About the Class

ADVANCED MANUFACTURING prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills in all aspects of shaping metal parts.

Instruction involves making computations relating to work dimensions, tooling and feeds and speeds of machining. Emphasis is placed upon bench work and the operation of lathes, power saws, milling machines, grinders, drills and computer operated equipment (CNC). Instruction also includes the use of precision measuring instruments such as layout tools, micrometers and gauges; methods of machining and heat treatment of various metals; blueprint reading; and the layout of machine parts. Instruction prepares students to operate all types of hand and computer-controlled machines.

Instruction is split between academic theory and practical applications. In this pursuit, students are assigned projects, which become more and more advanced as skills are mastered. These skills will be tested with written, virtual, and real-world quizzes, tests, exams, and projects.

This course is heavily reliant upon mathematics and spatial orientation. It is critical that the student learn to envision 3D environments and related material science concerning work holding, machine processing, material removal, inter-part relationships, and fits and tolerances to be successful. The students will progress from hand tools through conventional power machinery and computer operated machine tools throughout the course.

Students will work independently and in teams on projects. In this vein, the student gains experience with teamwork in a dynamic environment. By assuming the roles of team members as well as team leaders, roles related to real world manufacturing environments emphasized and encouraged.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in field trips to local manufacturers and machine shops. There will be guest lecturers as well as job coaching and interviewing experiences.

precision machining students
precision machining students

Meet the instructor

Hi, my name is Gary Beach. I have always had a passion for designing, making, and building things. My journey in advanced manufacturing started while attending Arlington High School. I attended all metal shop and wood shop classes that were offered. Then during my senior year in 2005/2006, I attended Sno-Isle’s Precision Machining course (now Advanced Manufacturing). This is when things really took off for me. After Sno-Isle, I attended Skagit Valley College for two years, and then proceeded to attend Seattle University for two-and-half more years majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

I graduated with honors from Seattle University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in August 2010. In December 2010 I took a job at Senior Aerospace AMT deburring parts and running CNC machines. I did this for about a year before I was promoted to the engineering department. While in engineering I worked my way through all job functions including manufacturing planning, drafting, CNC programming, and tool design. After three years of settling in as a CNC programmer and tool designer, I was promoted within the department to Programming Lead. This role led to being promoted again to Programming Supervisor where it was my responsibility to lead the programming team to success and oversee the development and creation of manufacturing processes for the company’s products. While I was supporting my responsibilities as Programming Supervisor at AMT, I also pursued earning a master’s degree. In June 2020 I graduated from WGU with a Master of Science in Management and Leadership.

I am passionate about precision machining and manufacturing. I take all the opportunities I can to teach others about the machining and manufacturing trade while I keep learning more myself