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

 

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.  Need inspired?  Check-out pictures and videos from World Maker Faire which rocked New York City two weekends ago.

If you couldn’t make it to New York, you can experience the event with a recording of this live stream.  Going to a World Maker Faire is an experience of a lifetime!

 

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 Ben Ault.  He enjoys learning about the hobby of high powered rocketry. From design to flight and everything in between.  Ben is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University in mechanical and aerospace engineering.  At Case, he was involved in the Rocket Team as vice president and lab manager where he developed his interest in high powered rocketry.

Ben makes and launches mid powered and high powered rockets. He brought a few examples of rockets that he constructed and showed videos and pictures of launches.  Currently, he is building a rocket capable of heights of 10,000-feet or more!  Ben recently used the CNC mill at the Wayne College 3D Lab to carve a window mold  for the nosecone.

 

Rounding out our makers who participated is Steve Kitchen.  He demonstrated the art of flintknapping; faire attendees saw how Native Americans made stone arrowheads of flint from Ohio quarries.  Attendees also saw how the modern knapper uses these colorful pieces to create moving works of art called mobiles.

Steve is a flintknapper and demonstrated the process of making stone arrowheads as the Native Americans did. He brought many examples of reproductions of arrowhead types that would be found in Ohio. He uses arrowheads to make moving artistic mobiles of various types. These were displayed as well. Steve demoed flintknapping for many art fairs and have demoed for the College of Wooster Archeaology Department, many times.

 

If you would like to know more about the Ben’s model rockets or Steve’s flintknapping works,  please reply to this email.

 

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

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!

Tom

 

 

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

https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/xyzprinting-combines-inkjet-fdm-da-vinci-color-3d-printer-pricing-technical-specifications-120704

and

https://hackaday.com/2016/08/18/full-color-3d-printer-upgrade-leaves-competition-in-the-dust/

 

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

http://www.instructables.com/id/20-Inventive-Arduino-Projects

 

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,

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.  Need inspired?  Be sure to attend the largest Maker Faire in the world, the World Maker Faire New York on September 23-24.  Over 120,000 people attend this annual event with over 750 maker exhibits, now in its eighth year!  A wide variety of projects will be exhibited such as microelectronics, 3D printing, drones, and robotics. Also featured will be topics such as arts and crafts, kinetic art, engineering, science, health, virtual reality, fire art, music, and more.  Please click here for more information.

 

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 Dianna Stahl.  She hosted the Learn To Solder booth sponsored by Moog Flo-Tork.  This was one of the most popular booths at the faire!  People of all ages learned to solder robot shaped badges with flashing LED eyes.

Dianna has many years of soldering experience.  She worked in a quality assurance department, inspected circuit boards, and is certified in military soldering specifications.  She is also the president of Ethos Possibility Center, a learning center for advanced technologies and exploration.

Rounding out our makers who participated are students from Lincoln Elementary School.  Their 4th graders created a showcase of design challenges that they shared with the Maker Faire community. The students’ goal is to inspire families and schools to provide design challenge opportunities to even more children.

The project is a collection of over 20 design challenges that their fourth graders have engaged in throughout the school year. Almost every Friday, science teacher Joe Shalala gives his students a design challenge and then lets their incredible creativity loose! Their project is a showcase of the engineering that student have engaged in that will hopefully inspire other families and teachers to provide similar opportunities for their children.

Lincoln students (and a teacher) were at the table to answer questions and describe their thinking as they worked using the design process during construction. They included a hands-on activity (drinking straw rockets) at the booth that participants at the Maker Faire made and took home!

If you would like to know more about the Dianna’s Learn to Solder booth or Joe Shalala’s Lincoln Elementary science projects, please reply to this email.

 

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

 

 

 

Name the 3D Lab, learning the Photo Printer, a handheld 3D printing pen, and the Holmes County Fair

Hello everyone,

Next week begins the Fall semester at the University of Akron Wayne College.  We’ll see the return of familiar faces (and new ones) roaming the halls and make new friends who hang-out in the 3D Lab.  And we’ll have plenty of new stories to tell!

 

Since the 3D Lab opened its doors in 2014, it went through several name changes, starting with Wayne C3, UAWC3, and recently, the “3D Lab”.  We are looking to rebrand the lab with a fresh name and image.  Something that defines who we are and where we are going.  Ideas like “Maker Zone”, “Wayne Makerz”, “Imagination Station”, etc.

We’d like your help in choosing a new name for the 3D Lab!  Please submit name ideas to tjh1@uakron.edu by Wednesday, August 30th.  Help make the 3D Lab yours and what it means to you.  We are open to all ideas!

 

We are happy to announce a new addition to the 3D Lab, a high-quality photo printer (Epson Stylus Pro 4880) that was donated by William Miller and 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 there.  Come visit the lab and invite friends and family; we’ll be happy to show you around and help with your projects!

Recently, 3D Lab staff Anthony Howell created this excellent how-to video for learning the ins-and-outs of the photo printer.  It’s definitely worth watching if you intend to use this printer for your projects:

 

3D printers work by melting plastic through an extruder, building layers of molten plastic like a pyramid.  The extruder moves left/right and up/down with motors, but that isn’t the only way to control movement.  Our new addition to the 3D Lab is a 3D printing pen, basically a handheld extruder!  It’s a whole new way to be creative; you can draw three dimensional objects with plastic.

Feel free to stop-by the 3D Lab to give then pen a try!  You’ll have so much fun with it.  The pen is located in the front of the room, by the whiteboard.

 

Earlier this month, the 3D Lab made a road trip to the Holmes County Fair.  Using the portable 3D printer donated by the Romich Foundation, folks from all ages were amazed by the technology and that Wayne College hosts an open-to-the-public makerspace.

 

The amazing thing about these trips are the kids and young adults who hang around the table, sometimes for an hour or longer.  These are budding engineers, asking all sorts of questions about 3D printing, how it works, and how it’s used in the real world.  Our table was easily a hit with fair goers, circling back later to get a place near the crowded table to see the printer in-action.

 

If you’re free this Thursday the 23rd, stop-in the 3D Lab during Welcome To Wayne Day from 1:00-4:00!  We’ll teach you how to laser engrave your own aluminum water bottle or coffee mug, courtesy of P.Graham Dunn.  Here are directions to our lab.

 

Stay tuned next week as we start another fun semester in the 3D Lab!

 

See how E. Coli bacteria are used to power 3D printed micromotors:

https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/powering-3d-printed-micromotors-e-coli-bacteria-118620

 

How about 3D printing a concrete house in just two days:

https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/new-house-2-days-contour-crafting-begins-manufacture-3d-printer-construction-116124

 

Build this cool, Internet enabled Weather Station with sensors for temperature, dew point, humidity, pressure, altitude, light index, and rain index using an Arduino microcontroller:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Esay-IoT-Weather-Station-With-Multiple-Sensors

 

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 seeing 3D printers built from scratch?  Come to the Schantz Organ Company tonight on Wednesday, August 23rd at 6:30 p.m.  Their 3D Printer Build Class now has two sessions under their belt and will be finishing up tonight and this Saturday morning.  Stop in!

Until next week,

Tom

 

Maker Monday – Eyes in the Sky

Interested in building a drone? Come join us for Maker Monday on August 21st, 7-9pm at Schantz Organ Company (626 S Walnut Street, Orrville, OH 44667). Our build committee has done a lot of research on potential kits and we will be talking about our findings. We want your input as we develop this exciting new class. Tell your friends and come share in the discussion. Maker Mondays are free and open to the public!