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Wednesday, 06 March 2019 23:46

San Benito, TX, Auto Body Students Learn How to Master Virtual Paint Machine

Written by Alana Hernandez, Valley Morning Star
Efrain Villarreal, career and technical education automotive collision teacher, left, teaches Seth Velasco how to use the district's new virtual paint machine Efrain Villarreal, career and technical education automotive collision teacher, left, teaches Seth Velasco how to use the district's new virtual paint machine Courtesy photo

With its virtual helmet, simulator tower, monitor and hand-held spray gun, it may look like a video game---but it’s actually a virtual spray paint machine.

 

Efrain Villarreal, career and technical education automotive collision teacher, recently began teaching his students how to use the district’s new $28,000 machine.

 

According to Villarreal, the machine provides a valuable training experience for students and will also reduce material waste.

 

“It’s really exciting and fun to learn because it helps students start getting the hang of spraying without spraying paint,” he said.

 

Students can practice painting a variety of areas on a vehicle while the machine tracks and identifies painting defects such as runs, sags, orange peel dry spray or too much paint in one area.

 

Villarreal said the ultimate test will be spraying real paint onto a car.

 

“This machine gives students a stepping stone to the reality,” he explained. “It’s something you can practice with, and when students get the real spray gun, panel and paint, they will go back and retrieve that information from the training and put it in practice on the real project.”

 

Villarreal said he thinks the machine showcases “fantastic new technology.”

 

“Things change, technology changes, and parts and vehicles change, so we never stop learning like in every other field,” Villarreal said. “And this business is booming because it’s not a multi-million dollar industry. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry.”

 

We thank Valley Morning Star for reprint permission.

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