Students experience VR woodworking at The MiLL

The WoodEd Table, a virtual reality system for training students and novices how to operate basic woodworking machinery in a safe, dust-free environment, was implemented at the MiLL National Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, earlier this year.

The Wood ED Table features four simulation modules: bandsaw, ripsaw, jointer and shaper. Users operate the system wearing a pair of 3D interactive glasses.

“In our classes there are always a few students whose fear of operating machines inhibits the growth of their skill,” said David Davis, instructor at the MiLL. “The WoodEd table can help (students) build skills without the fear.”

The MiLL (Manufacturing Industry Learning Lab) is an EDUcation member of the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America. Mimbus, developer of the WoodEd table, is a Gold sponsor of the WCA.

“Virtual reality is a tremendous tool for instructing students and new employees on the safe operation of equipment used in our industry,” said Scott Nelson, president of the WCA. “Young adults and kids are being raised on interactive video games that have a strong VR component. I think training simulators like the WoodEd table can help attract more youths into our industry.”

CMA to Host Event at the MiLL in Colorado

The Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) will host a regional event on Friday, Nov. 9 in Colorado Springs, CO. The one-day event will be held at the MiLL National Training Center and include a tour of Concepts in Millwork.

The MiLL is a WCA EDUcation™ member; the CMA is an Association Partner of the WCA.

“Many of our members learned about the MiLL and their partnership with Concepts in Millwork during our 20th Anniversary Conference in March,” said Amanda Conger, executive director of the CMA. “The November event provides members the opportunity to experience the program for themselves.”

The day will begin at the MiLL so that attendees can learn more about its program and see the facility during a school day. Then representatives of Concepts in Millwork will lead a discussion of what it takes to create a successful internship program. The panel will include an  employee of Concepts in Millwork who will share his story about transitioning from being a student intern to becoming professional woodworker. Finally, the group will tour Concepts in Millwork to see its production facility and other former MiLL students at work.

“The panel discussion with Concepts in Millwork is for anyone who wants to learn about how to attract and retain workers,” said Dean Mattson, founder of the MiLL. “Concepts is doing it right and has had 100% success with the program.”

Mattson added that in order to effectively manage today’s generation of new workers companies need to change their management style. “Essentially managers need to be sensitive to young people’s needs,” he said. “They need to be nurtured and know they are cared for.”

The registration fee for the event is $55 for current CMA members and $75 for non-members. Student/instructor members are free, while non-member students/instructors are $25. Registration includes lunch.

For more information and to register, visit

The CMA has been hosting high-value events like this since 1998 as a means of connecting similar-sized shops around North America with the purpose of sharing best practices and business acumen, while learning how other businesses do what they do. In addition to the agenda, the regional events also encourage networking by providing an opportunity to talk shop and share issues, solutions, and even projects. Although dubbed “regional,” the association expects this event to draw attendees from across the country as well as Canada.

About the Cabinet Makers Association
Celebrating 20 years, the Cabinet Makers Association was incorporated in 1998 by a group of custom cabinet makers who thought the small to mid-size shop needed to network and help each other grow profitably. Currently, CMA membership is made up primarily of 20 or fewer employee operations, with the vast majority of those being 1-5 person shops. For more information, visit