El-Glen district applies for Fabrication Laboratory grant

The Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School Board has approved the district’s grant application to create a Fabrication Laboratory (Fab Lab) through funding available through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

A “Fab Lab” is defined by WEDC as a “medium-scale high technology workshop equipped with computer-controlled additive and subtractive manufacturing components including three-dimensional (3-D) printers, laser engravers, computer numeric control (CNC) routers or plasma cutters.

The District’s Technical Education Teacher, John Ostermann, presented the grant proposal for a Tormach PCNC, which is an automated tool designed to machine metal such as aluminum, steel, titanium, and pre-hardened tool steel.

As ELG currently has in their technical education department a 3D Scanner and Printer, CNC Router, and Laser Engraver/Cutter for Woodworking Production and Design and Engineering, this purchase, if approved, will bring Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) equipment into the Metals and Machining Program.

As to the District’s matching portion of the grant, ELGS would purchase the welding equipment to complement the CNC Mill.

As a result of the combined equipment proposed in the grant, students would be able to better process a variety of materials, and the upgraded welding equipment would allow the assembly of machined parts with better quality and accuracy.

These additions would greatly enhance the “hands on” opportunities and experiences available to the students, making them better prepared to go onto technical school, apprenticeships, or directly into the work force.

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