Battle bots, rocket arrows, phone amplifiers, and the International Festival

Hello everyone,

Five more weeks to go until the last day of winter!  With regular 20-degree days and blistery winds, the 3D Lab is a toasty warm place to try some creative projects.  It’s also the perfect place to make a personalized, custom made gift for that special someone for Valentine’s Day!  Check out these 3D printed, one-of-a-kind gifts, designed by people from all over the world.  The laser engraver and cutter is wonderful for making Valentine’s gifts, too.  Did you know that you can laser engrave your own words onto heart candy?  Or check out these idea starters!

 

Last semester, our Tools for Engineering students built robots for the climactic Battle Bots Tournament.  Using LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kits for the motors & “brains” and 3D printed custom attachments, the goal is to use whatever means necessary to push the opposing team’s robot off the “arena”, a circular table.  It’s always an entertaining time, seeing the creative (devious?) ideas to disable and defeat each other’s robots.

Students use Bluetooth enabled smart phones, tablets, and sometimes videogame controllers to pilot their robots during battle.  Sometimes the robots respond well, sometimes hilariously not as well.  Robots are not judged by wins & defeats alone, but also the creativity, design, and thought that went into them.  Much of the design happened right here in the fairly new 3D Lounge.  We’ll have another Battle Bots competition this May, so stay tuned for another fun time!

 

We are thankful for the talented students who assist in the 3D Lab: Sri, Rahul, Josh, and Desmond.  All are talented in different ways.  If you have a project that needs creative and artistic advice, have something that’s broken, need a new part designed, or simply want friendly help to trying the equipment in our lab, our assistants are friendly and willing to help!

Josh is really good at CAD design.  He invented a sound amplifier for his smart phone which was 3D printed and uses cardboard tubing for the sound channels.  It’s an interesting design and works fairly well, considering it is a non powered amplifer.

 

Also this semester, engineering students in the Dymamics class are building custom model rockets.  Each student has complete freedom over its design, from card board tube rockets, 3D printed ones, metal machined, even rockets from pop cans!  Designed are tested in student-made wind tunnels for aerodynamics, center of pressure calculations, center of gravity, and so on.  We’ll let you know when the launch takes place, sometime in early May.

Until then, check-out this video by Tristan, one of our students, on making homemade rocket fuel.  Not quite a success because of equipment problems (the stove wouldn’t get hot enough), but definitely entertaining!  Tristan stuffs his makeshift fuel into arrows to make “rocket arrows”.

 

Last week was the University of Akron Wayne College annual International Festival, our biggest and best yet!  The theme for the three-day event was Explore and Celebrate and opened with an education day featuring presentations, activities, Madrigal Dancers, bagpipe music, cultural competition displays from student organizations, and lots of ethnic food.

The 3D Lab hosted a table at table at the fair and was quite popular.  We made 3D printed objects representing countries all over the world.  Passers by marveled at the Leaning Tower of Pisa that printed on our portable 3D printer.  Many thanks to Sri, Josh, and Rahul who interacted with festival attendees throughout the day!

 

Stay tuned as the semester heats up, quite literally!  Students will begin building robots, rockets, and all sorts of interesting thing in the 3D Lab, so there will be plenty of stories to tell.

 

The first 3D house (printed onsite!) finished earlier this year in Stupino, Moscow:

http://apis-cor.com/en/about/news/first-house

And check-out this 3D printed bridge in Madrid: https://inhabitat.com/worlds-first-3d-printed-pedestrian-bridge-pops-up-in-madrid

 

Upgrade your single color 3D prints to full color with hydro dipping!
https://makezine.com/projects/hydro-dipping-3d-prints

 

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!

 

Don’t miss the next Maker Monday which is Monday, February 19th at 7:00 at Wooster High School.  The Wooster Robotics Team will be there to showcase their battling arena robots!

 

We offer a free “listserv” that allows to you ask questions to members in the makerspace. It’s great for sharing ideas, forming friendships, and helping & advising each other. To join, send an email to listserv@lists.uakron.edu with

“SUBSCRIBE MAKERSPACE-GROUP” in the subject line.

 

Until next week,

Tom

Meet a Maker! Wayne County Mini Maker Faire

Hello everyone,

Plans are underway for the next Wayne County Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, May 19th.  Be sure to mark your calendar to attend and especially to participate as a “maker”.  The Daily Record said it best: “Dubbed the ‘Greatest Show and Tell on Earth’, over 1,300 people flocked to the inaugural faire at the University of Akron Wayne College last year.

It’s a mix of new technology, inventions, interesting people, traditional (and not so traditional) hobbies.  From yarn spinning to spinning robots, it’s all part of Maker Faire.  If you haven’t been a Maker Faire anywhere in the world, it’s an unforgettable experience, now here in Wayne County!

 

These bizarre bazaars are gleeful public displays of innovation and do-it-yourself inventiveness, and the only requirement for participants is that they make the contraptions themselves and want to make them accessible to others.  When you visit a table, display or presentation, the guy controlling the fire spouting from his dragon car is the same fellow who built the thing, usually from the ground up.  He’ll probably tell you exactly how he made it happen, too.

Check-out this video that explains what Maker Faire is all about:

 

We are proud to showcase Ohio makers who participated in the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire.  One such person is Theresa Rabbitts.  Theresa, the mother of three amazing children, is a Student Services Counselor at Wayne College.  One of her hobbies includes upcycling and recycling a wide variety of items.  From wine bottle corks to kitty litter buckets, everything has a use.

Theresa uses empty bottles and jars to make useful items like planters, candle holders, and storage or creates decorative items like jewelry or wind chimes.  At last year’s faire, she showed how people to create various items from empty bottles and jars.  Some items included wind chimes, planters, candle holders, and jewelry.

 

Rounding out our makers who participated are the Norwayne Makers from Norwayne Elementary and Norwayne Middle School.  Their CAT class (grade 3-7) students displayed a variety of creations they prepared for last year’s Faire.  Their students love to invent and are thrilled to create, using their critical thinking skills for the Maker Faire’s creations.

Some of the creations the students have made included homemade play doh, a battery potato, a brush cleaner, colored lighting for plants, bug nutrition facts, homemade fidget spinners, and a mouse trap car!  We are interested to see what the Norwayne Makers will bring to the Fair this year.

 

Check out the video above; plans are underway for the 2018 Wayne County Mini Maker Faire!  Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 19, 2018 for an unforgettable experience.  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 and participation is free.  Thanks and we look forward to you joining us in 2018!

 

Until next week,

Tom

Meet a Maker! Wayne County Mini Maker Faire

Hello everyone,

Plans are underway for the next Wayne County Mini Maker Faire on May 19th, 2018.  Be sure to mark your calendar to attend and especially to participate as a “maker”.  The Daily Record said it best: “Dubbed the ‘Greatest Show and Tell on Earth’, over 1,300 people flocked to the inaugural faire at the University of Akron Wayne College this past May where they were able to step back in time and see the future at the same time.

 

But you don’t have to wait until 2018 to enjoy the excitement and awe of Maker Faire.  These events are happening all over the country (and all over the world), over 220 of them each year.  Please click here to see their full line-up of makers.

 

Istanbul offered its fifth annual large-scale Maker Faire.  With close to 400 maker projects and more than 100 diverse workshops on the lineup, there wasn’t a dull moment.  Check-out some of the faires highlights here.

 

 

 For those wondering, what, exactly, is a maker faire, it 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 for these ‘makers’ to show hobbies, experiments, and projects,” according to its website.

 

We are proud to showcase Ohio makers who participated in the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire.  One such person is Robert Witmer.  He and his wife Waunita demonstrated three inventions they have taken to the marketplace that include sand anchors to hold beach umbrellas, newspaper tube weather guard vinyl flaps, and self-cleaning natural peanut butter mixers.

Bob and Waunita displayed and demonstrated the application and purpose of these inventions, including five sizes of self-cleaning natural peanut butter mixers that blends the separated oils that naturally occurs inside the original jars. They brought items to give away that relate to natural peanut butter.

 

Rounding out our makers who participated is Jerry Troyer.  He invented Caddy-pal, a versatile caddy that can transport lawn chairs to your outdoor event and then flips over to be used as a handy little table for grilling, small child’s table, etc.

 

Plans are underway for the 2018 Wayne County Mini Maker Faire!  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 and participation is free.  Thanks and we look forward to you joining us in 2018!

 

Until next week,

Tom

Stair climbing robots, 3D printed lithophanes, and a trip to the Home & Garden Show

Hello everyone,

It’s the start of the Spring semester here at Wayne College.  It’s refreshing see a sea of new faces every semester as well as students we’ve known.  New students who were introduced to the 3D Lab during orientation are already making their way to the lab, creating interesting items from Thingiverse and original designs on the 3D printers.  This semester will be quite busy as we have two engineering classes that will depend upon the 3D Lab, the rocket building Dynamics class and the famous robot contests in the Tools for Engineering class.  It will be an exciting time!

 

Last semester, students were challenged to build stair climbing robots based on LEGO Mindstorms EV3 technology.  This is no easy task as our steps are not carpeted and the lower part of each step is recessed, leaving little area for gripping.  It’s amazing what inventions that our students come-up with.

Some students 3D printed custom attachments to improve the LEGO parts that came with their kits.  The robots ranged from flexible, imaginative designs like the one above to monstrous, tank-like robots with multiple “brain” control bricks.  It was entertaining to watch the attempts, successes, and comical failures.  Some students controlled their robots from smart phones, tablets, and even videogame controllers!

 

3D printers continue to amaze us with new ways of doing “old” things.  Jeff Wiles from the Schantz Makerspace found a website that converts digital photographs to lithophanes, creating three dimensional artwork in very thin layers that can be seen clearly when backlit.

 

The process is simple.  Upload a photo of your choice to the website, set it as a “positive” image, select a curvature for the overall desired shape, then download the generated STL file.  This file can be printed on any 3D printer, notably at Wayne College and the Tevo Tarantulas that Schantz Makerspace participants have been building over the past year.   Almost 60 low-cost printers have been built by the group so far!

 

Last year, the 3D Lab made an offsite visit to the Wayne County Home & Garden Show at the Wayne County Fairgrounds.  Over 10,000 visitors and 200 exhibitors were present, featuring landscaping companies, remodeling contractors, interior design companies, and more.  Our 3D printer was a bit hit at the show and some contractors were interested how it could improve their business.  And as usual, attendees and lots of kids were fascinated with the portable printer that we brought along.  Be sure to see us at the upcoming H&G Show the weekend of April 28th!

The Wayne College 3D Lab makes free road trips to schools, community organizations, and businesses.  We bring a portable 3D printer and give presentations and demos of how they work, explained careers in engineering, and what this “maker movement” is all about.  If interested, please send an email to tjh1@uakron.edu to setup a visit!

 

Stay tuned as things get busy in the 3D Lab; we have lots of stories to tell and interesting projects students are building!

 

GreenBatch turns waste plastic into free 3D printer filament for schools

https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/greenbatch-turns-waste-plastic-free-3d-printer-filament-schools-123989

 

Interested in the stair stepping robots that our students made?  Make your own cute, 3D printed Arduino crawling robot here:
https://www.instructables.com/id/Critter-3D-Printed-Crawling-Arduino-Robot

 


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!

Don’t miss the next Maker Monday which is Monday, February 19th at 7:00 at Wooster High School.  The Wooster Robotics Team will be there to showcase their battling arena robots!

 

We offer a free “listserv” that allows to you ask questions to members in the makerspace. It’s great for sharing ideas, forming friendships, and helping & advising each other. To join, send an email to listserv@lists.uakron.edu with

“SUBSCRIBE MAKERSPACE-GROUP” in the subject line.

CNC rocket parts, lasered rolling pins, robot contests, and a visit to the Harvest Bash

Hello everyone,

With final exams beginning the week after next, it’s hard to believe that the semester is almost over.  And what a ride it’s been!  So many new faces in the 3D Lab, so many projects.  Community members visit the lab practically every day, people of all ages.  It’s wonderful how word gets around that we provide this service to the community, making ideas a reality.  Both the 3D Lab and 3D Lounge next door are filled with students; sometimes our six 3D printers were barely enough to meet everyone’s needs.  It’s a good kind of problem.  🙂

 

One of our “think big” community members, Ben Ault, is into model rockets that climb thousands of feet.  He participated in the Mini Maker Faire earlier this year and has big plans for his next rocket.

Ben needed to fabricate a convex, clear window for a large nosecone that he 3D printed.  To form the mold for this window, he created the shape in CAD then carved it out of wood with the CNC mill provided by the Wayne County Community Foundation.  The mold was covered in clear material, placed in an home oven, then baked to harden into the window shape.  A perfect use for a CNC machine!

 

One of our students is enjoying the creative, artistic side of the 3D lab.  With a little bit of help, she learned CAD design on her own to creative musical notes which she 3D printed.  Since our laser engraver supports cylindrical objects, she engraved a beautiful design onto a rolling pin for her grandmother, courtesy of P. Graham Dunn.  We learned that the rotary device does not grip cylindrical wood products reliably, but wrapping the rolling pin’s edges in Scotch tape fixed that problem.

 

Students in the Tools for Engineering class, taught by Scott Gold, are busy building robots to accomplish set tasks, from delivering marked cargo, to stair climbing machines, to battle bots in an arena!

The first type of robots were put-to-the-test last week.  The machines travel down an aisle, detect a certain colored 3D printed cube, pick it up, then deliver it to a particular location.  Some students heavily used sensors from the LEGO Mindstorms kits to detect the aisle distance & shape, cube color, and other physical characteristics of the environment.  There were some spectacular successes as well as failures, the latter of which were more important because of what was learned.

 

Recently the 3D Lab made a road trip to Wooster for the annual Harvest Bash hosted by CIRCLE Coalition.  This free family event included food, games, music, and a costume contest, held at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception School.  Adults and kids of all ages were fascinated with 3D printing, a first-time experience for many of them.  A number of community members brought themselves and their kids to the 3D Lab in the days/weeks after the event to create personal works of their own.  The 3D Lab is always a hit when we go on the road!

 

Stay tuned as we wrap-up the semester with more student engineered robots, community projects, and lots of unexpected surprises in the 3D Lab!

Until next week,

Tom

3D printers are taking a delicious turn for the better.  This pancake printer makes flat shapes from your 3D printable files.  It really takes the cake (I mean, batter)!

http://www.storebound.com/storebound/pancakebot-products

 

Not sure what to buy your creative “maker” friends for Christmas?  Look no further than this Make: Magazine holiday buying guide:
https://makezine.com/giftguide

 

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!

 

Don’t miss December’s Maker Monday which is Monday, December 18th at 7:00 at The Schantz Organ Company!  Also coming up is their kid-friendly “Build a Snowman” event on Saturday, December 9th (reservations necessary).

 

We offer a free “listserv” that allows to you ask questions to members in the makerspace. It’s great for sharing ideas, forming friendships, and helping & advising each other. To join, send an email to listserv@lists.uakron.edu with

“SUBSCRIBE MAKERSPACE-GROUP” in the subject line.

Building robots, engraving bare metal, and a visit to the Salvation Army

Hello everyone,

It’s hard to believe that we’re into the seventh week of classes this Fall semester.  Every day brings students and community members into the 3D Lab; I try to recap some of their stories in these bi-weekly blogs.  One never knows what to expect from day to day; two weeks ago folks were 3D scanning rare bird eggs and a dead chipmunk!  But that’s a story for another day…

This semester, we welcome three new student assistants to the 3D Lab: Sri, Rahul, and Desmond.  All are helpful and interesting to get to know: Rahul is into website design and programming, Sri is very creative and knows most all of the equipment in the lab, and Desmond plays more musical instruments than I know exist.  Be sure to stop-in to see how they can help you!

 

This semester also brings one of the largest Tools for Engineering classes that I have seen in a while.  In the Fall semester, students build LEGO Mindstorms robots to perform tasks and eventually battle with.  The 3D Lounge outside of the 3D Lab has become a popular place for building their robots with lots of table space and 3D printers nearby to create parts.

 

Stay tuned as students finish their robots that will toss weighted cubes a calculated distance, run an obstacle course, and of course, participate in the hotly anticipated battle bots tournament!

 

Typical laser engravers use a CO2 laser that is effective upon wood, glass, rubber, ceramic, leather, plastics, and acrylic.  While it can remove paint from metal, leaving a shiny imprint, a CO2 laser cannot engrave nor cut bare metal because of its reflective surface.

Community members from Cornerstone Elementary School in Wooster opened a new playground last year and wanted to engrave metal dedication plaques.  They used a “laser marking” spray that, when a laser beam is applied, permanently bonds to the metal, resulting in a high-contrast image.  This can be used to engrave bare metal, glass, and ceramics with a sharp black (or other color) image, regardless of the underlying material color.

In the photo above, the light lettering is after bronze paint is removed from the laser engraver, resulting in a bare metal image.  The black lettering is the marking spray that is applied to the bare metal image, then lasered again. The result is quite nice!  For unpainted metal, the spray is directly applied and lasered in one pass.

Laser marking is good for etching images onto tools, applying barcodes to metal products, and much more.  If you are interested in trying this technique in the 3D Lab, please let me know.  One company that sells marking spray is http://www.thermark.com

 

The 3D Lab made a road trip to the Salvation Army in Northeast Ohio located in Wooster.  Apart from their soup kitchen, emergency shelter, financial assistance, and other community services, the Salvation Army also offers a Summer Day Camp that keeps kids engaged and active all summer long.  Over 30 kids were introduced to 3D printing and how people use these machines to fix and create everyday items, not excluding toys!  Needless to say, they were excited about it.

After the presentation and talk, a number of kids and community members visited the 3D Lab to learn more about the technology and to create projects of their own.  Young minds inspired to be creative and inventive could mean future engineers to benefit our community one day.

 

Stay tuned next week as we reveal more about the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire slated for May 19, 2018!  If you haven’t signed up already to be part of this free event, please do so here.  It’s a great way to show the community what you’re into.

 

 

  Meet the disabled veteran who prototypes prosthetics for cats:

 

https://makezine.com/2017/10/04/meet-disabled-veteran-who-prototypes-prosthetics-cats

 

  Like donuts?  Here’s a fun school project that creates solar cells from these tasty treats:

 

https://makezine.com/2017/09/19/making-your-own-solar-cells-from-powdered-donuts

 

  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!

 

  Don’t miss October’s Maker Monday which is tonight at 7:00 at The Schantz Organ Company!  They will explore a brand new electric car, plan for a Christmas Crafts for Kids event, discuss an upcoming Fusion 360 Q & A session, work on CNC machines and 3D printers, and so much more.
We offer a free “listserv” that allows to you ask questions to members in the makerspace. It’s great for sharing ideas, forming friendships, and helping & advising each other. To join, send an email to listserv@lists.uakron.edu with

“SUBSCRIBE MAKERSPACE-GROUP” in the subject line.

 

Until next week,

Tom