Sparking skate boards, homemade 3D printers, and a visit Holmes County

Hello everyone,

Much has been happening in the 3D Lab over the past weeks, despite the brief lapse of regular news from this blog.  I have a good excuse for the delay; we are hard at work preparing for the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire in May!


Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue to for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, projects.

We call it the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth — a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness.  Glimpse the future and get inspired!

We are accepting applications for makers, so apply soon as space is limited.  Click here then choose “I want to be a Maker” to apply.


Lots of interesting projects are happening in the 3D Lab this semester.  Ashton, a new student who hangs out there on a daily basis, amazes us with plans to build a 3D printer from scratch!  He intends to design and print all of the parts, including some that require metalwork.  His CAD skills are amazing, too.


He is currently building the extruder assembly.  This involves advancing filament through the nozzle by means of a special “auger” and spare motors from past repairs on our Makerbot printers.  Ashton is well on his way!



Tristan, a longtime veteran of the 3D Lab, is into his share of shocking projects as well.  And that is literally!  He designed and 3D printed his own skateboard wheels, drilled holes into the “tread” area, then inserted non-ferrous stubs of cerium.  The result?  Wheels that spark when they get too close to other metals.



You can how he created these sparking wheels in the video here.  Notice the cool images on the wheels?  He and Nathan used a Sharpie marker and the 3D Lab’s laser engraver to create the designs.  The marker may not be permanent, but it’s definitely cool.


Earlier this summer, the 3D Lab made yet another road trip, this time to the Holmes County Fair!  Despite hot, humid weather and a torrential downpour that forced folks indoors, many were thrilled at the Wayne College booth to see a 3D printer in-action.  The portable 3D printer (Pol-E as we affectionately call her) has traveled to almost 50 locations in less than two years, from schools to community organizations to county fairs.  People are always amazed by the technology and about the 3D Lab at Wayne College, a makerspace that is open to everyone.



It seems a new tradition has started in the 3D Lab, born by students who frequent it.  In addition to the student-led Flight Club on Monday evenings at 6:00, the room now became the home of aspiring musicians!  What started last semester has become a regular thing with sometimes 5-6 guitars, ukuleles, and sometimes 3D printed instruments.  The lab has become a hang-out place for Wayne College students, a place to relax, explore, learn, make, and just have fun!




Hey!  What is this “Maker Faire” thing, anyway?On Friday, December 2nd, Wayne College will host a kick-off party that tells you everything you need to know.

Whether you want to be a “maker” at the faire to show-off your stuff or simply want see what others have made, come to the party to meet some interesting folks and be part of the action!  Please send an RSVP to if you plan to attend.



Are you into recycling old stuff into new, useful things?  3D printers are for you!


If you think that Ashton’s homemade 3D printer project is too easy, try building one on Mars:


Do it Yourself concept

Have some zip ties, spare wood, and a light bulb?  Learn how to make an amazing “starlight” lamp:


Until next week,