It’s hard to believe that almost 2-1/2 years passed since the birth of the University of Akron Wayne College 3D Lab. Starting with one Makerbot printer on a side table in my office (thanks to the Laura B. Frick Charitable Trust), we now have not only a dedicated room and more equipment, but more importantly, a community of “makers” whose lives are enriched daily by inventing and connecting with each other. What an adventure it’s been! If you want to read about our past activities, please visit our blog here. You will certainly find something that perks your interest.
Progress on the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire is coming along smoothly. We have chosen a tentative date of May 13, 2017, so mark your calendars for this extraordinary event! What makes a Maker Maker it is makers (pun intended). If you are a tech enthusiast, crafter, educator, tinkerer, hobbyist, farmer, engineer, gardener, author, scientist, artist, student, or anything in-between, we want to hear from you! Everyone has something worthwhile to bring to a Maker Faire. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to participate!
At the 3D Lab, two students embarked on an ambitious project, 3D printing a working musical instrument! David and his friend found a promising design of a trumpet on www.thingiverse.com and are printing its various parts, cleaning and tweaking each piece to fit perfectly together. I think this is the design they chose to print; follow the link to see a video of the trumpet in-action.
They already made some rudimentary sounds with the unfinished build, so the working final result is just around the corner! What a fun summer project to work on.
In Holmes County, OhioMeansJob recently hosted a job fair at New Pointe Community Church. There, companies attendees were interviewed on-site as they perused the various booths. Wayne College’s presence at the fair was a big hit, not just for recruiting students and adults interested in careers, but also because of the 3D printer that we brought to the event! Below, Carol Pleuss talked to a continual stream of folks fascinated with the technology. Who ever thought that plastic would be so interesting?
Last week, Jacob from The Will-Burt Company in Orrville used printers in the 3D Lab to improve their machinery. They use a bevel cutter to shape round edges on metal, similar to what a router does to wood. The cutter produces fine shavings that fly everywhere, damaging clothing and making a mess on the floor.
Jacob designed a custom “chip guard” in SolidWorks that directs shavings as they fall. The guard was printed in HIPS plastic for strength on our Taz 3D printers, donated by the Wayne County Community Foundation. The beauty of 3D printing is that improved parts can be redesigned and printed immediately, not weeks or months for traditional fabrication. Over the course of several days and prototypes, Jacob soon had a chip guard that was perfect for the job!
A few weeks ago, Wayne College was invited to Orrville High School to talk about 3D printing, its impact in the world, and to promote the spirit of inventing, creativity, and careers in engineering. Students of any age are curious about this “new” technology that’s been around for 25 years and this trip was no exception! We spoke to three classes of seniors and answered a barrage of questions, from 3D printed human organs (google “3D printed thyroid”) to entire concrete houses printed in two days! The portable 3D printer was a bit hit, as always.
In bigger news, the University of Akron’s EX[L] Center (Experiential Learning Center) was recently honored during the National Maker Faire held in Washington D.C. EX[L]’s enables students to emerge as civically engaged, skilled and adaptable leaders, ready to take on real-world challenges. In addition, EX[L] Founding Director Jeff Hoffman was Keynote Speaker for the National Week of Making, a yearly recognition of the inventor in all of us, promoted by President Obama. EX[L] was at The White House as one of 50 projects honored for its commitment!
Last but not least, we are always thrilled when students and community members get their creative juices flowing with the laser engraver. Most of this enablement is possible by P. Graham Dunn in Dalton who provides material to learn engraving with. Below is a beautiful wood plaque made by a community member. She used Corel DRAW to create the design. And below that, a former student engraved and cut thick paper to make cards for a new board game that he invented. Creative stuff!
Stay tuned next week as we reveal more information about the Wayne County Maker Faire and other happenings in the 3D Lab!
See how this new energy efficient car was built with 3D printing:
Drivers will soon be able to customize cars with 3D-printed skins:
Until next week,
U.S. Maker Day, Maker Monday at Schantz Organ, a trip to Wooster Township Elementary, and a Rubber Band Powered Car
It’s been a busy past couple of weeks, not just in the 3D Lab, but with other exciting events being planned. It seems that the “maker movement” is exploding everywhere! It is making national news. The Akron local school system is expecting major upgrades this year to support the movement, including our own University of Akron. There has never been a better time to be a maker and celebrate the maker in all of us.
June 17-23 is proclaimed by President Obama as the National Week of Making. As stated, “Today, Americans of all ages have the ability to connect and showcase their creativity through a growing maker movement. Technologies like 3D printing and desktop machine tools are rapidly lowering the costs of production; additional sources of capital such as crowdfunding are reducing barriers to getting started; and the democratization of technology is empowering more makers, helping to boost entrepreneurship and stimulate American manufacturing.” You can read the full proclamation here.
With makerspaces popping up at Wayne College, The Schanz Organ Company, the Romich Farm, Northwestern Schools, Norwayne Schools, Orrville Schools, etc., it is easy to see that our community is firmly committed to enabling dreams for our children that will last a lifetime.
To help celebrate, the Schantz Makerspace is hosting its second Maker Monday next week on June 20th at 7:00 p.m. at the Schantz Organ Company in Orrville. Be sure not to miss it as exciting projects will be announced. It is also a good way to socialize with fellow makers, collaborate on projects, and more. And there will be donuts. 🙂
The 3D Lab made another Road Trip to Wooster Township Elementary to present 3D printing to dozens of students there. We talked about what it means to be a “maker” and how problems are solved through engineering and a creative mind. Our trips are always well received with lots of students asking questions. The portable printer (provided by the Romich Foundation) is a big hit; students are fascinated with how the technology works.
Wayne College is proud to announce that we will offer our first Mini Maker Faire for Wayne County! In its early planning stages, the faire will happen in late Spring 2017.
Maker Faires provide a venue for makers to show examples of their work and interact with others about it. Tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and entrepreneurs all come together to show their projects and to talk about what they have learned. It is a community-based learning event that inspires everyone to become a maker, and connect with people and projects in their local community.
If you have something that would like to show, be it a hobby, artistic work, electronics, robotics, drones, music, something fun for kids, food, anything, please consider being an exhibitor! Send an email to email@example.com to be included as a “maker” in the faire. If you would like to be involved in the production or sponsorship of this event, please let us know as well.
Near the end of Spring semester, one of our University of Akron engineering students used the 3D Lab at Wayne College for his final project; a mouse trap powered car. You heard me right. 🙂 The downward force of the mouse trap’s spring is converted to tangential energy to the wheels. Students compete to see how far each car can travel (typically eight feet) along inclines that get steeper with each test. The student used a 3D printer to build the wheels. And he won first place in the competition!
Last but not least, the laser engraver (also provided by the Romich Foundation) receives daily use, even over the summer. Community members visit the 3D Lab to engrave water bottles, wooden plaques, and other items generously provided by P. Graham Dunn, many of whom never used an engraver before. We are so thankful that we can provide this service to the community, to help the community learn a skill that they never thought was possible.
Speaking of laser engraving, here are the “best ways to fail” in hopes that you will get it right next time:
In the spirit of the National Week of Making, watch this inspirational video to unlock the maker in all of us:
Until next week,