Happenings at the Schantz Makerspace, a new printer, Maker Faire Kickoff party recap, and an unbreakable mailbox

Hello everyone,

It’s hard to believe that the 3D Lab began its life at Wayne College three years ago.  If you peruse our blog, you will find well over a hundred posts of our growth, student projects, community outreaches, and the formation of a “maker” community, notably the Shantz Makerspace.  We’ve come a long way and have much more growing yet to do!  The 3D Lab is not about the varied equipment and machines (most all of which are provided by community), but about empowering people to be creative and making ideas possible.  It’s about connecting people and resources together, coming back to this nation’s inventive roots.  Don’t believe me?  Check-out this directory of makerspaces all over the world.

We are proud to be involved with the Schantz Makerspace.  Their group meets every third Monday at the Schantz Organ Company here in Orrville at 7:00 p.m.  Just finishing their highly successful CNC machine project (14 machines built by community members), the group is now involved with Arduino microcontroller workshops and perhaps building robotic arms that members can eventually take home.

The group is exploring other workshop ideas, such as building toy cars that are 3D printed and play tunes as they are pulled along the floor.  Members Norm and Rolf designed a bellow for moving air through the musical pipes using our 3D Lab rubber printer!  It’s wonderful to see our makerspaces working together.


We are happy announce a new addition to the 3D Lab, a high-quality photo printer (Epson Stylus Pro 4880) that was donated by former Dean Neil Sapienza.  This machine uses an eight-ink system for beautiful color reproduction onto 17” wide paper, canvas, and other mediums.  This printer is free-to-use for patrons of the lab, as are 3D printers and most other machines in the lab.  Come visit the lab and invite friends and family; we’ll be happy to show you around and help with your projects!  We are thankful to Neil as students can now create high-quality prints of their creative works.


Late last year, Wayne College hosted a kick-off party to promote the upcoming Wayne County Mini Maker Faire in May.  It was a wonderful turnout with many community members supporting the event.  Many thanks to Lynette Boggs of the Wayne County Schools Career Center, Vic and John Schantz from The Schantz Organ Company, Samatha Chada from the Wayne County Public Library, Daphne Silchuck Ashcraft from the Orrville Public Library, Greg Barbu, Steve Nichols, and others who spoke at the event.  Also thanks to Ellen Pill, reporter for the Wooster Weekly News, who wrote a wonderful recap of the event.

We are quite excited about the Faire in May!  It will be an unforgettable experience, the first of its kind in Wayne County.  It is also a large undertaking and we can use your help in the areas of volunteering, finding “makers” to participate, event planning, sponsorships, day-of-event operations, and simply spreading the word.  Please let us know if you can help in any of these areas.

We hosted a number of “makers” during the kick-off party to get into the inventive, creative, and “festival” theme of a maker faire.  Check out these wonderful participants, many of whom are coming back in May!

Mark your calendar for May 20th.  For more information about participating and being  a “maker” at the faire, please visit waynecounty.makerfaire.com and fill-out an application today!


Last but not least, we love it when our students embark on crazy maker projects of their own.  See how Tristan builds the world’s strongest mailbox in the video below.  Note that the welding gloves he wears are not for safety; they just make him look cool.  🙂


Speaking of our new photo printer, see how 2D paintings are transformed into 3D printed masterpieces:



Think that 3D printed objects are limited to one or two colors?  Check-out this multi-color and multi-material demonstrated at a recent maker faire:



Until next week,



Homemade 3D printers, infinity mirrors, and a trip to Kingsway Christian School

Hello everyone,

The sudden winter storm earlier this week gave our students more reason to hang-out in the 3D Lab and Maker Lounge!  We’ve done a lot to improve these areas and have big plans in-store for the coming months.  The Maker Lounge is quite successful with lots of students using the improved space.  The idea is to promote the “maker” concept to more students.  This way, they become interested in visiting the cool and inventive people in the 3D Lab!

One never knows what new things students are cooking up in the lab.  It’s exciting to see how full the 3D Lab becomes on a day-to-day basis.  It really does have a life of its own.

One of these cool people is Ashton.  He is determined to build a 3D printer of his own, from scratch.  He started last semester, acquiring parts, designing and 3D printing other parts, and learning volumes by researching the Internet.  Building 3D printers from scratch is nothing new; folks at the Canton Hack and Makerspace has been doing his a while already.  But it is certainly a challenge!

Ashton’s design uses an Arduino Mega 2560 for the brain, then attached a “shield” that contains drivers with enough power to run the stepper motors.  These motors move the print head in two directions, the print bed in the third direction, and a motor to advance filament through the extruder.  The Arduino with shield & drivers looks like this:

Ashton is dedicated to building his 3D printer and we are excited for his progress!  He has the Arduino physically rotating the stepper motors, so it’s actually starting to work.  Stay tuned as we report more on this project.


On a different note, 3D Lab staff Nathan wanted to make a cool “maker” gift for his younger sister, an “infinity mirror”.  This consists of a pair of parallel mirrors which create a series of smaller and smaller reflections that appear to recede into an infinite distance.

To build his mirror, Nathan laser-cut reflective acrylic using scraps from a previous project.  He purchased a roll of white LEDs on a strip, affixed them inside the edges of a box frame donated by P. Graham Dunn, and voila, an infinity mirror.  The effect is quite impressive, especially when the lights are dimmed.

The final product is finished, polished, and Nathan’s sister is delighted.  If you are interested in making your own infinity mirror, check-out these projects on Instructables.com here.


A few weeks ago, the 3D Lab made another road trip, this time to Kingsway Christian School.  From an arrangement with one of his former high school instructors, Nathan took the portable 3D printer for a three-day workshop on CAD design and how 3D printers work.  Nathan used Tinkercad, a free, capable computer aided design program that works inside a web browser.  Nathan taught the Kingsway students how to create basic 3D shapes in Tinkercad, then let them loose in designing their own things.  Back at Wayne College and between sessions, Nathan printed their designs on multiple printers, then brough the items to the students the next day.  The workshop was a big success!


Maker Faire is a gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science club members, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. This free hands-on event invites people of all ages to learn, discover, create, and play along with makers and creators from across the region.

Maker Faire features innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance, and craft. Maker Faire provides an opportunity to share projects and ideas we don’t encounter every day. It is a venue for makers to show examples of their work and interact with others.

We are seeking to highlight your talents and innovations at the first annual Wayne County Mini Maker Faire. This event will be held at The University of Akron Wayne College on Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

We encourage you to fill out an application at waynecounty.makerfaire.com. Participation as a maker (to showcase your creations) is free.  Application deadline is April 1st, so don’t delay!  Join the fun and share what you love to do. Bring your family and friends; there is something interesting for everyone!


Until next week,



A busy holiday break, the new Maker Lounge, and a trip to Fairless Middle School

Hello everyone,

Between a long holiday break and catching up with a mountain of work afterward, I resume posting the activities in the 3D Lab.  And busy it has been!  There are so many things to say, so many stories & projects, and the excitement of new possibilities on the horizon that this blog barely scratches the surface.

One such announcement is the introduction of the new Maker Lounge!  Located just outside the 3D Lab, the lounge allows students to relax, socialize, collaborate on homework, and, most importantly get ideas started with 3D printing and anything else we have to offer in the 3D Lab.  The lounge has couches, study tables, a whiteboard, two 3D printers (courtesy of the Romich Foundation), a coffee/pop/snack station, dye sublimation printer (courtesy of the Aldrich Family) and a collaborative design table.  The lounge serves as way for more students to get interested in being inventive and creative.  We still have a ton of work to do, but the lounge should be ready by next week!  Many thanks to Dean Jarrod Tudor for making this possible.



Even though Fall classes ended in mid-December, the 3D Lab has been a beehive of students and community members working on projects.  Our student staff Josh and Nathan were inundated with folks on one particular day, particularly those making homemade Christmas presents.  Nathan regales the experience:

“Wednesday, the 21st, was a really crazy day. It started out pretty simple, it was just Josh and I working, and two of our friends who had come in to work on projects. Around 12, two gentlemen came in to continue some Christmas projects they had come in and started Monday. I was helping them, while Josh started working on another project for the room. Then, right around 12:45, it was like someone made a public announcement to come to the lab, because within the span of about 20 minutes, we had an additional 10 people show up to work on projects in the lab, most of them for Christmas presents. With only Josh and I there, we couldn’t even keep up for all the projects that were there, and we actually had to tell some people to come back the next day, because things like the laser engraver and dye-sub printer were so busy, they wouldn’t even be able to start their project before the lab closed. So after those couple people left, we were able to devote the rest of our time to helping people get their presents done before the lab closed, which kept us busy to 3 and beyond, we were off the clock, but we still stayed for the next hour and a half helping people finish their projects before the lab was closed, and doing as much on others as we could so that the next day they would’ve close to done. All in all, one of the busiest days in the lab I’ve ever been a part of in my year working there.”



Earlier last month, Nathan, Kristin Foy Samson, and I traveled to Fairless Middle School in Navarre on an early, cold, and snowy morning.  It was the school’s annual “Career Day” event where community members from many walks of life inspire students with job possibilities.  We spoke to six classes about going to college, considering a career, what engineering is like, and demonstrated 3D printing.  It was an exhausting day, but rewarding because of the excitement and barrage of questions from the many students.  We made a lasting impression on these kids, that’s for sure!







Another big announcement is a generous grant from the John Kaylor Memorial Fund, a component fund of the Wayne County Community Foundation.  It will be used to purchase a 3D milling device and consumable supplies needed for continued public use of the Wayne College 3D Lab.  A milling device allows carving and cutting soft woods and plastics with four or five degrees of freedom.  It can create objects that are sometimes not possible with 3D printing.  We are really excited with the creative possibilities that this milling machine will bring to our students and community members.  Our student engineers have certainly been asking for one!




Speaking of woodworking, mark your calendar for the next Maker Monday on Monday, January 16th at 7:00 p.m. at The Schantz Organ Company in Orrville.  They have a lot to announce during this meeting, especially about progress on the community-made CNC machine class.


Part of the agenda for the upcoming Maker Monday will be to showcase the prototype machine and have CNC Machine Build Class students on-hand to talk about their experiences so far.  They have been making various projects on the prototype machine, learning the software, working with hold-down devices and dust collection equipment, and generating new ideas on how to test the machine.





Remember, too, that Maker Mondays are a place to share what you are working on.  Sometimes it helps to bring your project and let others comment or answer your questions. The people in our maker community bring many different kinds of experience to the table.  We are all about collaboration.  If you want to know more about Maker Mondays, please contact Vic Schantz at v.schantz@schantzorgan.com


Last but not least, community member Vern recently used our Taz 5 3D printer to create a folding drill bit case for his quick-change drill.  The bits themselves are secured using braces made with NinjaFlex rubber filament, while the case itself was printed using HIPS filament.  Vern invented the hinge on the case, though the printer extruded too much plastic, causing the hinge to partially fuse together.  But with a carving knife and a little elbow grease, the case opens and closes perfectly now!




Speaking of printing with plastic and rubber, how about a multi-material 3D printer squirts out homemade electronic circuits:



See how this tough, 3D-printed drone features embedded electronics:



Do it Yourself concept

Turn your Dremel rotary tool into a mini drill press using only $20 worth of materials!



Until next week,




Mini Mini Maker Faire, two new printers, and a new mixer lid

Hello everyone,

The Fall semester at Wayne College is drawing to a close, snow is beginning to fall (again), and blistery winds are keeping students inside more than out.  We’ve had a busy past few weeks, with not enough time to keep-up on the activities happening in the 3D Lab!

Perhaps the most exciting time was the “Mini Mini Maker Faire” held in the Wayne College Student Life Building a couple of weeks ago.  The event was to promote and raise awareness for the upcoming, larger scale “Mini Maker Fair” on May 20, 2017.  Thanks to the help of faculty and staff from the college’s Teaching and Learning Committee, we pulled together an amazing event with only two weeks of preparation.


And was it amazing!  There were giant Jenga blocks, flying drones, computerized Christmas lights, a human brain in a jar (still living?), 3D printed bird watching accoutrements, custom Nerf parts, LEGO Bionicles toys, a CNC machine, boomerangs, a fitness obstacle course, and more.  Lots of students, staff, faculty, and community members milled about, asking questions to the “makers” and having a good time.  There was free popcorn and even Zippy made a special appearance on the second day of the faire, too!


The event was a big success and we are confident that the bigger faire in May will be jaw dropping.  If you want to be a part of the Mini Maker Faire, please sign up as a “maker” by visiting http://waynecounty.makerfaire.com.  It will be an experience that you will never forget.  Thanks to everyone who made the “mini mini” faire possible on such short notice.

Here are highlights of the faire as pictures are worth so much more than words:

Back in the 3D Lab, we are proud (and humbled) to announce two additions!  Many thanks to SmithFoods here in Orrville, the Wayne County Community Foundation, and the Aldrich Family for providing more creative possibilities in the lab.

SmithFoods donated a large-format printer capable of printing 3-1/2 foot wide posters of any length.  This monster of a printer uses eight ink colors to creating stunning, photographic prints.  And just look at Nathan; he’s no stranger to the camera!


Maintaining supplies for this printer is no small matter, so the Wayne County Community Foundation stepped up to provide funding for consumables.  The Foundation also provided funding for the upcoming four-axis CNC mill capable of carving soft woods, plastics, and other materials.  We are quite excited about that!


The Aldrich Family donated a high-end dye sublimation printer and supplies to the 3D Lab.  This machine prints full color images onto special paper.  This is heat transferred onto almost anything, such as shirts, mouse pads, mugs, jigsaw puzzles, tablet and phone cases, just about anything!  We appreciate their generosity as the lab now supports full-color services with the dye sub printer and the poster printer.  Josh is quite happy about it.


The Wayne College 3D Lab is free and open to the public, so feel free to bring yourself, your family members, your friends to create something!  Our hours of operation are posted here.  Want to create laser engraved holiday gifts?  Thanks to the generation of P. Graham Dunn, we have a variety of wonderful items for you to learn laser engraving with.


Last but not least, a community member visited the 3D Lab several weeks ago with a high-end Kitchen Aid mixer.  One of her favorite mixing bowls is too tall for the mixer, causing the mixer’s factory lid to not fit when attached to the bowl.



Nathan took measurements of the existing lid, then designed a shorter version using Solidworks, our students’ favorite CAD program.  Given the size of the new lid’s design, we printed it on our large-format Taz 3D printers (also provided by the Wayne County Community Foundation).  The result turned out beautifully!  I hope that Julie doesn’t mind purple to match her white mixer.  🙂




See how 3D printing is used to create a stop-motion animation:



See how laser engraving & cutting is used to create a mesmerizing optical illusion:



Do it Yourself concept

Want to make illusions yourself?  Try building one of these “infinity mirrors”!



Until next week,




CNC machine progress, guitar pickguards, and a trip to Lincoln Elementary

Hello everyone,

There has been a lot happening in the 3D Lab lately, with enough interesting stories that I could write two dozen blogs and still have stories yet to tell.  But I will focus on some of the highlights in this post.  But there are so many interesting creative projects going on!  The 3D Lab is a real testimony of student ingenuity and community.

Before I forget, there is a maker faire close to home this weekend, the Akron Mini Maker Faire being held at the Akron Public Library this Saturday!  The event runs from noon to 4:00 and is an experience that you will not forget.  If you haven’t been to a maker faire and want to know what the buzz is all about, be sure to attend!  The event is free and you’re sure to make a new friend or two (and perhaps start a new hobby).  For more information, please click here.



Also big news, Wayne College is hosting a “mini mini” version of a Maker Faire next week!  Please mark your calendar Tuesday, November 15, and Wednesday, November 16, 11am-1pm, at the Wayne College Student Life Building for a “mini” invasion of makers!


We have exciting makers for you to meet, including a homemade CNC machine, 3D printed items, fitness activities, a giant Jenga puzzle, biology experiments (I mean, exhibits), Nerf toys, fun fitness activities, Internet controlled Christmas lights, and more.  It’s a time you won’t want to miss!  The “mini-mini” faire runs from 11:00-1:00 each day and is a precursor to the larger Maker Faire in May.


In local makerspace news, members from the Schantz Makerspace here in Orrville, Ohio are making excellent progress on CNC machine prototype.  Spearheaded by makerspace leader Vic Schantz (president of Schantz Organ Company) and advised by Ben Engle (student of the University of Akron), the goal of building this prototype is to form a workshop where community members come together to build their own CNC machines that they can eventually take home.  It is truly a community inspired project with much promise!



According to Vic, they have lots of folks who are willing to help get the machine finished. Rolf is making a 3-d printed router holder from a design Greg found on Thingiverse.  The machine is basically complete except for wiring the stepper motors, and testing.  If you are interested in following this project, please stop-by the Schantz Organ Company at 8:30 a.m. this Saturday as the group finishes up the prototype!



Last week, one of our students is an avid musician and decided to build a guitar!  Be bought a wooden body and painted it, then plans to attach his own hardware.  The pickguard was made with the laser cutter, generously donated by the Romich Foundation.  We test-fit the design by cutting a cardboard model, then lasered a beautiful plastic overlay with the final design.  The pickguard fit perfectly and is a nice complement to the guitar body!  We are always up for trying new ideas in the 3D Lab.





The 3D Lab loves to make road trips to excite the community about engineering, 3D printing, and jumpstarting careers through Wayne College.  Lately, Jim Lawrence and I made a trip to Lincoln Elementary School in Wadsworth with 50+ excited kids wanted to know how 3D printing works (and learn some interesting facts about engineering, too).  It was a fun time with lots of questions to answer.




To top off the presentation, we printed a copy of their school mascot, a looming grizzly bear.  There wasn’t enough time to answer all their questions, but sometimes unanswered questions are the best kinds; they stimulate them to ponder and seek their own answers!



See how 3D printing “hyperelastic bone” can mend injuries:



A cancer survivor receives a new jaw thanks to 3D printing:



Do it Yourself concept

You think that your kids are noisy?  Build this LED Noise-o-Meter to find out!



Until next week,



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 tjh1@uakron.edu 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,