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Title: Investigation of Tools for the Use of Individual CNC Milling Machines in Introductory Level Courses
Authors: Taylor-Lash, Alexander "Alex"
Advisors: Littman, Michael
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Class Year: 2021
Abstract: The transition of lab-based classes to a virtual learning environment necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges. This project focused on overcoming some of these obstacles for the class FRS 106: Art and Science of Motorcycle Design, taught by Professor Michael Littman at Princeton University. This course introduces students to the design of motorcycles in a very hands-on manner. The goal of the project was to investigate individual CNC machines as a stand-in for in-lab activities that were not possible under COVID-19 restrictions. The work was divided into two sub-projects, setting up a virtual connection to the CNC mill and creating a drag-and-drop programming environment that would allow students with no programming or CNC experience to create G-code. For the first part, a Raspberry Pi 3b+ server was set up running Apache, which was connected to the CNC machine through CNC.js, an open source JavaScript program. For the second part, a program called TurtleCNC was implemented, which is based off of the TurtleStitch embroidery program and allows users to create G-code using drag-able blocks. The setup was shown to allow the creation and execution of G-code via interaction with the remote server. While the TurtleCNC program has many useful features, there are plenty of avenues for continued development and improvement in this novel field of drag-and-drop CNC code creation.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 1924-2021

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