January 18, 2021

Coastal Bend College

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Virtual Welder Helps Students Learn

Our VERTX 360 Virtual Welder is a great training tool. It helps to train our welders faster reduces costs associated with material and gasses and electricity. It allows students to practice on a multitude of different joint configurations such as flat plate, Tee Joints, Groove Joints, and Grooved pipe in 2” extra heavy and 6” schedule 40. It also allows practice in different positions for both plate and pipe. Our machine has 5 different processes installed on it, Stick Welding (SMAW), Gas Metal Arc Welding(MIG) in carbon, stainless and Aluminum and Flux cored Arc Welding processes.

Students can see their environment in a realistic 3-D image through special goggles under the welding hood. The hood also has tiny speakers in the hood to create realist sounds of the welding processes. The machine can be set to show proper angles and distance parameters during the welding exercise which cannot be done in real-world applications thus helping the student achieve and master this before actual welding begins. Controls on the machine have to be set correctly in order for the student to be able to practice. So it also helps them to understand Voltage, Heat and gas settings. Just like in real-world applications. When the student gets all the settings correct and they finish their welding exercise the machine will show all areas that need improvement. The student’s weld is shown on a monitor where we can discuss where problematic areas or good welds were made to the class.

The VTEX 360 Virtual Welder is a great teaching tool we are very fortunate to have it. Our students and welding instructors appreciate the help it gives us in teaching our craft.

     The feedback is immediate which helps students see what they’re doing wrong immediately so they can adapt and continue on. The students are becoming more tech-savvy and gamer savvy, and this is a way of allowing students to continue their learning in a way that they feel more comfortable with. The welds also receive scores along with the feedback creating a sense of competition among the students that encourages more practice, consistency, patience, and overall, better welds in the future.