Maker Monday, big CNC machine improvements, and a trip to Wooster Township School

Hello everyone,

The first week of summer has certainly started with a bang at the Wayne College 3D Lab.  What I thought would be a mostly empty lab with students on summer break turned out to be a bustle of activity!  Yesterday, representatives from the Orrville Boys and Girls Club laser engraved dozens of water bottles to promote their organization, a new community member visited the lab to 3D print items from rubber and resin, and today there are folks using the laser engraver and working on radio controlled airplanes.  The lab truly is a place where people come to collaborate and create.  Many thanks to P. Graham Dunn, The Romich Foundation, the Wayne County Community Foundation, and many others who made this environment possible.

Speaking of collaborating, last evening was the launch of “Maker Monday” offered by the Schantz Organ Company here in Orrville.  It is a round table discussion that gives area makers a chance to “Show & Tell” some of their product drawings and real-life creations, learn how to combine new technology with conventional tools to enhance their products, and get experienced feedback from their fellow makers on how to either improve or expand upon their ideas.

maker monday

Over 20 folks attended last evening, many of whom brought projects that they were working on.  There were stringed instruments, wooden candle holders, one-of-a-kind fireplace designs, flying drones, and Arduino electronics projects.

Many thanks to Victor Schantz who started this activity.  In his words (and above): “This is a great opportunity to see some of the creative minds in our community engaging in the MakerSpace concept.”  The next Maker Monday is June 20th at 7:00 p.m. at The Schantz Organ Company in Orrville.  Mark your calendar for an exciting time and make new friends in the maker community.


Ben has been making incredible progress with his homemade CNC machine.  What started out as a hobbyist project now is a robust machine that can do amazing work, such as this sign below:


Ben routed a pallet board with the word “Welcome”, then hand painted the cut areas.  He then sanded the board’s surface, removing unwanted paint and giving the lettering a sharp yet rustic finish.  And folks are buying these signs, which finances future upgrades to his CNC machine!

A major upgrade addressed the CNC machine’s speed; it ran at a snail’s pace.  He started a dialog with local and online friends to discover that his driver boards were too small to control the large stepper motors that move the router around the table.  His existing driver boards were even melting wires!  Take a look at his new driver board (left) compared to his original one:


Ben now has three of these large driver boards to control all three stepper motors (x, y, and z axis).  Now his CNC machine runs three times faster and has more power to cut through wood.  Way to go, Ben!  Here is a picture of the latest revision of the CNC machine.  Now he is busy making wooden iPhone cases.  Talk about being creative.


phone cases


Our portable 3D printer continually makes road trips to local community organizations and schools to excite students about 3D printing, inventing, creativity, and careers in engineering.  It is always well received.  Folks soon realize the potential of how these machines turn their ideas into reality.

Recently, we made a trip to Wooster Township School to demonstrate 3D printing to two classes.  The kids were amazed and asked dozens of questions, giving me little to time discuss what I originally intended!  It’s wonderful to see that spark of interest in their eyes, hopefully developing into something more one day.  This “makerspace movement” is allowing everyday people to become inventors right from their homes.  It surely enables a new world of possibilities.




Back at Wayne College, one of our community members (and a former student), wanted to make a custom glass chessboard.  He purchased a thick square of glass from the local glass company, created a design, then laser engraved it onto the glass.  The laser engraver’s beam does not reflect on glass.  Rather, it cuts into it like a sand blasting effect.  The result is quite beautiful!




The world’s first 3D-printed office building opened this week in Dubai. The 2,700-square-foot, single-story building was built in just 17 days using a gigantic, 20-foot tall 3D printer and a special mix of concrete, fiber reinforced plastic and glass fiber reinforced gypsum.


Can’t make it to the Smithsonian over the Memorial Day weekend?  Visit the museum from home!  Smithsonian now allows anyone to 3D print (some) historic artifacts using your own 3D printer:


Do it Yourself concept

Plastic PVC pipe is one of the most versatile products in the universe!  Watch these how-to videos to discover unique ways it can improve your daily living:


Until next week,