America’s Cutting Edge (ACE) CNC Machining Training Program

Register now for a 2021 Virtual CNC Machining Training Simulator course created by a UT professor.  Attendance is free – no prior CNC knowledge required. 

The Spring 2021 course is completely virtual using the CNC simulation software, CAM+, which is provided to participants after registration.  The program is part of an initiative by U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) Program to create next generation training and education to advance the U.S. machine tool workforce. Partners include UT, ORNL, Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC) and IACMI-The Composites Institute.

UT Professor Tony Schmitz is leading the CNC machining virtual simulation training component of the program. The online program includes:

  • a machining tutorial, which covers topics including chip formation, tool wear, machining processes, machining equipment, CNC machining, computer aided manufacturing (CAM), and work holding 
  • CAM instruction through multiple lessons using an example part 
  • a machining dynamics tutorial, which describes the importance of considering machining vibration when selecting CAM parameters 
  • CAM lessons that leverage CAM+, a stand-alone app that simulates machining performance and is distributed with the program 
  • multiple choice learning quizzes to assess learning and track progress. 


Following the online training course, optional in-person, hands-on training sessions will be offered to a limited number of participants hosted on the PSCC campus in Knoxville beginning Summer 2021.  Only those who have successfully completed the online portion of the program will be considered for selection to attend the Summer bootcamp. Deadline to complete the online training is March 1, 2021.

The Summer 2021 in-person portion of the training at PSCC includes: 

  • instruction for part setup, part probing, part program upload, and controller use 
  • machining the example part used in the online curriculum


The intent of the new program is to educate and train the next-generation machine tool workforce, including future manufacturing engineers, machine tool designers, entrepreneurs, machinists, and others. The content is appropriate for participants with or without CNC experience.   

Registration is now open at  More information about ACE is available by visiting IACMI’s website at

Please register by 12/31/20.