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Elementary Knowledge of Metalworking


I have taught several graduate courses in mechanical engineering, in which many of the students design and build their own experimental equipment. I have therefore begun to create this web site to fill the need for a first text in machining for those students.

Recently, the older generation in Japan has come to perceive Japanese youth as being relatively uninterested in technical fields of work, even though creativity, which the youth value, is essential to those fields.  Nevertheless, I have seen that my students become very absorbed in machine work, as compared with deskwork, e.g., computer programming. Based on that experience, I strongly recommend workshop experience for every student.  I believe that the workshop is a very effective aid in mechanical engineering education.

On the other hand, it is clear that machining is more dangerous than deskwork! Of course, every effort is needed to lessen the dangers.  But it is not possible to eliminate danger completely. It is important to understand what dangers do exist and why. This web site aims to convey such information.

In modern industry, nearly all technical work is divided into specialized jobs. A mechanical designer does not do the machining himself. The designer might not draft his own mechanical plans. In the case of our research institute, researchers seldom do the machining. I do not deny that specialization is efficient for productivity and the end result. However, I am sure that a mechanical designer should know how to draft a plan and how to perform machining. Such knowledge can produce new ideas for the designer, and the designer's efforts can also help to improve the methods he uses.

Koichi HIRATA, National Maritime Research Institute, Japan
October 2002

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