"These machines take the mystery out of how students are performing because their work is measured and they can see the results on a large screen right in front of them," Jim Whitten, SMCC’s dean of workforce development, said in a news release. 'The simulators provide immediate feedback, allowing instructors to help students with their welding angle, arc length, speed and other elements in a good weld.' SMCC offers welding classes through its workforce training programs, primarily in partnership with businesses in need of skilled employees. The college also offers welding classes in its career skills programs and for academic credit.

The welding simulators in the virtual welding lab are known as VRTEX 360+ virtual reality welding trainers, manufactured by Lincoln Electric.

When using the machines, students wear virtual reality headsets that create a scenario with true-to-life welding sounds, molten metal, sparks and grinding while they perform welding maneuvers. When students are done with a welding exercise, the machines grade their welding technique while also recording how much material they use on every weld. The welding drills can also be replayed so students and instructors can identify what went well and wrong." Continue reading here.

Other news