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VIDEO: A peek inside the McLaughlin Hall Machine Shop


More information on The McLaughlin Hall Machine Shop

and the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.

Video transcript:

The first machine we'll be looking at
is the CNC operated lathe.

Now this can be operated either by hand or
by computer program.

So generally we'd use a machine like this
to make any spacers that we need

or any really cylindrical objects.

It's limited to those two axes.

For anything else we'll be using
other machines

which we're going to see later in the

We can get this to very, very fine

We machine to within half a thousandth
of an inch when we're using this machine.

So this is one of the more impressive
machines that we have here at Queen's.

This is a three axis mill.

It's also CNC programmable.

We do all of our programming in the
computer lab behind us.

Right now we're actually making a rocker,
which is a piece of our suspension.

We need two of them, and we're midway
through the first part here.

Just like the lathe, we can get to very,
very fine tolerances with this

Almost finer. This bearing bores to within
a tenth of a thousandth of an inch.

Because it's only three axis, oftentimes
we have to move our part around

to get at different areas

So we'll have to flip it on its side, or
flip it on its end.

This particular part is fairly
complicated and will need four.

For simpler parts it's a lot easier to
use a manual mill such as this.

It has exactly the same accuracy as the
other, computer-controlled ones.

However, it is completely manually
operated with dials.

This is a great introductory machine for
a lot of our rookies

because it's simpler and it allows them
to get some good, hands-on experience

machining without as much of the
complexity that the computer machines have.

We have, the crown jewel of the shop.

This is called the VF3.

Very much like the CNC we showed you
two machines ago

this has basically all the same
capabilities but it's a lot more powerful.

This is great for very large-scale
milling operations.

On this type of thing we would
make body panels.

Over here we have a manual lathe,
which is exactly like the other

computer lathe we were talking
about earlier.

But, just like the manual mill,
this is great for introducing new members

to machining.

It's very simple, very precise as the
other machines are.

However, there's no computer aid with this

It's all manual in terms of the dials.

And it's very good to teach someone the
first fundamentals of machining.

This is actually the machine that we both
started on, in our rookie years,

So this holds a lot of value.

Now the most expensive machine in the shop
is the WaterJet.

We use this to take a sheet metal
component and turn it into

any different geometry that we want.

For example, we have these suspension
tabs for our Formula car.

The WaterJet is really useful with that,
because we just give it a geometry

and it spits out exactly what we need

Here is one of the more dangerous machines
in the shop.

This is called the iron worker.

We use this to hand-form some of our
tabs and different sheet metal components.

So we'll put it in, we'll take our hands
away, and press 'go'

and it'll shear off a big chunk of
whatever metal we're working with.

Over here we have our pretty new metal

Basically we get stock in from our
metal suppliers that's usually

in four foot by eight foot or
very large pieces of metal stock.

This is a very effective way of reducing
stock size,

so that we can put it on other machines,
to be machined.

So this is probably the newest piece of
machinery in the shop.

This is called the plasma cutter.

It works on the same principle as the

in that you're drawing a 2D profile
in a sheet or piece of plate.

It's a little bit less accurate than the
WaterJet, but it takes a lot less time.

So for jobs where efficiency is really
important, this stands out for us.

So here's our welding area. This is where
our frame gets welded for the first time.

This is where all the tubes come

It just came off the table a couple weeks

This is where a lot of people learn how
to weld.

If you come through the mechanical
engineering program, everyone in this

program gets the chance to weld at least

This really gives new mechanical
engineering students a great

sense of what is possible, and
what is practical