Report: Iowa community college collision repair program goes virtual

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May 7, 2010—Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa has implemented a new virtual paint technique program that officials say will save paint costs, perfect students’ painting techniques, and reduce waste, according to a local news report.

With the new $48,000 VirtualPaint system, students can perfect their painting technique before they ever pick up a real spray gun, according to the Waterloo Courier. The program has saved the school $12,000 in material costs already this year, said instructor Jim Ingles, who added that paint materials supply costs are “just horrendous.”

The virtual program is also teaching students to paint consistently and boost their efficiency by reducing overspray, which reduces costs.

"The average painter in the industry, if they spray efficiently, it's a cost savings of $7,000 per year," Ingles said. "Every student who uses (the virtual system) improves prior to touching a can of paint."

The program also upgraded its paint booths and paint mixing system.

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