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WDC students try 'virtual welding'

Photo by Dana Pavek Wadena-Deer Creek junior Thane Swisse, left, tries virtual welding in Richard Muckala's metals class at WDC High School.

Wadena-Deer Creek students experienced welding without igniting a spark, according to a press release sent to the Pioneer Journal.

Central Lakes College welding instructor Mike Reeser brought the college's Lincoln Electric Vrtex 360 welding simulator to "Industrial Arts" classes at Wadena-Deer Creek High School the last week of school. The welding machine helps students establish proper hand motions.

Reeser said the technology will not replace the real thing, but he added that training in the virtual world can give students a significant leg up by the time they weld for the first time.

"It helps teach students what really happens between the welding arc and work piece, why certain hand motions produce good beads while other motions don't. And, it also may help introduce welding to students who wouldn't have given the trade a second thought," Reeser said.

Reeser also said welding is much like science, and simulation designers believe technology will produce a new generation of welders.