Explore Magazine Volume 2 Issue 1


Students' Milling Machine Is World's Fastest

Staying one step ahead of industry, a group of engineering students at the University of Florida has developed the world's fastest milling machine.

``Our machine is now the fastest,'' said Jiri Tlusty, graduate research professor in mechanical engineering at the UF College of Engineering. ``The main achievement is we built it all with students.''

Used primarily to make airplane parts, milling machines secure metal or aluminum to a carriage, shaping it with rotating milling cutters. The accomplishment of Tlusty's students to build their own machine was borne of necessity. Without the money needed to buy a milling machine capable of the high speed his students required, Tlusty decided it would be best if they built one themselves.

``It would be a good exercise and goal for the students --- not only to simulate something on a computer and write the dissertation, but to really design and build and put together a machine,'' Tlusty said.

With support from the National Science Foundation and McDonnell Douglas Corp., the students designed the machine and built all but the largest parts.

James Hellegaard

photo by David Blankenship

Doctoral student Dave Bernhard changes a work piece for tests of the high-speed milling machine.