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NETC students use virtual reality to enhance welding performance

NETC students use virtual reality to enhance welding performance

Helmets on.

Welder on.

Enter virtual reality?

Northeastern Technical College's welding program utilizes a VTREX 360 welding simulator for beginners as well as a tool to help correct students' technique with pinpoint accuracy.

The VTREX looks and operates like a welding rig using MIG and TIG welders that simulate the vibrations and sounds of their real-life counterparts.

"This equipment is especially useful for students who are starting out. It measures their angles and speeds and displays them to them through the helmet and goggles and they can see how to adjust their work," said NETC Welding Instructor Cory Botelho

Students don a welding helmet that is equipped with interior googles that display to the wearer a 360-degree view of a worksite (locations can be switched from a powerplant to a desert base to a class environment.

What the student sees through the VTREX goggles can be seen on a monitor, Botelho said.

VTREX measures the user's speed, work angle, arc length, position, and travel angle.

"When I point out to the student that they are moving too fast and slow down, we can go to the VTREX and the student can see how fast they are welding and make adjustments," Botelho said.

Botelho is seeing a difference with his students catching on and seeing the science behind how they are welding and how they can make corrective changes by seeing the measurements of what they are doing.

Welding is essential in constructing buildings and bridges, ensuring the stability of these structures. In manufacturing, welding is used in everything from automobiles to aircraft to appliances and electronics.

Welding involves joining materials, usually metals, through the application of heat and sometimes pressure, to create a strong and permanent bond.

NETC offers classes for Arc Welding (MIG), Flux Cored Arc Welding, Tungsten Welding (TIG), and Fabrication Welding, on its Pageland campus.

Students entering NETC's welding program can learn a variety of welding techniques that can lead them to needed fields in a wide variety of industries.

Pageland Campus opened its doors in 2003 and transitioned its focus into a workforce and industrial training center where it offers welding courses. For more information, visit online at or call 843.921.6900.

NETC offers certifications in the following areas:

Welding ARC

Welding Flux Core

Welding MIG

Welding TIG

NETC's Advanced Welding certificate provides students entry-level training and practical skills in Oxy-Acetylene cutting and brazing, SMAW (Arc), GMAW (MIG), FCAW (Flux Core), and GTAW (TIG) in ferrous and non-ferrous metals, including purge welding of sanitary process pipe. These skills are your gateway to an Associate's in Applied Science degree in General Technology-Welding.

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