Battle Bots competition, full-color 3D printing, and a visit to Fairless Middle School

Hello everyone,

Winter Break blew in and out of Wayne College quicker than the blistery weather outside!  During the holiday break, lab staff were busying fixing equipment, preparing new services, and enjoying the break between semesters.  Near the end of the semester, the 3D Lab was packed each day with students and community members, many crafting custom-made gifts with the laser engraver and 3D printers.

The Spring semester started with a bang a few days ago.  Already the lab is frequented by many return students (and some new ones) and community members working on a variety of projects.  We are thrilled that one of our new students, Joe, has taken interested in our CNC wood mill provided by the Wayne County Community Foundation.  In just two days, he figured out the machine on his own and is milling away!  We are excited to see what projects he will make this semester.

Best of all, thanks to the hard work of lab staff Ashton, our multi-color 3D printer is fully operational!  Ashton assembled a Multi Material Upgrade unit to our existing Prusa printer, allowing it to manipulate five spools of filament during a single print job.  Not only are multi-color prints possible, but dissolvable supports can be used for complicated prints.  In the photo below, supports are printed in regular plastic in the first object (difficult to remove), the middle object as dissolvable filament for all supports, while the third photo uses dissolvable filament only in the areas touching the object, saving costly dissolvable filament.

Visit the 3D Lab to try multi-color printing!  You can find ready-made object on Thingiverse here.


Before the holiday break, our engineering students held their annual, (in)famous Battle Bots tournament.  Students from our Tools for Engineering course, led by instructor Scott Gold, built these instruments of destruction using LEGO Mindstorms.  Mindstorms are kits consisting of a large “brain” brick, with gears, wheels, and regular LEGO parts attached to it.  Some students even 3D printed custom parts, such as this plow and claw:

Two robots are placed in an arena, the goal to push one out of boundaries in any way possible.  This means pushing, smacking, plowing, and mutilating the opponent’s robot.  The competition was great fun; even a number of community members and their families came to watch the mayhem.


We received a new arrival yesterday, a full-color 3D printer!  Made possible through a generous donation from the Romich Foundation, this printer uses CMY (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow) ink droplets absorbed by special color-absorbing filament to create millions of colors for 3D models.  It’s the marriage of traditional inkjet printing with 3D technology.

Thanks to community support, the Wayne College 3D Lab has come a long way with providing useful resources to students and the community since its inception five years ago.  Look here for our complete list of equipment that is available for your creative and inventive needs; most are completely free to use.


Before the holidays, Fairless Middle School offers Career Day where community members offer a “show and tell” to talk about their careers to students.  Staff members Erika Stafford, Josh Baker, and I discussed 3D printing and careers in engineering during this event.  We presented to six classes sessions of students which made for a long but exciting day.  Our sessions were so popular that teachers normally on break spent the time in our classroom instead!

Many thanks to the Romich Foundation for our portable 3D printer which has been shown to many schools, organizations, and businesses.  It printed like a champ all day!  We had many excited kids, many of whom asked countless questions.

If you know of any organizations, schools, or business who would like to experience 3D printing and how Wayne College can help them, please let me know.  We are always willing to make road trips if there is interest and the food is good.  🙂


Until next week,



Speaking of robots, check-out the Ohio based National Robotics Challenge:

Would you eat a 3D printed steak?


Like robots?  Like boats?  Build a robotic boat!

Or if robotic spiders are more your thing:


The Wayne County Mini Maker Faire is coming soon!  May 18, 2019 from 10:00-3:00.  Sign-up soon to participate as space is very limited at this huge community event.


Don’t miss the next Maker Monday on January 21st.  The theme is “Repair Café”.  Bring your projects from past Schantz workshops for repair and helpful advice!  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.