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:

And check-out this 3D printed bridge in Madrid:


Upgrade your single color 3D prints to full color with hydro dipping!


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.


Until next week,