Phone clips, visit with the Orrville Rotary Club, final week of summer camp

Hello everyone,

It’s another busy week in the 3D Lab.   Various community members frequent the lab on an almost daily basis, depending upon projects they are working on.  All of our equipment gets a regular workout.  The vinyl cutter, 3D printers, and laser engraver was used this week by past and current students, community members, and staff.  We also hope this equipment will save money with college projects, being able to craft our own products instead of buying expensive pre-made ones.

The summer camp with the Orrville Area Boys and Girls Club officially finished last week.  It was an exciting time for the kids and rewarding for Chris, Nathan, and myself.  This optional activity was well attended each week, testifying that the kids thoroughly enjoyed their time with us.  We took their planes outside for a final flight test on a bright, sunny, slight windy day.  The instructors and kids connected their controllers in tandem, allowing the former to take control if planes were in danger of crashing.



Calibrating planes before flight


Pre-flight operational tests



Up in the air!


Community member flying tandem

Nathan flew his “wing plane”, a huge plane that has no body nor tail; a giant wing with propellers behind it.  It was also equipped with a wireless camera to show the kids a bird’s eye view of flight.  They were impressed!  The entire summer camp was a truly wonderful experience for us all, thanks to Chris, Nathan, the R/C Flight Club, the Wayne County R/C Club, and Kevin Platz from the Orrville Boys and Girls Club.


Kids viewing bird’s eye view of wing plane

Back at the 3D Lab, our own Josh from Technical Support Services designed a replacement belt clip for his father’s phone.  The phone has an Otterbox protective case; the belt clip was designed to attach to this case.  The original design was flawed in that the pin mount cracked and fell apart, thus the Otterbox will fall off the clip. Josh designed a clip that had a reinforced pin mount, fabricated a metal pin, and printed the design with strong ABS plastic.  The result works perfectly and his father was thankful for the improved design.



Earlier this week, we were invited to give a presentation to the Orrville Rotary Club.  We discussed the success of the summer camp, a collaborative effort with the Orrville Area Boys and Girls Club.  We also discussed the 3D Lab initiative at Wayne College, how 3D printing works, and its impact on STEM education, budding engineers, and the college’s focus on polytechnic learning.  We were well received and formed new connections with the community for future collaborative projects.  The food was good, too.  Thanks, Kevin Platz, for inviting us!

picture 2


Last but not least, Sarah Jane used the laser engraver (courtesy of the Romich Foundation) this week to make handouts for an upcoming visit to the Wooster Boys and Girls Club.  She made some beautiful Zippy keychains, thanks to the generosity of P. Graham Dunn in Dalton.  She found the engraver very easy to use, a good way to get started with makerspace technology.   Way to go, Sarah!





For broken bones, imagine a 3D printed cast that perfectly fits you, is removable, and heals your bones 40-80% faster:


See how a tortoise gets a new 3D printed shell after a forest fire:


Stay tuned for another busy week of activities!




Visits by the community, ultraviolet light boxes, and summer camp week 7

Hello everyone,

It is wonderful to see the 3D Lab being discovered and used by the community on a regular basis.  Some students from Spring semester visit to work on projects, but even more folks arrive from the community, hearing about the 3D Lab through various channels (friends, radio, newspapers, etc.).  The laser engraver and 3D printers are used equally as much, enabling users to make things at various skill levels.  We see people of all ages, too.  It’s especially wonderful to see kids interested in the technology, often their first foray into 3D and 2D objects, design, and engineering.  Our multiple methods of fabrication is a fine example of poly technic skill building.


Community members designing a plaque for the laser engraver


Community members helping each other


Student adding electronics to his R/C car


Community member printing an iPad case



Sadly, our most reliable 3D printer (the MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation) started acting up.  Filament was permanently jammed in the extruder.  Thankfully, we have a yearly maintenance plan that allows free replacement of broken parts for this printer.  A quick call to MakerBot technical support and a new extruder is on its way!  Extruders normally cost $175, so a $350 maintenance plan is well worth it.

The resin printer furnished by the Romich Foundation continues to amaze us.  We’ll regale stories of projects in the next blog.  We noticed that freshly printed resin parts are sticky and somewhat soft.  Leaving parts outside in full sunlight allows them to cure and harden within hours, but sunny days are not always possible in Ohio (who knew?).  With the help of Anthony, a community member, Barry Romich, and myself, we are building an ultraviolet light box that cures resin parts conveniently.  The bulb was supplied by the community, Barry supplied electrical parts and Mylar reflective material, and I supplied the wood.  We hope to have it ready for use next week!


Laser cut box from


Mylar film reflecting the ultraviolet light

lit box

Cooling fans and air intake holes at bottom

closed box

Closed box, almost finished!


The kids summer camp with the Orrville Area Boys and Girls Club is nearing completion.  The kids try their flying skills on computer simulations before flying their planes outside for the final time next week.  They use the simulators with the same radio controlled controllers used to fly the planes, connected via USB.  Kids waiting for their turn to fly worked with Anthony on the laser engraver to pass the time.

IMG_19700102_121002 IMG_19700102_121025 IMG_19700102_121042


Stay tuned for the final session of summer camp next week!



See how 3D printing may help save rhinoceros horn poaching:


Speaking of bony things, see how 3D-printed ‘dough’ may help fix your fractured bones:


Until next week,



Binoculars, air vents redirectors, and summer camp week 6

Hello everyone,

With mention of the 3D Lab in The Daily Record, radio advertisements, and public demonstrations, community members stop-by the lab each week.  We are starting to have regular visitors to work on various projects.  Younger members of the community take particular interest in the 3D printers and laser engraver.  Thanks to donated materials by P. Graham Dunn, we teach them how to create custom laser engraver pieces to take-home, even during the first visit.  Their excitement is wonderful to behold.

One such community member (an Orrville resident) is an avid bird watcher, brought his binoculars to the lab.  Since he wears eyeglasses, the binoculars need refocused when viewing with or without eyeglasses.  He designed a spacer (using AutoDesk’s free “123D” program) which clips together as two halves to form a ring.  This way he can use the binoculars with or without glasses, without needing to refocus.


Producing the spacer normally cost $20 for one spacer by sending his CAD design to an online company to be 3D printed and mailed back.  Our resin printer created the high level of precision that he needed in just an hour’s time.  Now he can improve the design, print, and receive immediate feedback for future iterations.  Many thanks to the Romich Foundation for making this possible.

The ceiling air ducts in our Word Processing Department disperse air in all directions.  This can be inconvenient if air blows directly on someone at a desk.  To avoid this, the personnel have several adjustable air directors that magnetically attach to the ducts.  These directors are old and hard-to-find, so the maintenance department asked if we could design additional air directors.

We used Corel DRAW to design the air director which is a simple-to-use “vector art” drawing program.  The prototype design was laser cut onto cardboard to see how the pieces fit together and onto the air duct.  Once the design was finalized, the final director was laser cut onto acrylic (generously donated by Wooster Glass and Jay’s Glass).  The result was beautiful!



Instead of a magnetic attachment method, we chose a simpler “slide-on” mechanism.  We can now mass produce air directors if faculty/staff around the college need them.  Thanks to the Romich Foundation for the laser engraver/cutter; it made this project possible.


Last week was an important time for the Orrville Area Boys and Girls Club summer camp.  The planes were assembled then taken outdoors for their first test flights.  These are planes that kids built themselves using the laser cutter, 3D printers, and vinyl cutter.  Instructors Chris and Nathan invited community members to help participants with the build process.  It was truly a team effort and a wonderful success.


Chris mounts motor into plane chassis


Nathan tests motor electronics


Last-minute calibration


The first plane launch


Kids tandem flying their planes


Happy campers!

The kids did amazingly well flying their planes.  The week before, they practiced on a virtual flight simulator using real controllers connected via USB.  That way during flight outside they were used to handling the controllers.  Chris and Nathan connected their controllers as “secondary” or “tandem”, ready to stabilize out-of-control planes to prevent crashing.  The summer camp was a success!

Community members create interesting ideas in the 3D Lab.  See how one member 3D printed a frame for his micro quad copter to prevent damage during flight.  We like all things Star Wars.  🙂




Speaking of binoculars and seeing things up-close, see how a cell phone attached to a 3D printed frame creates a powerful telescope:


3D printing has important applications for the visually impaired, such as this art exhibition in Madrid:


Until next week,




Helmets, signs, and summer camp week 5

Hello everyone,


It seems there is so much activity in the 3D Lab that I can’t keep up with the news.  And that’s a good problem to have.  Students, staff, and community members are using it for many different reasons.  It is rewarding to see people coming to the lab with different goals and projects, yet coming together to help with each other’s projects.  We have community members giving advice to students, students helping employees, and lab staff helping everyone.  It’s a wonderful way of exchanging ideas and forming a learning community.

A few weeks ago, a local business found our website and requested use of the 3D scanner.  Their intention was to scan a full-size football helmet, forming an outline to design peripherals that would fit comfortably inside.  Our own Anthony accepted the challenge.


The helmet was made of a shiny plastic.  The 3D scanner uses laser to gage the shape of the helmet, though the shiny plastic surface reflected the beam too much.  Anthony applied a talc-like powder to dull the surface to provide a good scan into the computer.


Although the helmet’s image is now in the computer, the scanner software is primarily mean to reproduce another helmet.  The person requesting the help wanted the helmet into a CAD program, which is an optional software upgrade that we do not have.  Still, the image was enough to get them started with their project.  Many thanks to the Orrville Boys and Girls Club for loaning the scanner; we are using it for a number of unusual requests!

Maureen from our library asked the best way to create a sign to be used for new movie theater.  She already has a black, corrugated plastic board.  We decided that the vinyl cutter would be perfect for the job.  Her husband designed the graphics with a vector art program.  The vinyl cutter did wonderfully with a big job like this with many intricate cuts!


After the vinyl was cut, the next trick is transferring the design to the black plastic board.  We first cover the vinyl sheet with “transfer tape”.  When peeling off the transfer tape, the vinyl sticks to it instead.  Then the tape is pressed into the black board, and the vinyl goes to that.  Given such a large sign, Maureen had a staff and community members help her with the transfer!


The Orrville Area Boys and Girls Club summer camp is into its fifth week.  For this session, kids mounted propeller motors into 3D printed motor mounts and attached guide wires that move the rudders and ailerons with servo motors.  The kids couldn’t be more excited as they completed the final steps to making their planes air-worthy.


Chris teaching assembly steps to class


Nathan building a “wing plane”


Mounting the propeller and motor


Servo motors for the ailerons and rudder

Stay tuned next week as we prepare the test the planes for flight and the kids try them outside!



3D printing and cars are all the rage.  Imagine cars with custom body panels that you can swap out.  This particular car is road-ready:


Want to make your own 3D printed car model?  Here’s how to build your own remote controlled car:


Until next week,



Strawberries, plaques, and summer camp week 4

Hello everyone,

The 3D printing initiative at Wayne College continues to garner awareness from the community.  The Daily Record posted an article a couple of weeks ago and folks reported hearing about us on the radio, too.  Community members are requesting to see and use the lab for various projects this summer.

Also raising awareness is our summer camp, already halfway through its 10-week run.  The radio controlled planes are assembled, now kids and instructors are working on mounting motors and connecting linkages that control the ailerons and rudders.  As the planes near completion, kids practiced flight control by connecting their controllers to a computer simulator.  This reduces the chance of crashing their actual planes at the end of summer camp.  Chris (our instructor) was impressed how well they handled their virtual planes.  In the spare time, they used the 3D printers to create objects and laser engraver to engrave glasses.





Many thanks to Chris, Nathan, and their colleagues for teaching this camp and doing all of the legwork to make it successful.

Earlier last month, a bench was placed and dedicated in the honor of Karl F. Stroh, first graduate of Wayne College.  It was an important mile marker in the history of the college accompanied with a ceremony to honor the occasion.  The 3D lab was involved with the creation of a dedication plaque.

We used the laser engraver to create the plaque.  The lasered text was not dark enough due to the plaque’s light colored inner material (MDF).  By applying wood stain with a paper towel, the stain soaked into the engraved areas and wiped off the rest of the plaque, the latter being protected with polyurethane.  It turned out beautifully!



The weekend before last, Smucker’s offered its Strawberry Jelly-Jamboree at the J.M. Smucker Company Store.  A number of vendors showcased their wares with plenty of food, music, and activities for adults and kids.  Wayne College had a presence at the event where we also demonstrated 3D printing.  We brought the portable 3D printer along for the show (courtesy of the Romich Foundation) and printed small strawberries as handouts.  The attraction was a hit; I talked non-stop for five hours.  People of all ages were interested in 3D printing and that Wayne College offered its use for budding engineers and the community alike.  Thanks to Nonya for the event invitation!


Lastly, our original 3D printer (courtesy of the Laura B. Frick Charitable Trust – PNC Bank, Trustee) was having problems with filament jamming in the middle of a print – no melted filament would come out of the nozzle.  Thanks to the yearly service plan that we have through Makerbot, the company sent replacement extruder nozzles, heater blocks, and cooling fans.  Not afraid of a challenge, Anthony did a wonderful job tearing the printer apart to install the replacements.  Now our printer works perfectly again!




3D printing continues to invade areas of fabrication that goes beyond plastic.  See how you can build a ceramic 3D printer for $700:


You’ll be amazed how a robotic 3D printer will soon create a metal bridge over water in Amsterdam:


Until next week,