More motors, an open house, and a broken printer

Hello everyone,

This has certainly been the week for the UAWC³ Lab connecting with community.  We welcome businesses, schools, and community members to the lab for free tours and CAD lessons.  And boy, have they come!

Dusty is into his fourth week of CAD lessons for representatives of Cerco, a leader in industrial ceramic solutions.  About 4-5 employees are taught advanced concepts in AutoCAD 2015.  Yesterday, Dusty taught them how to create a plastic water bottle, complete with threaded cap.  We are thankful that we can offer services to this company.

Earlier yesterday afternoon, four students from Kingsway Christian School arrived for an introduction to CAD design and 3D printing.  They have an interesting project, designing a replacement door pin that breaks frequently.  Our own Nathan did an excellent job teaching the basics; we plan to visit the school to analyze the door to design a more rugged pin.  It is an excellent example of Wayne College engineering students collaborating with students from other schools.  We look forward to see how this project progresses.

Also yesterday, Morgan received representatives from United Disability Services to teach CAD design to one of their clients.  They had a wonderful time learning the subject and interacting with Wayne College students.  Way to go, Morgan!

Last week, the Holmes Center offered their annual Open House event.  And the highlight of the event was (you guessed it) 3D printing!  I had a wonderful time explaining the technology and engineering career possibilities with visitors that evening.

3-D at WCHC Open House 1

While the Open house event normally runs for two hours, we had to leave early as the nearby Pepto Bismol plant experienced an accidental explosion that caused their product to flood through buildings of the surrounding neighborhood.


Back on the home front, students in the Tools for Engineering class put final touches on their 3D printed engines due this week.  Four teams each designed a motor.  The results are amazing and mesmerizing when in operation.



Our engineers are quite inventive.  Here is Nathan converting a drill to a drum sander to smooth a motor part using an ordinary pencil!


Tami Mosser from The Bargain Hunter hosted an excellent interview with Dean Dan Deckler, Dusty Ball, and myself on the creation, growth, and success of the 3D Lab.  We are honored when the community takes notice of our efforts, providing networking opportunities  for continued growth and providing useful services.  You can read the full article here:

Josh, one of our aspiring students, started with zero CAD experience last Spring to now being an expert designer.  Recently he created a cradle for his Nintendo Gameboy that allows it to be conveniently mounted to furniture.


In sad news, our portable printer was accidentally damaged while trying to fix a jammed extruder.  With 3D printers, plastic particles sometimes do not melt in the heated nozzle, obstructing the flow of filament through the nozzle.  In this case, the nozzle was too tight when we carefully tried to unscrew it, bending the shaft that it is attached to.


Polly will be out of commission until we can obtain a replacement nozzle heater assembly, hopefully soon!


See how a 3D printer can be modified to print flexible printed circuit boards (PCB’s) in the story below.  The idea uses Ninjaflex Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) filament – it sticks to bare copper!

There won’t be a UAWC³ blog entry during the week of Thanksgiving, but we will resume posting the following week.



Motors, medals, and Guidance Counsellors Day

Hello everyone

With three weeks remaining before finals, the Wayne makerspace is in high-gear with students designing and printing projects.  Dusty is assisting the instructor with student teaching Tools for Engineering class, initiating a new assignment that wasn’t possible before: designing working motors.  The motors are entirely 3D printed, operate by hand, and have no glue to attach the parts.  It is amazing the complex designs they are producing (and printing)!

We are using filament like it is going out of style.  Before we run out, Will and I are still tweaking the filament maker to extrude the correct thickness of filament, then we can make it on-demand.






A couple of weeks ago, Wayne College Disability Awareness Week was happening in the Student Life Building.  Julie Hartzler commissioned the 3D Lab to produce medals for the Disability Olympics, a hundred of them!  We printed them with our homemade filament, then Julie spray painted the medals for a “metal” effect.   They turned out beautifully!


Yesterday, we had a wonderful interview with Paul Locher from the Daily Record.  He was interested in a project where Dusty designed an implement to help one of our students play the guitar via a pick that is attached to the thumb.


We also had the honor of presenting and demonstrating 3D printing technology and engineering careers to attendees of the annual Guidance Counsellors Meeting at Wayne College.  Sarah arranged 3D printed centerpieces and printed her own bracelets for the attendees.  It was a well-attended event.  We offered free CAD and printing lessons; already we have three requests for training, including Kingsway Christian School!



Last but not least, Lt. Chad Cummingham requested a banner for the UA Shooting Club.  With the spirit of a true makerspace, we put Chad to work with designing the banner, operating the vinyl cutter, and affixing the lettering to an empty banner that he provided.  It turned out rather well, and now Chad is a Maker!  Thanks, Morgan, for assisting him.


Tomorrow we have lots going on in the 3D Lab with CAD tutoring for an UA alumni, the Orrville Boys and Girls Club kids are coming back to learn about 3D scanning and vinyl cutting, and a covert trip to Pat Catan’s for room enhancement ideas!


See how a company uses 3D Printing and design to change the way we Look at prosthetics…
Stay tuned for another exciting week at the Wayne makerspace!



Window clips, high school logos, and community involvement

Hello everyone,

With mid-semester upon us, this has to be the busiest time our makerspace has yet experienced.  For the past week or so, all three printers are under continual use, mostly from the engineering students printing motor parts, the RC Club printing airplane parts, student printing their own things, etc.  All three are humming along with minor problems here and there.  I didn’t expect this, but students now ask if we will buy more 3D printers, given they have to wait and take turns using them.

Friday before last, Kevin Platz and kids from the Orrville Boys & Girls club and the mayor of Orrville arrived to receive the grant check from an AT&T representative for the vinyl cutter.  It is quite an honor to have a collaboration with OBAGC, sharing equipment, resources, Wayne personnel, and teaching kids skills that could one day lead to careers.  It was an exciting time and the kids are still fascinated with our 3D printers.

check presentation



Representatives from Orrville City Schools also stopped by last week to talk about the Wayne makerspace and the possibility of future STEM related collaborative efforts with Wayne College.  In the corner of the photo, Dusty pauses teaching a local business how to design in CAD during the meeting:

photo 1

Students and staff are excited about the vinyl cutter.  It is quite easy to use; we recently posted easy-to-follow instructions on the wall above it.  There was quite a party last Friday as students cut logos and graphics for their cell phones, decorating the lab with Aperture Science logos, and more.





Speaking of the Orrville Boys and Girls Club, we have been busy teaching the kids how to design model rockets using SolidWorks, a powerful yet easy-to-use CAD program.  The kids designed body tubes, body extensions, and fins; they will soon use the 3D scanner to replicate nosecones in a couple of weeks.  Their rockets are certainly creative!  We hope to actually launch them using custom rocket engines and fuel designed by Dusty, our resident chemical engineer:


Earlier this summer, Paul Locher from the Daily Record brought-in a plastic window clip that frequently breaks apart while removing his home’s wooden window framework for cleaning.  Dusty designed and printed replacement clips, but they did not fit since we did not have the wooden frame to test them with.  Paul recently brought in a frame, Dusty tweaked the design, and now we have perfectly fitting window clips!  The new clips are stronger and less likely to break than the original design.  Here are the iterations from the original clip (left) to the latest redesign (right):



Next week, students are testing their motor designs for a final grade and testing their latest LEGO robot designs.  It’s amazing to see all of the energy in there.



President Obama is seriously pushing digital fabrication to the nation’s youth.  Earlier this year was a Maker Faire hosted at the White House, this December is a competition for 3D printed ornaments:

Robots for consumer use is all the rage this year.  But instead of buying robots at the store, why not make your own? See how this UK based Maker Club brought together a band of makers to create robots for the home and educational robots as learning systems for schools:


Until next week,