below to help us shape the content and to get free access.

Shop Basic Skills

Recommended for all workers to get basic shop familiarity, no matter the specifics of the expected job activities. 

  • Tool / Machine Identification - name, function, and visual identification of equipment, from calipers and taps to CNC mills and water jets.

  • General Shop Safety - introduction to general shop dangers and the importance of safety equipment.

  • Common Materials Overview - survey of common materials (aluminum, low carbon through alloy steels, polymers), identification, function, and properties.

  • Shop Terminology - common terms to speak shop language, e.g., tolerance, fillet, turn, CNC.

  • Basic Math - fraction-decimal conversions, inch-metric conversions, familiarity with small numbers (.001”), kerf add-up.

  • Basics of Reading Shop Drawings - introduction to 3rd angle projections, different line type meanings, dimensions and tolerances, title blocks, section views, and the concept of geometric tolerancing.

Selectable Skills

These skills are intended to be chosen based on the specific needs of the entry level jobs at your shop.

General Equipment
  • Benchtop Grinder - safety and overview of uses, abrasive wheel types.

  • Cutoff Saw - safety and operational basics.

  • Cylindrical Grinding - safety and overview of uses and operation.

  • Drill Press - safety, speed considerations, speed changing demonstration, clamping concerns (parts must float, but have a stop to prevent spinning out of control), lubrication use.

  • Horizontal Bandsaw - safety, basic operation

  • Injection Molding - overview of process and parts that can be made.

  • Jigs - The role of jigs with drill presses and examples

  • Plasma Cutting - overview of operation and examples.

  • Surface Grinder - safety and overview of uses and operation.

  • Vertical Bandsaw - safety, basic operation.

  • Waterjet - overview of operation and examples.

  • Welding Overview - common types of welding (MIG, TIG, stick), equipment, and safety.

Concepts & Basic Techniques
  • Basic Layout - using layout blue, surface block, scribe, calipers, center punch and height gage.

  • Broaching - the purpose of broaching and example of cutting a keyway.

  • Chip Formation - basics of chip formation and how it can be used to determine if a process is running well.

  • Coolant - importance of cooling and lubrication, reasons why different coolants are needed

  • Deburring & Filing - proper use of files, deburring tools, purpose of deburring.

  • Gage Pins / Blocks - using blocks and pins to make comparative measurements.

  • Reaming - purpose and demonstration of cutting precision holes.

  • Screw Type Overview - countersink, counterbore, SHCS, threading, bolt strength, etc.

  • Speeds and Feeds  - how speeds and feeds relate to  temperature, chip formation, surface finish, and tool wear.

  • Standard Fits - clearance, sliding, interface fits, and example uses for these fits.

  • Taps & Dies - demonstration of cutting exterior and interior threads, tapping fluid and chip clearing.

  • Heat Treatment - overview of common types and purpose (quenching, annealing, tempering, case hardening) and tradeoffs between hardness and toughness.

  • Plating and Anodizing - survey treatments that improve appearance, improve wear, and resist corrosion.

  • Steels - a deeper look at commonly used steels, and typical uses, from low carbon, alloys, stainless, and tool steels.

  • Algebra - basic equation solving.

  • Geometric Tolerancing - basic review of common geometric tolerancing symbols.

  • Orthographic Projections - deeper dive into understanding different projections.

  • Trigonometry - calculate side lengths using sine, cosine, and tangent.

Milling Machine
  • CNC Milling Machine - overview of CNC machines, including capability, gcode introduction, HMI, and safety.

  • Fixtures - role of fixtures in milling machines and examples

  • Machining Center - overview of basic parts, including tool changer, HMI, chip exhaust, etc.

  • Milling Machine Edge Finding - demonstration of using an edge finder to zero a milling machine.

  • Milling Machine Intro - basic overview of safety and the kind of cuts that a milling machine makes (surfacing, pocketing, plunging, drill and tap, etc.), and component identification.

  • Milling Machine Tool Changing - how a collet and tool is changed in a typical manual machine.

  • Milling Machine T-Slot Clamps - importance of securing 12 degrees of freedom, example clamping setups.

  • Milling Machine Vice Setup - importance of aligning a vice, and demonstration using a dial indicator to align.

  • Speed and Feed Milling Calculation - calculating feed rate and RPM on a milling machine.

  • Calipers - how analog and digital calipers are used to measure width, depth, and diameters

  • Dial Indicator - overview of uses: comparing to gage blocks, checking roundness, aligning vices.

  • Micrometer - demonstrating proper technique to measure cylindrical objects down to .0001” accuracy.

  • Lathe - safety and overview of major parts; types of parts that can be made.

  • Lathe 4 Jaw Chuck Centering - demonstration of centering work.

  • Lathe Drilling - using chuck in tailstock to center drill to later support a part.

  • Lathe Tool Angles - positive, neutral, and negative cutting angles, nose radius, and lip angle.

  • Lathe Tool Changing - demonstration of changing and aligning a tool.

  • Lathe Tool Overview - turning, facing, cutoff, threading tools.

  • Speed and Feed Lathe Calculation - calculating feed rate and RPM on a lathe.

Engineer on Tablet

See for Yourself

We offer a free tier so you can evaluate the platform with your content and workers. 

bottom of page