Stair climbing robots, laser etched circuit boards, and a visit by home school families

Hello everyone,

Spring Break is just about over at Wayne College; students and instructors begin the final weeks of Spring semester on Monday.  A steady stream of community members and students visited the 3D Lab throughout the week, keeping our lab staff busy in addition to their usual duties.  Dynamics class students worked on model rockets for the upcoming launch in May, another person brought a broken lamp retainer to design a 3D printed replacement, and Tristan helped a friend build a mug drying “spinner” using MDF wood cut on the laser engraver.  There is always something interesting happening in the 3D Lab!

If you haven’t signed up to participate in the Wayne County Mini Maker, do so quickly!  The deadline is the end of this weekend, by Monday, April 1st at the latest.  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!

Are you a girl aged 11-18 and like to code?  Introducing Code Hopper Challenge 2019 at the Akron Art Museum, part of the UA Urban STEM initiative.  Bring a friend and code a challenge! Code in Scratch, Javascript, Pencilcode, or whatever you’re comfortable using.  For more information, see the attached flyer.

Tim, one of our students, enjoys board and role playing games.  Over the past several years, he used the 3D printers and laser engraver in the 3D Lab to create custom props, such as cardboard barricades from (literally) pizza boxes using 2D design software Adobe Illustrator

Tim also makes amazing three dimensional props in the form of modular buildings made from MDF board and the laser engraver/cutter.  He designs even these buildings in Illustrator complete with connecting tabs for the walls, ceilings, & floors with connectors for the rooms themselves.  The result?  All of the rooms below can be connected in different ways to make custom shaped buildings for any purpose.  It’s amazing!

Tristan, another one of our students, continues to do amazing work with custom etched circuit boards using the laser engraver.  For a robotics project, he’s been working on a camera slider for fancy YouTube recordings that the human hand couldn’t possibly recreate.  With his project, smooth cinematic shots will be possible due to the bot’s three stepper motors along with multiple sensors which will be implemented to make it user friendly.  But how could all of the components fit in one small little box?  Well a PCB (printed circuit board), of course!

Around 1950, PCBs were being manufactured for commercial use.  But the expense of having them produced detoured many electronics enthusiasts away from them.  So hobbyists did what they do best, they made their own!  While a handful of websites today allow you to purchase a PCB for low-cost, many hands on people found it satisfying to make their own.  All it requires is copper plated fiber board, Rustoleum high heat spray paint, diluted ferric chloride (etching solution), and a high wattage laser. 

The concept involves etching away copper with the ferric chloride solution.  An image is carefully drawn on a computer (Tristan used Microsoft Paint) where the copper needs to be etched away from.  Once that’s done, the laser engraver is used to “retrace” the image onto the board.  By laser engraving the image onto the board, paint is removed and copper is exposed.  The PCB is stuck into a ferric chloride solution until the visible copper is dissolved.  Lastly, steel wool is used to clean-off the remaining paint and holes are drilled.  An old school PCB with new tech!

Last month, a group of home school community members visited the 3D Lab to learn how to use 3D printers and let their imaginations run wild.  3D Lab staff Ashton and Thomas showed these young adults how the machines work and helped them print objects and make designs with the laser engraver.  Many of them had never seen a 3D printer before; it was an exciting experience for them.  Many thanks to Ashton and Thomas for giving them a wonderful experience!

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

Until then,


See how this 3D bioprinter patches up wounds using a patient’s own skin cells:
Taking too many pills?  3D printed pills deliver exactly the dosage and types that you need:

Just in-time for Easter!  Print this cute, windup bunny:

Speaking of Tim’s board game props, 3D print your own Dungeons & Dragons pieces:

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 on Monday, April 15th  at 7:00 p.m. at the Schantz Makerspace in Wooster.  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.