Laser cut t-shirts for Wayne Day, an improved bike sensor enclosure, and a trip to the Wooster Boys and Girls Club

Hello everyone,

It has been a hectic couple of weeks in the 3D Lab.  Or, since last week, an empty room!  Our Maintenance Department graciously offered to clean and wax the lab’s floor which was quite filthy from two years of high traffic.  That meant removing everything from the lab.  For many of you who visited the 3D Lab, you know how tightly packed everything is with machines, furniture, equipment, etc.

It only took two days to remove everthing, but over a week to install stuff back into place!  The lab should be mostly functional by the start of fall semester.  We literally had folks coming in the door to use machines after barely setting them up, so it’s been a fast paced week.  🙂

And thanks to the fast work of the Maintenance Department, we were ready for the influx of new students on “Wayne Day” yesterday!  Wayne Day is a wonderful way for new students to get acclimated to Wayne College, a flurry of activities and information to prepare them for starting classees next week.


Julie Gingery, Office Support Specialist at Wayne College, invented a cool project for Wayne Day that involved laser-cut stencils that students air-brushed onto t-shirts.  She created dozens of word based stencils in Corel DRAW (such as “Engineering”, “Chemistry”, etc.), edited the words as vector art to have connected letters, then lasered the designs into 3/8” MDF board.



On Wayne Day, students chose their own phrases which placed on t-shirts and then air brushed.  The stencil is then removed and the t-shirt ironed to dry/fuse the paint, leaving the stencil’s outline with a “glow” around it.  Students were lined up for custom-made t-shirts!

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Dozen of students also visited the 3D Lab on Wayne Day.  We showed them how to make custom designed water bottles, courtesy of P. Graham Dunn.  We engraved almost 40 unique bottles, another big hit with a line of students waiting to the door!  Many thanks for P. Graham Dunn for making this activity possible.


Earlier this year, one of our Akron campus students used our Electronics Station to work on his latest invention, a velocity-dependent slow moving vehicle bicycle taillight system for his senior design project through the UA Human Powered Vehicle Team.  The system will automatically light-up the brake lights as “parking lights” while the bicycle is in-motion, change their intensity based on bike speed, and flash them when cars are approaching from behind.



Powered by a low-cost Arduino Uno microcontroller, accelerometers, proximity sensors, LEDs, and other hardware, Don also designed and 3D printed a custom enclosure for it (above).  Since then, Don refined the hardware enclosure, making it much more portable and fittable for bicycle mounting.  The finished design is below:


It’s wonderful to see how 3D printing is used for rapid prototyping, getting ideas out of our heads and into our hands in literally a few hours.


Earlier this summer, the 3D Lab made another road trip, this time to the Wooster Boys and Girls Club held at Wooster High School.  Our second visit to this group, kids were still brimming with questions and amazement at the portable 3D printer that was brought to the presentation.


We talked about applications in 3D printing, careers in engineering, the 3D Lab at Wayne College, and announced the upcoming Wayne County Mini Maker Faire in May 2017.  In particular, we talked about how 3D printing can solve problems in photosynthesis, sound, and space.  The latter was most interesting as we talked about how photos of Comet 67P/C-G taken by the Rosetta spacecraft were converted to a 3D object for printing a miniature of the comet itself.




Stay tuned next week as we begin a new semester at Wayne College with bright, new minds building all sorts of interesting projects in the 3D Lab!



See how at-home 3D printers may be the future of home cooking:


See how this 3D food printer is designed to cook-up culinary creations:


Do it Yourself concept

Interested in making your own custom t-shirts?  Build this personal silk screening machine for $20!


Until next week,



Detroit Maker Faire, boat decals, and finishing the chuck glider summer camp

Hello everyone,

This year is poised to be one of the hottest on record globally.  NASA’s data revealed each month in first-half 2016 was the warmest globally in modern temperature record, which dates to 1880.

With all of this heat and humidity, now is the perfect time to hang-out in the Wayne College 3D Lab!  Even in the middle of summer with students taking a break from studying, they and community members visit the lab each day.  This week witnessed the creation of laser engraved dedication plaques for the new PlayLab experiential playground in Wooster, a video game programming camp for kids, custom designed t-shirts, and more.

Despite the heat, summer is also the perfect time for Maker Faires!  There are over 200 faires this year alone, all around the world.  The next one in our area is in Grand Rapids, Michigan this weekend.  These are extraordinary events; try to attend at least one and you will be hooked.

Last month, a handful of folks from the Wayne College 3D Lab and the Schantz Maker Space traveled to Michigan for the Detroit Maker Faire.  I have been to “mini” maker faires before, but this was a full fledged faire with over 20,000 people in attendance!  Words can’t explain how huge, fascinating, weird, welcoming, and passionate this event was.  It’s the perfect place for kids, adults, entrepreneurs, inventors, hobbyists, tinkerers — really everyone, a perfect place to explore and be amazed by so many inventions.

If words can’t express the heart of a maker faire, perhaps these photos will!

Kids building air floating contraptions

Bicycle for two?

Star Wars and cos-play

Full-color 3D printing

Yarn making and crafting

Custom-built go-kart races

Battling robots

Electronic sound effects machine

Ride a dragon!

Build-and-fly model rockets

Six-person, six-pedal bicycle

Crazy science demonstrations

Huge 3D printers

Mark your calendar; Wayne College is hosting its own Maker Faire on Saturday, May 20th, 2017.  Be sure not to miss it!  Better yet, be a part of it!  Bring something you want to show and are passionate about or be a volunteer.  It will be an unforgettable experience.


Back at the Wayne College, Leslie brought her family to the 3D Lab to create a decal for their boat.  Not just the single-color vinyl decals that we usually make, but a large, three-color design!  We learned a lot about Corel DRAW that day, a vector art program perfect for the job.

Will from Wayne College Tech Support designed the original artwork.  We then separated the artwork from the lettering so that the vinyl cutter could cut shapes into three separate colors.  Back at home, Leslie and her husband carefully applied the sticky vinyl in layers to create the final decal.

Cutting the design out of vinyl

Removing vinyl backing, revealing the design

The finished result!

Even Leslie’s family had fun in the 3D Lab making 3D printed cars, trucks, and stickers.  There were many “family days” in the 3D Lab this summer.


The “chuck glider” summer camp finished last month with a lot of happy kids and colorful, flying gliders!  They learned how to user a laser engraver to cut their planes from foam board, color them with markers, assemble, them fly them!  Many thanks to Chris, Sami, and many community members who taught the camp, the basics of flying, and simply having fun with the kids.  If you are interested in building your own chuck glider, please reply to this email and we will tell you more.

Laser cutting glider parts

Coloring day!

How planes fly

Happy campers


Stay tuned next week as we reveal more interesting projects and the result of our first-ever video game programming camp!



Have you ever heard of an “acoustic voxel”?  Neither have I!  Read how similar 3D printed objects can make different sounds inside:


See how this inventor 3D printed a violin that produces enchanting music:


Do it Yourself concept

Soda and popcorn naturally go together, quite literally!  See how pop cans can be modified to become a popcorn popper!


Until next week,