Machine Tool Software

Machine Tool Technology Program Acquires New Software

The manufacturing industry continues to add new technological advances at a rapid pace. The machine tool technology program at Piedmont Technical College has recently added two new software programs to insure the graduates will be prepared.

In 2013, Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology, a global leader in precision metrology solutions, entrusted $1 million in software to Piedmont Technical College’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Laurens County. Now, two years later, the company has made that trust a donation.

“As part of their educational support, Zeiss decided to present the software to us rather than extend our time to use it,” said Bob Koster, metal trades department head. “They also upgraded all of the software and will continue to provide support. It’s a win-win because we are using the software to better train students who will be entering the workforce.”

The ZEISS CALYPSO Metrology Software and Support is the preferred 3D metrology software used by Carl Zeiss for their state-of-the-art Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM), and is used by CMM programmers to measure manufactured products within a millionth of an inch to determine if they meet specifications for quality control.

The program has also added Mastercam CAD/CAM software to its curriculum. Mastercam software lets machinists design virtual parts on a computer screen and provides a way to convert those drawings into a computer numerical controlled (CNC) program.

“Most companies use some type of a computer aided drawing file to program their machines,” said Phillip Calhoun, machine tool instructor. “This takes the technical side and connects it to the engineering side.”

Calhoun said the software opens a dialogue between the machinists and the engineers, allowing for better productivity. By teaching this software, Piedmont Tech machine tool technology graduates will now have been exposed to software they will see when they join the workforce.

“The knowledge the students are getting will give them more leverage when they go into the interview for a job,” said Calhoun. “Companies are looking for employees who understand the machinist’s role as well as the engineering aspect of the job.”

For more information on the machine tool technology program, contact Koster at (864) 941-8471 or go to  

Photo Caption: Phillip Calhoun, machine tool technology instructor, right, works with Sean Gallagher of Greenville on the Mastercam software. The software is one of two new tools added to the machine tool technology program at Piedmont Technical College to better prepare the students to enter the manufacturing field.