Student made 3D printer, our new milling machine, and a trip to Orrville Elementary School

Hello everyone,

This is our bi-weekly blog of the happenings at the Wayne College 3D Lab.  This makerspace is a collection of tools, services, people, and educational opportunities that encourage a community of invention and design. The lab is open to the public, allowing community members, students, and businesses to create and collaborate using high-tech equipment.

We offer a number of services to the community including walk-in, free use of the equipment, on-site presentations & demonstrations, individual & group tutoring sessions, lessons, workshops, and informal classes on CAD design and 3D printing, think-tank services, prototype fabrication, and collaborative projects between schools and community organizations.  Feel free to contact us at tjh1@uakron.edu to learn more.

 

With the highly successful Wayne County Mini Maker Faire almost two weeks behind us, we are back into the routine of reporting exciting things happening in the 3D Lab.  First is the announcement of a new arrival, a CNC Mill courtesy of the Wayne County Community Foundation!  This machine replaces drill presses, turning machines, and conventional milling machines. A distinct advantage over other equipment is its ability to move its cutting head (in this case, a drill bit) in multiple directions. This allows the machine to cut or engrave complex shapes.

The addition of the CNC Mill opens all sorts of possibilities for patrons in the lab.  It can carve patterns into flat pieces of wood, create three dimensional shapes with its built-in rotary tool, and carve certain types of metal and plastics.  Students are quite excited about the mill and it will be fully available by the end of summer (we are still learning it).

 

One of our students, Ashton, has been working steadily toward building a homemade 3D printer.  Many of its parts have been 3D printed on our own printers, using online designs from the open-source Taz 3D printers.  And some parts Ashton designed himself.  It’s an exciting project and Ashton has the drive and determination to see it to completion.

   

Currently, Ashton has the stepper motors responding to commands and has begun work on the 3D printer frame.  He finds most of build information on the Internet, but also collaborates with members of the Schantz Makerspace here in Orrville.  We’re excited to see it working soon!

 

Speaking of 3D printers, the Schantz Makerspace is offering workshops to build your own 3D printer in June and August.  The June workshop is full, but there may yet be openings in the August workshop.  If you have been interested in owning a 3D printer, now is the perfect time.  Not only can you build a printer from parts, there is a community of people to support you through the process.  It’s a great way to make new friends, too.  Please contact Vic Schantz at v.schantz@schantzorgan.com to learn more.

 

Last but not least, the 3D Lab made a road trip with the portable 3D printer, this time to Orrville Elementary School.  There, students in Heidi Caskey’s science classes invented fidget spinners, so popular with kids (and adults) these days.  It was wonderful to see all of the creative designs!

Nathan and I talked about 3D printing, how it works, it’s impact in society, and careers in engineering and other fields.  The kids were fascinated with how the printer formed a fidget spinner and a Minecraft character as we talked.  Many thanks to Mrs. Caskey for having us there.

 

We are pleased to announce that Wayne College will host the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire in 2018!  More information forthcoming.  For now, follow us on Facebook.

 

See how 3D printers can now make human skin:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/91589/we-can-print-human-skin-now

 

Learn how to build a weather forecasting lamp that simulates real weather conditions:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Storm-Glass-the-Weather-Forecasting-Lamp-That-Simu

 

Until next week,

Tom