Founded in 1946 as the LeTourneau Technical Institute by earthmoving machinery legend R. G. LeTourneau, LeTourneau University (LETU) is a private, interdenominational evangelical Christian university in Longview, Texas, with nearly 3,000 students.
Like many other universities, LETU found that offering students real-world experience to support their educational programs is sometimes difficult given the prohibitive cost of many technologies. This is especially true for a CNC waterjet, where the price typically exceeds $100,000.
Zachary Wingert, a Senior Maker Lab Technician, said that before the WAZER, most if not all of the student project work would be outsourced, resulting in delays and missed opportunities. He offered, “Students are able to rapidly prototype with metals in hours what would have taken weeks without the WAZER”, adding “Our school semesters are short and having that extra time allows for more iterations and revisions which ultimately leads to a better final product and better grades.”
“Many of the projects that have been done on the WAZER would have stopped at a whiteboard drawing, but with the WAZER we can bring those ideas to life”
Since the university acquired their WAZER CNC water jet, demand by students to have parts cut has increased. According to Zachary, “Many of the projects that have been done on the WAZER would have stopped at a whiteboard drawing, but with the WAZER we can bring those ideas to life and make better, more equipped engineers.” He added, “The WAZER gives students access to leading edge technology and offers an affordable way to cut metals to precise tolerances.”
Learn more about using WAZERs in STEM education – watch how University of Colorado Boulder is using its WAZER to help aerospace engineering students build prototypes.