February 4, 2023

Semester End

It has been quite the semester here in The Makerspaces. If you’ve been around, you’ve seen countless things get created, from the recent architectural adventures to working on concepts in autonomous boats, classwork involving 3D printed water pumps, custom solutions for research tools like the X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy system at the Applied Research Center, working on setting up a 3D scanning lab, and hosting a sUAS pilot to discuss her roles at NASA.

There’s never a dull moment around here. As we head into the winter break you’ll still see some Makerspaces activity on campus, however, it is likely to be focused on maintenance & repair as well as gearing up for the spring semester.

After December 9th, feel free to stop by to make something by appointment only and with limited staff, additionally, stay tuned for the spring semester opening of our 3D scanning lab located adjacent-behind The Makerspaces at Swem Library wherein we’ll have multiple 3D scanning options for both small and large scales.

Good luck on Finals and we hope you have a wonderful holiday season and winter break! See you in the spring!

Building buildings

A throwback photo from a year ago, here a student used 3D printers and laser cutters to produce his vision for a class project in architectural design.

Maker-made

One particularly creative maker just shared the creation she’s been working on, 3D printed nails! This designer created 3D models for the nails and mapped them onto her scanned finger models. To highlight the maker-made community here at William & Mary, she is also accessorizing with a number of pieces from other community makers. Make sure to check out her work in more detail upcoming in the Flat Hat.

An end-of-semester Uke!

One of our great makerspace student engineers just finished building this uke from plywood and 3D printed bits using the Laguna CNC router and Airwolf 3D Evo printers; check it out!

Open Source Syringe Bot

The Makerspaces at William & Mary have many projects underway, one of the more interesting is the creation of an open source syringe bot design that is ultra-low cost and high resolution. The concept is that there are so many instances when we need a simple robot to move around a syringe and squirt some goop for us; either to 3D print from viscous fluids and epoxies or to perform automatic titration and chemistry a robot can be useful. If we can make one that is ultra-low cost, as in a couple hundred bucks at most, and yet can maintain micrometer level positioning accuracies and micro (or even nano) liter level dispensation volumes, that robot could be truly useful!

Introducing syringeBot v0.1.

This is the basic head for the open source, 3D printable, syringe bot that we’ve completed, tested, and deployed. Here you can see it in action as used by Doctoral Candidate Stapel as it is being used to 3D print diatom-filled biogel structures:

Stapel & Advisor Dr. Hannes Schniepp continue to move forward with their cutting edge research into the 3D printing of biological structures, having now built this new expanded bioreactor to generate custom materials.

We will keep pushing forward with working on and improving ultra-low cost, high resolution, syringe bot design.


This version (0.1v) was designed and produced from scratch by Aidan Connor (Computer Science, ’21) and the Director of the Makerspaces. If you would like to become part of the open source design effort please contact the director at jfrey@wm.edu.

3D printed drone parts

Dr. Donglai Gong of William & Mary’s School of Marine Science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science stopped in yesterday to quickly prototype a nylon based, carbon fiber infused mounting component for an upcoming experiment using advanced drone based instruments. An hour or so after he arrived, he had designed and printed an ultra-strong, lightweight custom fit bracket embedded with continuous carbon fiber and was able to leave equipped to continue pushing the edges of marine science.