Abstract

In order to address the demand for skilled machinists and limitations with current training programs, we introduce an immersive Virtual Reality (VR) CNC machining training environment for CNC machine setup processes with a novel error management based training curriculum. Current machinist training programs are several years long requiring active mentorship from a skilled individual and are very costly due to the materials and tools required. Mistakes and errors made during the set up process can create safety risks, waste material and break equipment requiring additional time to reset. Existing VR CNC milling training environments fail to address mistakes that can occur during the setup process. In order to address these operational challenges, a novel error-management based training in VR is proposed which allows trainees to learn the set up procedure,learn the common errors & mistakes and practice identifying errors in addition to practicing activities for the setup. The training first introduces students to the setup procedure, followed by demonstrations of error cases and identification and management strategies culminating in practice opportunities. Trainees witness a spatial demonstration of the procedure, guided by auditory and text instructions. Users are able to actively explore the spatial teaching environment while controlling a virtual CNC milling machine. A preliminary user training test is performed comparing the VR method to a video training and a video training with error management curriculum.

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