Homemade CNC machines, family laser engraving, and a trip to Hiland High School

Hello everyone,

Even though it’s the middle of summer, there is a regular flow of community members and students into the 3D Lab.  Yesterday, several kids and their parent 3D printed Star Wars ships & fidget spinners, and a father & son 3D printed a custom phone case & vinyl decals.  We never know who will stop by, but all are welcome.

The Wayne College 3D Lab makes road trips!  If your school, business, or community organization would like a free presentation on 3D printing, its application in the real world, and how it connects to careers in engineering and art, please let us know.  We’ll bring along a 3D printer for show-and-tell with lots of interesting stories to tell.


Last year, community members from the Schantz Makerspace got together over several weekends to build CNC machines based on a prototype by Wayne College student Ben Engle.  What an incredible time they had.  14 machines were built by talented makers that provided input, instruction, and experience on the overall assembly. This was a collaborative effort from all involved, which makes it a lot of fun.  If you want to be involved with building a CNC machine this September, please contact Vic Schantz ASAP at v.schantz@schantzorgan.com

Since that workshop, Ben has not been keeping idle.  He decided to start another project that will be a very strong gantry mill-type CNC machine. His goal is to mill aluminum and even metal on it.  Ben has access to a water jet where he works, leading to an all-metal design.  The CNC will be driven by large, beefy stepper motors and perhaps a ballscrew or rack & pinion for the linear actuators. We can’t wait to see Ben’s progress!


A while ago, a family visited the 3D Lab, a parent and three children.  We always welcome visitors wanting to find out the wonderful possibilities in our Lab.  The parent used the laser engraver to cut numbers and lettering from wood to be affixed on her house, while lab staff showed the kids how to laser engrave words and pictures onto water bottles & notepads (courtesy of P. Graham Dunn), vinyl-cut decals (courtesy of the Orrville Area Boys and Girls Club), and 3D printed toys (courtesy of the Romich Foundation).  The family had a blast and took home what they made, making lasting memories.


Earlier this year, the 3D Lab made a road trip to Hiland High School to demonstrate 3D printing and discuss careers in engineering to Roche Harmon’s students.  They are involved in amazing woodworking and CAD designed projects, such as inlaid wood tables, CO2 racers, and other CAD designs.  The students were interested in how 3D printers work and we discussed how it can be integrated into their existing projects. It was a wonderful time of qusetions and answers with Roche’s class; Nathan and I were honored to be invited there!


3D printing isn’t just plastic and metal.  How about a cheese 3D printer and a pizza printer?




Speaking of food, try building this instant cooler for soft drinks:



Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 19, 2018 for the 2nd Annual Wayne County Mini Maker Faire!  The event is free to attend and participate.  To be a maker at the faire, be sure to signup here.  We’d love to have you there!


Until next week,