Our trip to Case Western Reserve’s Think[box] and Cleveland Mini Maker Faire

Hello everyone,

We had an exciting time on Saturday.  Six Wayne College students and staff carpooled early Saturday morning to Case Western Reserve’s Think

to tour the facility and use their laser cutters & 3D printers.  Barry Romich also visited us, offering advice and encouraging us as we worked on projects.  Thanks, Barry!

Sadly, both of their MakerBots were not functional because of various problems, but one worked well enough to print a mouth harmonica for Josh.  Stephanie and Chris learned how to use the laser cutter/engraver, while Andrew cut his chops on SolidWorks.  It was a busy place with lots of students and community members using the equipment.

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Stephanie and Chris on the laser cutter Stephanie’s “word necklace” printing
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Andrew fixing the laser cutter! Chris’ laser engraved plaque

After a quick stop at Chipotle’s, we headed on to the Cleveland Mini Maker Faire.  The Cleveland Public Library was full of interesting inventions, workshops, and projects, not to mention many 3D printers and laser cutters.

Of special note, we learned that there additional Maker Spaces at the Lorain County Community College in Elyria (FabLab) and at SynHack in Akron.  LCC offers 3D printers, laser cutters, vacuum formers, etc. that are open for public use, while SynHack has wood working and metal working tools available.

We also discovered a company called TinyCircuits (www.tiny-circuits.com) that produces micro sized Arduino controllers the size of dimes and quarters.  These can be used to measure altitude, acceleration, barometric pressure, GPS position, and so much more.  This may be an interesting addition to model rockets since they are so small and light.

tiny circuits

Here are some highlights of Maker Faire:

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Music from body motion & a sewing machine! Watch a movie lying down
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Motion controlled computing MakerBot 3D printers everywhere
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We need to print some of these at Wayne! Plastic chain mail and an animated flower
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Chris has the whole world in his hands Andrew’s new wheels
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Custom designed R/C cars Arduino controlled LED cube
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Homemade pinball machine Would you go up 10 flights of these stairs?

Back at Wayne College, one of our staff members has sliding doors at home with missing handles.  Andrew and Dusty measured an existing handle, then was able to print six more of them for her:

door handles

Lastly, a teacher has a deck table with a broken collar that surrounds the umbrella hole.  Josh designed a new collar using Creo, made it a cover instead of a collar, then embellished it with a heart:

deck cap

If you have a plastic do-dad that is broken and needs replaced, please bring it to A-120; perhaps we can print a replacement for you!



Where to meet at Wayne College on Saturday

Hello everyone,

Since the college building is closed on Saturday because of Spring Break, we will meet in the main building front parking lot by 8:15 that morning.

Sounds like we have a good sized crowd going, so it should be a lot of fun!  If you have any questions, please let me know.



Exercise machines and bunnies

Hello everyone,

We are having an exciting time learning how to use “Polly” our portable 3D printer.  The quality of prints is amazing.  We printed three sample bunny objects as we learned how to use the printer.


What is nice about this printer is not only the high resolution of the prints, but its advanced features in the hardware and software.  This printer supports automatic bed leveling and nozzle height detection, so no more messing around with bed leveling screws and checking nozzle height!  The printer is very easy to use.

A couple of weeks ago, a student brought a part for an old exercise machine that broke.  Given that it would be difficult/impossible to find a replacement part, Dusty measured the part and designed a new one.  The result is perfect:

exercise machine

Dusty showed me how to design this object in CAD; my head is still swimming with the details.  🙂

maker faire2

Don’t forget that this Saturday is our trip to Cleveland for Case Western’s Think

and the Cleveland Public Library’s Maker Faire!  We plan to carpool from Wayne College, so show up before 8:15 Saturday morning.  Please reply to this e-mail if you plan to join us.

To get an idea of where we are driving, here is a map from Wayne College to Think



Here is a close-up of the area surrounding Think

, including parking locations:

http://engineering.case.edu/thinkbox/sites/engineering.case.edu.thinkbox/files/images/cwru-map.png  Parking is about $6 or more per vehicle, depending upon how long we stay.

After Think

, we will carpool to Maker Faire at the Cleveland Public Library, just 10 minutes away:


And then back to Wayne College:



is open from 10-4 and Maker Faire from 10-6.  We plan to spend 2-3 hours at Think
, go for lunch, then spend a couple of hours at Maker Faire.  We should return to the college between 5-7:00, depending upon what the group decides.

Again, if you want to use some of the equipment at Think

, read-up on their easy-to-follow tutorials here.

See you Saturday!



Bones, houses, and a stork!

Hello everyone,

Black seems to be the color of the week.  We started by printing a black wrench for a staff member, a Darth Vader pen holder for a teacher, and another Ocarina for a student.  We have two more orders to design parts in CAD to replace broken items.  One is a deck table pole collar and the other is a replacement part for an old exercise machine.  Dusty and Andrew are busy honing their CAD skills, to be sure.  And more engineering students are interested in improving designs, too.

But the real news is the arrival of our portable 3D printer!  Through a generous grant from the Romich Foundation, we now have a printer that can be used for offsite demonstrations to businesses, high school recruiting efforts, and more.  It supports both ABS and PLA plastic for robotics and complicated pieces, respectively.  Come to see the printer in A-120 as Dusty and Andrew are assembling it!


Don’t forget about our trip to Think[Box] and Maker Faire in Cleveland on Saturday the 29th.  Send me an e-mail to let me know you are coming!

Some other exciting news with 3D printing…

Care to 3D print a house?  The KamerMaker is the world’s largest portable 3D printing pavilion built out of a shipping container — it has started printing an entire house out of plastic.


Another contribution by Doug Woods shows how 3D printing is used in the medical field for reconstructive surgery…




Heart box redesign, wrenches, and a trip to Cleveland MakerFaire & ThinkBox!

Hello everyone,

We have been busy with the 3D printer and CAD work over the past couple of days.  The wrench for Dr. Vierheller came out superbly.  A couple of weeks ago, we printed a two-part “heart gear box” from ThingiVerse.com.  One author designed the spinning heart, while another created a hand-crank system beneath it.  We found that the hand-crank did not work well; its gear system did not mesh properly.  So Dusty designed a stronger support system for the crank in CAD and now the heart rotates perfectly!  Come to A-120 to try it out.

heart gear 2

We are making another road trip!  The Cleveland Mini Maker Faire is on Saturday, March 29th at the Cleveland Public Library.  Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.  Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.

maker faire

We plan to check-out the MakerFaire and explore & create things at Case Western Reserve’s Think[Box] on the same day.   As mentioned previously, Think[Box] is chock-full of equipment that is open to the public for use, including 3D printers, laser cutters/engravers, vinyl cutters, circuit board creators, wood/metal shops, 3D scanners, and so much more.  Come with us to explore Think[Box] or come prepared to make things!  Before the 29th, review their excellent tutorials on how to use the machines, design your stuff in CAD, Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, etc., then bring your designs on a flash drive.  If you don’t know how to make designs, meet us in A-120 next where we can help you design something together.  It will be an exciting time whether you are exploring the Think[Box] for the first time or making things together.


We plan to leave Wayne College at 8:15 Saturday morning.  If you wish to carpool with us, please meet in room A-120 by that time.  This will give us plenty of time to find parking at CWR (the Veale Parking Garage works best) then get started at Think[Box].  The rest of the day is free-form; we can check-out MakerFaire later that afternoon as we have cars and people that want to go there throughout the day.  We plan to return to Wayne College by 6:00-7:00 p.m. at the latest.

We look forward to a fun day together; be sure not to miss it!