CO2 cars, pneumatic engines, and another trip to think[box]

Hello everyone,

The 3D Lab at Wayne College is undergoing equipment upgrades and improvements over the summer, so we certainly have our hands busy.  We are happy to announce that two additional 3D printers have been awarded by Carl E. Congdon, Jr. and Susanna Congdon McIntyre Memorial Fund, a component of the Wayne County Community Foundation.  This equipment will help us alleviate the heavy use of our existing printers and reducing wait times of students wanting to use them.  This is especially important during “crunch times” when student projects are due.


The new printers (Lulzbot Taz 5) support multi-material printing, including rubber filament (wheels, gaskets, etc.), consumer plastics (such as polyethylene found in milk jugs), polystyrene, and more.  We are very thankful for this generous grant (and our students are, too).

Last week, a group of students from Hiland High School in Berea visited the 3D Lab for a lesson on CAD design and 3D printing.  Over the spring semester, they used SolidWorks to create CO2 dragster bodies on-screen, then shaped the bodies with traditional woodworking tools.  For last week’s lesson in our lab, the students taught each other how to CAD design wheels for their cars, which were then 3D printed.  We also had time to teach them vinyl cutting for dragster decals, a special bonus!

We found that our original 3D printer (the Makerbot Replicator 2X donated by the Laura B. Frick Charitable Trust – PNC Bank, Trustee) produced the best wheels.  This was due to its dual extruder design in which one head printed the wheel (red) while the other printed support material with dissolvable material (white).  We were impressed with the result!


highland visit 5-19-20152


The Maintenance Department is busy with the installation of the laser engraver (generously donated by the Romich Foundation).  The exhaust port is bored and the exhaust blower is currently being mounted on the adjacent wall.  With the Orrville Area Boys and Girls Club summer camp starting in less than two weeks, this installation couldn’t come at a better time.  More news on this project soon.


A couple of semesters ago, teams of students in the Tools for Engineering class designed and fabricated motors with hand powered cylinders and pistons, all 3D printed.  Nathan and Chris are currently adapting their designs to be pneumatically driven.  The first test run resulted in a spinning motor, but the air pressure was too great and tore-apart some of the assembly.  They are close to a result and are working hard to finish the project.



In June, we are considering another trip to the thinkbox facility at Case Western Reserve.  It contains high-end 3D printers, laser engravers, wood and metal shops, circuit board makers, electronics stations, and much more.

We plan to carpool from Wayne, then return before Wayne closes that evening.  We need a headcount as soon as possible.  If you are interested in joining us for the field trip, please let me know by replying to this e-mail or by e-mailing



Did you know that the Chinese government is investing heavily with 3D printer technology for its students?  It plans to install printers in all of its 400,000 schools by next year.


Here in the U.S., at least 250 libraries across the country are popular makerspaces, becoming a larger trend for interactive spaces in their communities.


Stay tuned as we begin the summer camp next week!




Replay for Kids, custom computer frames, and single-wing airplanes

With summer classes starting this week, the 3D Lab is taking a break to recover from a hectic Spring semester.  We have a lot of work planned to improve the room and prepare for the coming semester.  Some of the larger projects involve the installation of the laser engraver and resin 3D printer, improvements of our filament recycling system, and preparing for summer camp with the Orrville Area Boys and Girls Club.  We are thankful to have staff in the 3D Lab over the summer to help with these endeavors.

Early last month, the Replay for Kids organization hosted a workshop at Wayne College. Volunteers modify toys and assisted devices with switches that enable children to play with items like those without disabilities.  The event was a big hit with plenty of volunteers modifying toys with easier methods to activate their features through larger buttons, switches, etc.

The 3D Lab was involved with this event, too.  Earlier in the year, Kenny started work on modifying a large push light to act as a toy activation switch.  Nathan (a 3D Lab staff member and mechanical engineer), continued his workby creating a baseplate and ring to support the modified light switch.  The result is a button that is easy to press from any angle or amount of force.  Replay for Kids requested over 30 rings to be printed, so we will be quite busy this summer!


For much of last semester, a Wayne student exceptionally talented in CAD design designed a mounting frame from for a custom, water cooled computer that he is building.  His design is a complex collection of connecting parts and plates, all designed with AutoCAD Inventor.  The frame was printed with our Makerbot Replicator 5th Generation printer for most parts (PLA plastic), while the remaining parts were printed in ABS for the high-heat areas of the motherboard.  The result is amazing, a true testament to what can be accomplished with a little ingenuity and 3D printing.  We are excited to see the finished product!



The model R/C Airplane Club has been a popular venue for students last semester.  Resources in the 3D Lab aided in creating many plane designs, some plans downloaded from the Internet and others totally invented by students.  Nathan found an online design for a single-wing airplane with no body, nosecone, nor tail.  The plane propels itself from a rear propeller with two battery packs embedded in the wing.



Not content with the basic plane design, he enhanced it with a high-power controller which allows the plane to be controlled up to two miles away!  It is also sports a camera which can be viewed on a wireless monitor.  The plane is a marvel that seems to defy the laws of physics when it is in flying.

Last but not least, a cooperation between the Wayne College Library, Word Processing, Marketing Department, and our own students produced a series of posters to promote the 3D Lab in particular and makerspaces in general.  These are high-resolution posters highlighting the best creations from the 3D Lab over the past year.  Feel free to download and hang these posters in your schools and organizations!  They are really well-done.  Thanks to all who have helped these promotions materials become a reality.

make poster

Please click here for a list of all MAKE posters available



When [aimzzz] met a puppy born without arms, the need for some assistive hardware was obvious.  We love it that rapid prototyping techniques have become so accessible that something like building a wheelchair for a puppy is not just affordable, but a lot of fun, too!


See how an injured turtle was returned to the ocean with 3D printed beak:


Until next week,




Rockets, snakebots, and window clips revisited

Hello everyone,

With the spring semester officially ending this Saturday, activity is temporarily winding down in the 3D Lab.  We have a lot planned for this summer’s work.  The laser engraver will be fully installed as well as a new resin printer and up to three more 3D printers to setup and learn.  These will better handle the printing demand during the upcoming fall semester.  With our summer community outreach, we plan to present at the OHECC conference at Miami University about our experiences in building a makerspace.  And starting soon is a 10-week summer camp that teaches kids from the Orrville Boys and Girls Club how to build R/C airplanes using digital fabrication techniques.

The semester finished with a bang, quite literally.  Over the past several weeks, the 3D Lab hosted seniors from Kingsway Christian School.  Nathan taught them CAD design using the free SketchUp Make software, designing the fins, body tubes, and nosecones for model rockets.  Last Friday, these students finished the designs and launched their creations!  Thanks to Nathan’s calculations, they flew straight up, though we had trouble with parachute deployment.  Thankfully all rockets were retrieved in (mostly) one piece.


Nathan teaching CAD design


Creating parachutes and final assembly


Lighting the fuse

the gang

Successful launch day!

A University of Akron main campus student is pursuing a robotics project.  His invention is a “snake bot” that uses pneumatics for mobility by forming/deforming a frame-like, jointed shape.  The 3D Lab assisted his project by 3D printing the ball joint system that he designed in CAD.  The basic robot works; it is able to move across a surface.  We are quite excited about the development of this project, as it seems one-of-a-kind with potential applications.



Last semester, a community member asked if 3D printing technology could be used to create replacement window clips for his house.  These clips became brittle from exposure to the sun, then break as the wooden frames were inserted/removed.  Thanks to Dusty, variation iterations of the clip were designed and redesigned.  The final revision was taken to the house for testing, which fit perfectly!  We printed over 30 clips within a few hours for Paul’s current and future needs.  Thanks, Dusty!


Have you recently visited the official website for the Wayne College 3D Lab?  It’s been going through several enhancements lately.  We now have instructions for using most of the equipment the lab, both written instructions and video tutorials.  Many thanks to Betty Rogge, Morgan, and Dusty for creating the latter.  This way students can learn to use and troubleshoot the machines, giving them autonomy to solve their own problems.  Please click here to visit the improved website and watch one of Betty’s excellent videos.


Last year, we mentioned Strati, a fully functional 3D printed car.  Below is a video that explains how this was made possible using a large scale, carbon-fiber 3D printer:

See how 3D printing lets a blind mom-to-be ‘see’ her son for the first time:

Until next week,



T-shirts, quilt squares, and a trip to Green Middle School

With finals being underway this week, students use the 3D Lab to complete homework, tutor each other, study for finals, 3D print items of interest, and just “hang-out”.  It is a wonderful place for collaboration for disciplines of many types, not just engineering.

Even as the semester draws to a close, plans are already in the works for an exciting summer, especially for the Orrville Boys and Girls Club.  We are organizing a summer camp where kids will build model R/C airplanes from scratch.  This project involves most technology in the room, including laser cutting, 3D printing, electronics, and vinyl cutting.  Stay tuned for more information about this camp.

Earlier this semester, our history professor wanted to create t-shirts to promote the college’s student travel group.  He provided Ifrah with a high-resolution photo of the group’s logo.  She traced the logo with the vinyl cutter software, touched up and improved the accompanying graphics, then cut the logo onto thermal-sensitive vinyl.  The heat press (provided by the Orrville Boys and Girls Club) transferred the image onto a t-shirt with excellent results.  Thanks, Ifrah!


Many faculty and staff contributed to Sue Horn’s retirement quilt.  Some embroidered their own squares while others enlisted Word Processing and the 3D Lab!  Morgan heat pressed vinyl designs onto squares which turned out beautifully.  Carolyn laser printed color designs onto iron-on transfer sheets which bonded to the quilt squares using the heat press.  We are discovering all sorts of new projects for these machines.

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Last week, Kevin Engle made a connection with Green Middle School in Smithville.  The science instructor wished to demonstrate 3D printing and careers in engineering to her students.  Nathan and I explained the technology to four classes of interested students.  Even though we had 40 minutes per class, it was barely enough time to cover the content and answer all of their questions.  Handing out candy for correct answers to our questions helped motivation, too.  🙂






Last but not least, one of our staff wanted to create a kangaroo cookie cutter to promote an event at the college.  Morgan traced a design from paper to the computer using a graphics tablet.  Anthony then converted this 2D design to a 3D shape using CAD software.  The resulting cookie cutter was printed on our portable 3D printer (provided by the Romich Foundation).  A local bakery baked and frosted the cookies, which are shown below.  This was truly a group effort (and a tasty one)!


Work has resumed with the laser engraver installation, just in-time for the summer camp project.  We hope to have this machine up-and-running in just a few weeks.



3D printing is an essential tool in the biomedical field.  See how a DNA-scanning microscope is made possible with 3D printed parts:


Instead of glasses, contacts, and Lasik, how about a replacement eye?  See how an Italian company hope to market synthetic eyeballs with bio based 3D printing:


Stay tuned next week as we report more on exciting developments in the 3D Lab.