Laser engraved circuit boards, custom board games, and a visit to Lincoln Township Elementary School

Hello everyone,


The end of semester is almost upon us.  Engineering students are building battle robots, stair climbing robots, math students are 3D printing rocket models for simulations, a plethora of students building all sorts of personal items, and there is a daily stream of community members and families visiting the lab for tours and creative projects.  What a busy semester it has been!  The 3D Lab has been a great place for students and community members to hang-out.  Even though the semester ends in two weeks, the lab will continue to be a busy place well into the Christmas season.

If you want to attend the Battle Bots tournament, come to the 3D Lab at 2:00 on December 10th.  The stair climbing robot competition is on December 5th at 3:00 p.m.


Speaking of Christmas, what better way to give a personal gift with something that is created by you!  If you like making truly unique items, there are great, low-cost ideas that you can make with a laser engraver here.  We also have a number of donated items from P. Graham Dunn that you can personalize into gifts as well.  Our staff will show you how to use the laser engraver, then you can let your creativity run wild!  Check-out these beautiful snowflake ornaments or personalized cutting boards that you can make here in the 3D Lab:

If you haven’t been to the 3D Lab in a while, stop-by to enjoy the energy and camaraderie there, especially over the holiday winter break.


The week before last, Wayne College student Tristan arrived with an interesting laser engraving project.  He is building a large, seven-segment display to show the number of “likes” that he receives over time on his YouTube channel.  Tristan is building the display from scratch, including a custom circuit board!  He literally drew up the design with Microsoft Paint.

Tristan bought some copper plates, then sprayed them with Rustoleum Specialty High Temperature paint typically used for hot outdoor appliances like grills.  These painted plates were placed in the engraver, which removed the paint when etching his circuit design, like this:

This creates a negative image of the circuit.  Next, the board is soaked in ferric chloride (43% strength) which interacts with the visible copper.  The last step is removing the paint which exposes the copper traces underneath the paint.  The final step hasn’t been performed on the picture below, but it gives you an idea of the display that Tristan is building.  More progress coming soon!


Community member Olivia and her husband enjoy playing Settlers of Catan, a popular board game.  Visiting a local wood store, they acquired some finished wood pieces sold as scraps, then decided to make custom game pieces themselves to enhance the game!

Olivia created the custom designs with CorelDRAW, then used the vector mode of the laser engraver to cut them into interlocking puzzle pieces, just like the Settlers board game pieces.

They had good results with painted wood, as the laser engraver burned off the paint, leaving behind a nice contrast of the design.  Adjusting the speed of the laser improved the contrast, burning the wood darker.  She also created game pieces with natural hickory wood. We have a number of board gamers in the 3D Lab group, including Tim Winkler who creates impressing 2D and 3D printed game pieces.


Earlier this year, the 3D Lab made a trip to Lincoln Township Elementary in Wooster to talk about digital fabrication, 3D printing, and careers in engineering.  The kids were fascinated with what a 3D printer could do and asked lots of questions!  They were most interested in how 3D printers can be used to fix things, such as leaking sinks, broken exercise machine stands, chair sliders, and other projects that our students worked on at Wayne College over the years.  The portable 3D printer is always a hit!


Stayed tuned next week as we highlight makers from last year’s Wayne County Mini Maker Faire and show photos from recent Wayne College engineering student robot competitions.  Fun times ahead!


Until next week,



Breakthrough 3D Bio-printer Puts Artificial Tissue on the Table:

3D Printing Brings Robotics Closer to Real Life with Synthetic Muscle:


How to Make 3D Model From a 2D Image:

Build This 8-bit Synthesizer Made Out of Paper and Copper Foil:


Don’t miss the next Maker Monday on December 17th.  It is a brainstorming session to discover projects for future workshops!  Find out more at


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.