Stair climbing robots, cool CNC projects, and a visit with Future Farmers of America

Hello everyone,

Winter may have one final surprise for us this week as the cold weather returns and snowflakes are possible.  Spring reminds me of sunny weather and the great indoor/outdoor event that is the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire.  If you haven’t signed up to participate, do so quickly!  The deadline is April 1st.  If you have any kind of hobby, invention, or creative/crafting talents, the Maker Faire is the perfect place to show your creations.  You can signup here.  Participation and attendance is free!

As many of your know, the Wayne College 3D Lab is a free resource that is open to the public.  Come learn how to make things with 3D printers, laser engraving/cutting, CNC milling, vinyl cutting, and more.  Have an idea?  Our lab staff are happy to help turn yours ideas into reality.  The 3D Lab is made possible through donations from many people, organizations, and businesses.  We especially thank Tanya Cornelius, Orrville Branch Manager at Farmers National Bank for their recent donation.

Last semester, students from the Tools for Engineering class built robots from LEGO Mindstorms kits for various challenges.  One of the hardest tasks is a robot that can climb stairs.  It’s fun to see the crazy-but-functional ideas that students come-up with!  It’s rare that a robot can climb a flight of steps, but when it does, it’s a sight to behold.  Check-out some of these amazing contraptions.

If you like robots and how students are using them, give Jacob Melrose a call at Wooster High School.  His students are building VEX robot for challenge courses and competitions.  Cool stuff!

Alumni Ben Engle is well-known at the 3D Lab and Schantz Makerspace for building CNC machines from scratch.  Starting with wood carving machines, Ben graduated to metal milling machines and even water jets machining!  His inventiveness is practically limitless.  Check-out some of the items he milled using his own custom-built machines.  The guitar body is my favorite.

If you are interested in using a CNC machine, check-out the Roland MDX-40A in the Wayne College 3D Lab.  You can even build your own CNC machine based on one of Ben’s original designs!  Contact the Schantz Makerspace to inquire about the CNC building workshop.

Last month, the 3D Lab made another road trip, this time to Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster.  Student members of Future Farmers of America regularly hold meetings there.  F.F.A. is the premier youth organization preparing members for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture.  Students are supervised by agricultural education teachers in cooperation with parents, employers, and other adults who assist individuals in the development and achievement of educational and career goals.

During the presentation, we discussed how 3D printers work and its application into agriculture. has number of farming and farmer inspired inventions that can be printed and used to support all sorts of tasks and machinery.  The members were full of questions about the technology and interested in the 3D Lab that is open for use by the community.  FFA members also visit the Romich Makerspace in Creston to work on projects there. 

Stay tuned next week as we introduce more interesting folks who participated in last year’s Maker Faire!

Until then,


3D printing can repair farm tools, including this electric drill:

See how this 3D printed gearbox lifts an anvil with ease:

3D print an electric screwdriver from scratch:

Make your own digital level:

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 limited at this huge community event.  Deadline is April 1st.

Don’t miss the next Maker Monday TONIGHT (March 18th) at 7:00 p.m.  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.