Blue Tip Festival, a house for our 3D printer, and laser cut elephants

Hello everyone,

It’s amazing that we are three weeks into the Fall 2017 semester at Wayne College.  New students are floating into the 3D Lab, new faces and bright minds.  And many are quite young and very much interested in 3D printing, laser engraving, and creative projects using the lab’s equipment.  The Tools for Engineering class is quite large this semester, so the lab will be a bustling place for most of the semester.  This class will build and battle LEGO Mindstorms robots, designing and 3D printing flashlights, and much more.  It will be an exciting semester!


Recently, the 3D Lab made a road trip to the Blue Tip Festival, a five-day celebration of the Wadsworth, Ohio community.  It starts with a world-class parade and the lighting of a giant, twenty-foot blue tip match which lights downtown Wadsworth during the festival’s duration.  The festival then offers attendants their choice of amusement rides, festival foods, midway games, contests, and other entertainment.

Faculty, staff, and myself talked about degrees and services at Wayne College, the 3D Lab, engineering classes, the upcoming Wayne County Mini Maker Faire, and demonstrated 3D printing.  Younger fair attendees were fascinated with the technology, staying at our table for over an hour!  3D printers continually amaze people, even though the technology has been publicly available for a number of years now.  We printed items, some of which went home to fair attendees.  If you haven’t been to the Blue Tip Festival, please visit here to plan for next year’s event!


3D printing is a heat sensitive process.  Not only does melted plastic have to be at a proper temperature for melting and laying down layers, but the surrounding air must be warm to prevent rapid cooling, shrinking, and cracking of larger 3D printed parts.  Our large Taz 5 3D printers can print parts almost a foot tall!

To keep the air warm around the printer, 3D Lab staff Nathan designed and built a see-through enclosure using donated acrylic from Wooster Glass Company and side panels from a special resin-like material from The Schantz Organ Company.  Nathan used Solidworks to design corner braces, door handles, and door seals, then printed them with plastic and rubber on the Taz 3D printer.  And the enclosure is a success!  We can print large items with nary a crack nor shrinkage.


Earlier in the year, a student wanted to raise awareness and start a fundraiser for elephant tusk poaching in Africa.  She made a hand drawing of an elephant of which we scanned and imported into Corel DRAW.  We converted her hand drawing into vector art, which is a mathematical way of representing a picture.  The laser engraver follows these mathematical lines with a cutting beam.  The result turned out beautifully!  The elephant replicas were cut from 1/8” plywood.  Good job and for a good cause!


Stay tuned next week as we report on engineering students starting to build their LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots!




The first full-color 3D printers are ready to hit the market!



Want to get started with learning Arduino, an inexpensive and easy-to-learn microcontroller?  Here are 20 interesting projects to get you started:


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!


Interested in learning Fusion 360, a free CAD program by AutoDesk?  Stop by Schantz Organ Company at 6:30 p.m. on October 25th with your laptop.  You learn tips from experts and hopefully answer some of your questions, too.  Also, call 330-682-6065 if interested in workshops in flying drones on September 30th or building a 3D printer in January!



Until next week,