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 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


Interested in the stair stepping robots that our students made?  Make your own cute, 3D printed Arduino crawling robot here:


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 with

“SUBSCRIBE MAKERSPACE-GROUP” in the subject line.