Second Annual Wayne County Mini Maker Faire

On Saturday, May 19th, The University of Akron Wayne College will host the second annual Mini Maker Faire for Wayne County and the surrounding area. Maker Faire is part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new!

As a celebration of the Maker Movement, it’s a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. The Faire gathers together tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, food artisans, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. Makers come to show their creations and share their learnings. Attendees flock to Maker Faires to glimpse the future and find the inspiration to become Makers themselves.

There are 200 faires occurring all over the world.  In 2014, a record 215,000 people attended the two flagship Maker Faires in the Bay Area and New York.  In Ohio, there are annual “Mini” Maker Faires in Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Akron, and Canton, drawing more than 1,500 to each event.


Call for Makers

Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. It’s a venue for makers to show examples of their work and interact with others about it. Many makers say they have no other place to share what they do. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) is often invisible in our communities, taking place in shops, garages and on kitchen tables. It’s typically out of the spotlight of traditional art or science or craft events. Maker Faire makes visible these projects and ideas that we don’t encounter every day.

Want to be a part of this exciting community event?  Anyone can participate in a Maker Faire.  Bring your own creations, inventions, hobbies to the Faire and invite friends & family who are inventive, resourceful, and creative.  Community organizations (such as 4-H, Future Farmers of America, Girl/Boy Scouts, youth clubs, etc.) and schools (arts, science, STEM/STEAM) are perfect for bringing projects to a Maker Faire as well as businesses that produce innovative and unusual products.  Participation in the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire is free.  Please fill-out an application at by April 1st.


Be a Volunteer or Sponsor

Wayne County Mini Maker Faire is a community-based learning event that inspires everyone to become a maker and connect with people & projects in their local community. Yet, Maker Faire is a “fair” — fun, engaging, and exciting.  There are many areas to volunteer such as production, setup, check-in, booth assistance, crowd control, and more.  If you wish to volunteer, we welcome your help!

Have your business be a Maker at the event with an interactive booth and educate attendees about your company or what you make every day.  Sponsoring the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire with financial support, goods, and services at various levels provides “perks” such as your company logo on Maker Faire communications, volunteer shirts, printed materials, website presence, and banners at the Faire.  Having a booth at the Faire is great advertising and a wonderful way to connect with the community.

To become a sponsor or volunteer, please contact Tom Hammond at or by calling 330-684-8722.

The Wayne County Mini Maker Faire brought to you by The University of Akron Wayne College and is made possible through the support of our platinum-level sponsors: the Romich Foundation and Make:  Come join the fun!  Apply to be a maker at today.

Meet a Maker! Wayne County Mini Maker Faire

Hello everyone,

Plans are underway for the next Wayne County Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, May 19th.  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 last year.

The Wayne County Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement.  It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.  Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.

The 2017 faire hosted 70 makers from all corners of the community, many of whom are coming back for the faire this May!  Click here to see all of the interesting and friendly folks who participated last year.  There truly is something for everyone.


Maker Faire Bay Area is one of the largest Maker Faires in the world!  Last year, 125,000 people from 50 states and 48 countries flocked to San Mateo where over 1,200 “makers” revealed their awe inspiring inventions.  It was three days of unforgettable experiences.  But don’t take my word for it, check-out these photos and videos from the event.  If you happen to be in California this summer, be sure to buy tickets today.


We are proud to showcase Ohio makers who participated in the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire last year.  One such person is Robin Wisner from the Smithville Historical Society.  She works at the Mischler Weaving Mill.  In the mill, they have hand looms and power looms from the early 1900’s, making rag rugs, dishcloths, and dish towels.

At the 2017 faire, the group brought a small floor loom for demonstration.  Participants saw hand weaving in action, asked question, and could see & touch the various products of the looms.

In addition to the weaving mill, the Historical Society runs a pioneer village with working tinsmiths, potters, and blacksmiths.  Their products were available for participants to see and enjoy.


Rounding out our makers who participated is Dick Radosevic from Canton, Ohio.  At his exhibit, Dick brought various sizes and uses of solar panels for residential, commercial, and electric vehicle applications, perfect for renewable energy and sustainability.

Dick brought a trailer with 8 PV panels, and Chevy Volt electric vehicle to demonstrates the size of a Solar PV system to provide a 10,000 mile capability, a small fuel cell for a water cycle demo, a small, sun driven Sterling engine (3D printed), and charts describing how various renewable energy systems work and how to size them.


If you would like to know more about the Smithville Historical Society or Dick’s renewable energy ideas, please reply to this email!


Check out the video above; plans are underway for the 2018 Wayne County Mini Maker Faire!  Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 19, 2018 for an unforgettable experience.  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.  The signup deadline is April 1st; reserve your space today!  Thanks and we look forward to you joining us in 2018!

Until next week,



Homemade sound generator, candy bar mold, reuleaux triangle bearings, and custom fidget spinners!

Hello everyone,

It’s hard to believe that half of the semester is finished.  Our engineering students are building wind tunnels to test the aerodynamics of their soon-to-be-built model rockets, others are building LEGO Mindstorms robots for the upcoming tests and competitions, while various students are printing interesting stuff in both the 3D Lab and 3D Lounge.

Apart from the engineering projects and assignments that involve the 3D Lab, students and community members work on a variety of personal projects.  That’s half the fun of a makerspace; it is a place where ideas are made.  Tristan, a long-time frequenter of the lab, recently used resources at our Electronics Station to build a custom sound generator.

With resistors, capacitors, and 555 timer chips available at the Electronics Station, Tristan’s generator creates adjustable tones reminiscent of 8-bit computers from the 80’s such as the Commodore 64.  It’s fascinating to listen to; check out the brief sample video below:

Tristan also designed and 3D printed custom case for the generator, complete with a clear acrylic top using the laser engraver.  Well done!


A community member’s great-grandfather owned an ice cream company from the 1920’s.  John wondered if the 3D Lab could produce a candy bar mold, a positive mold which he would pour food-grade silicone rubber into for the negative.

The 3D Lab is certainly up to the task!  Lab staff Josh printed a rough mold using a 3D printer, to test the design of the CAD file.  Next is printing a high resolution version of the mold using our resin 3D printer.  The final, silicone-ready mold will be carved from wax using the Roland CNC mill, also in our lab.  The mill will provide sharp designs and perfectly smooth surfaces.  Stay tuned as we pursue this interesting project!


Last year, Tristan explored the use of Reuleaux Triangles.  These are a shapes formed from the intersection of three circular disks, each having its center on the boundary of the other two.  A picture is worth a thousand words:

Even though they are acorn shaped, when several are placed under a surface, they roll like perfectly round bearings!  Tristan attempted to 3D print a bearing system using Reuleaux Triangles, though ran into problems with it when physically tested.

Can these triangles make efficient bearing systems?  Here is an interesting video that explains the science behind it:

Heartland Point is a community center in Orrville that offers a wide variety of creative workshops throughout the year.  The 3D Lab offered workshops at Heartland where folks built candy dispensers and rubber band powered cars.  Participants learned CAD and vector design software at Heartland Point, then visited the 3D Lab at Wayne College to 3D print and laser cut their designs.

This year, the 3D Lab entertained 10 young community members to make custom fidget spinners!  And what an excited group they were.  We taught them how to use InkScape, a free vector art program.

Their designs were cut from colored acrylic pieces using the laser cutter, then bearings snapped into place to finish the spinners.  Kids customized their spinners with their names and see-through cutouts of stars and other shapes, creating one-of-a-kind spinners!  The workshop was a big success and we are thankful to Heartland Point for organizing it.


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.