> 2021 September 01 | Wayne College 3D Lab - The University of Akron Wayne College

Meet a Maker! Maker Faire Wayne County

Hello everyone,

Maker Faire Wayne County 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 Daily Record said it best: “Dubbed the ‘Greatest Show and Tell on Earth’; over 1,200 people flocked to the third annual faire at the University of Akron Wayne College the summer before last.  It was a fresh experience with favorite makers from previous years along with new makers and new things to see and do.

Maker Faire Wayne County 2022 is a go!

The University of Akron Wayne College is proud to host Maker Faire Wayne County for its fourth year, scheduled for Saturday, May 21, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Plan to attend and plan to participate, it’s free!  Maker Faire is all about everyone showing off they are passionate about, their hobbies and crazy inventions.  Be part of the fun!  Projects of all ages are welcome: adults, schools, businesses, and kids alike.  There is something for everyone at Maker Faire!  We will announce soon when we will start taking applications.

We are proud to showcase Ohio makers who participated in Maker Faire Wayne County.  One of these people is Josiah.   He collects LEGO Bionicles, a line of LEGO construction toys.  Originally a subsidiary of LEGO’s Technic series, the line launched in Europe and Australia in late 2000, and in the Americas in 2001.  LEGO in 1997, the first time in the history, had posted a financial loss. Over the following decade, it became one of LEGO’s biggest-selling properties. Kids wanted a story behind those blocks, and to go with that story they wanted neat pieces that they could use to create their own play fantasies. 

At Maker Faire, Josiah brought his entire collection of Bionicles along with build instructions and explained the toys to visitors to his table.  Lots of young faire particularly enjoyed visiting!  We are thankful that Josiah revealed this important part of LEGO’s history and how important these toys were to kids of his generation.

Another person who participated in Maker Faire Wayne County is Greg Barbu.  He has been in the “maker” culture for a number of years and is a regular participant and instructor at Schantz Makerspace.  Greg is a semi-retired system designer and programmer who loves tinkering with computers.  His particular areas of expertise are Raspberry Pi and Arduino, the former a single-board computer that can run an operating system and the latter a microcontroller for driving hardware.

At our first Maker Faire, Greg created a tic-tac-toe game using a Raspberry Pi driven robot that uses visual recognition to identify your moves.  It is a computer that can see!  Children had a lot of fun trying to outsmart the computer that was literally watching their every move.

Rounding out our participating makers is Jennifer Winkler of Green Local Schools.  Her booth at Maker Faire was Laser Beams in the Art Room: How a Laser Engraver Changed Our Program.  The recent addition of a laser engraver to the middle/high school art room at Green Local Schools has been a pivotal turning point in their art curriculum and created cross-curricular connections with other departments. Using a wide variety of materials from recycled barn slate to acrylic to bamboo, the students are able to engrave and cutout custom designs by placing their drawings directly inside the laser.   

At Maker Faire, in addition to showcasing some of the items they have created, they had a hands-on activity allowing visitors to test out some of the ceramics/pottery tools they made using with the laser. 

Students in industrial classes are able to personalize their projects and add minute decorative details. The school now creates many of its own awards plaques as well as those for other districts. By stationing the machine in a universal space like the art room, it allows it to be used and accessible to a wide range of students of all ability levels, in grades 6-12, in a fully-inclusive environment. Additionally, the Smithie Art Club has used the machine after school to create artwork for fundraisers. Through these student-run fundraisers, the club was able to purchase a computerized, full-size, glass/metal clay kiln to further expand their maker opportunities. The new, specialized kiln, in turn has created more fundraising opportunities, continuing the cycle and expansion of the curriculum and learning opportunities for Green Local Students and the community.

If you would like to know more about Josiah’s Bionicles, Greg’s game playing robot, or the laser engraving initiative at Green Local Schools, please reply to this email!

Until next week,

Tom

Button making, a seriously heavy CNC machine, and a visit from LifeCare Hospice

Hello everyone,

The first week of the Fall semester has finished with a bang!  It is exciting to see the parking lots fill-up, student taking classes, milling the walls, and a healthy feel to the Wayne College campus.  Even outside the 3D Lab, we are “making” new things all over campus.  Stop-in to check-out our nursing and early education program areas, the Bring-your-own-device Lab, and coming soon, a Game Room for students to play board games, video games, and hang-out.

In case you haven’t heard, the 3D Lab is open for student and community member use!  We continue to provide free-to-use equipment, materials, and services for the community, an open lab for homework and personal projects, and staff available for assistance. 

Here are some of the many projects that you can make in the 3D Lab: 3D Printing, Laser Engraving/Cutting, Vinyl Decals & Stickers, Button Making, CNC Woodcarving, Custom T-Shirts, Full-color Mugs, Photo-quality Prints, Large Posters, 3D Scanning, Metal Bending/Shearing, and more.  Click here for a complete list of equipment.

Feel free to stop-by if you have a project that we can assist with.  Our hours are 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday and 8:00-4:00 on Friday.  While walk-in service is available, we encourage you to call ahead to ensure that support staff is ready and available to help with your projects.  Groups are welcome, too, given prior notice.

We also take 3D printing on the road!  We will demonstrate 3D printing how “making” builds careers, and promote Wayne College to your schools, community groups, etc.

Over the summer, the button maker was put to good use by Susan Corl, senior lecturer of developmental and elementary educations programs at Wayne College.  It’s an easy process, simply print a color design with a regular printer, cut them into circular shapes, then stamp them into buttons!  Susan made 300 of them to encourage students who are early education majors. 

Need to promote something?  Making buttons is free!  Stop-by the 3D Lab to learn how.

Former Wayne College student Ben Engle has been doing gigantic things since he graduated several years ago.  Back then, he built a wooden CNC wood carving machine from scrap parts, graduating to an aluminum machine that was turned into a build-your-own workshop for Schantz Makerspace members after that.  Today, Ben is into big, heavy machines for machining metal.  We’re talking on the order of 1,000 pounds!

A machine of this magnitude is necessary as metal is a difficult material to cut/carve properly.  Ben sourced new and used parts to build the machine from scratch including some serious stepper motors and a professional, older CNC controller repurposed for a new life!  He used an engine crane to position components in-place.  The frame is filled with all the epoxy granite, minimizing vibrations to make dimensionally perfect parts.

Reply to this email to learn more about Ben’s CNC!

Over the summer, kids from LifeCare Hospice in Wooster visited the 3D Lab, becoming almost a yearly tradition.  We teach them how to use the laser engraver to make mementos for lost loved ones.  And what a crowd we had, including emotional support dogs! 

Using materials provided by P. Graham Dunn, kids engraved names, pictures, and text onto photo frames that were filled with photos printed on-site.   It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved.  We look forward to helping more with this LifeCare Hospice in the future!

Until next week,

Tom

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