Earlier this semester, CCTC students in the Advanced Manufacturing Program (AMP) researched nesting birds of the Eastern Shore with both Adkins Arboretum and the Caroline Bird Club. Students created visual mood Boards and pitched their individual ideas for manufacturing a nesting box to their peers, business partners, and school staff who then vote on their favorite design. Christian Charbonneau's ‘Barn House’ nesting box idea received the majority of votes. The following day, AMP students deconstructed the winning idea and created napkin sketches to determine dimensions and features.
At the same time, AMP student Bailey Kalinowski created a design for a bat box nursery. Her idea was deconstructed and napkin sketches created.
Next, students took those napkin sketches and used them as a reference for creating blueprints in Computer Aided Drafting (CAD). Students created several sheets detailing all the individual pieces and parts required to create the nesting box and bat box. Those CAD blueprints were imported into a program called CAM, computer aided milling. This software creates numerical instructions to operate the CNC machine. The CNC is a type of robot that controls a router in three different planes. The CNC machine cuts out all of the individual pieces of wood out of an 8-foot board. All dado cuts, holes, and other details are cut and shaped by the CNC machine.
Students then sand the pieces, check fitting at the joints, and glue the boxes together. Some parts are assembled with Tightbond III external wood glue and some parts are fastened with screws.
Next came the painting and detail work. Once this is complete, doors, hinges and latches are attached and the whole piece is covered with Tung Oil, a preservative that is not harmful to wildlife. Finally, the aluminum roof is attached to the barn nesting box.
Students then once again present the finished products to business partners and school staff. Nesting boxes, bat houses, and other products manufactured by the AMP students are available for sale.
Photos from the presentation are available on the CCPS Flickr page.