Cancelled: 2020 Make It Dayton Festival

We hope you will join us next year on Saturday, October 2, 2021 at Carillon Historical Park.
Unfortunately, like many other events in the Dayton area, the 2020 Make It Dayton Festival has been cancelled due to COVID-19.  We hope to see you all once again in 2021!  Please stay tuned to our social media and website for updates as we begin planning for next year.

Dayton Volunteers Design Custom Flight Nurse PPE for COVID-19 Protection

Saturday, May 2, 2020

by EMF Cory

Volunteers across the country have been making face shields and other DIY personal protective equipment for medical workers using a unique tool, the home 3D-printer.  In Dayton, Ohio, a group called Make It Dayton is no exception.  Since March, the group has produced and delivered over 3,000 3D-printed face shields to local hospitals.  It was through these donations that Ben, a nurse with a local medical flight crew, reached out to Make It Dayton with a unique challenge.  Due to their flight helmets, the flight nurses were unable to use the typical face shields and other facial PPE that Make It Dayton had been creating, and in fact, they had yet to find any source for shields that were compatible with their flight gear.  

Copyright (C) Make It Dayton 2020

Rising to the challenge, Make It Dayton leveraged the makers on their team to design a new flight-helmet compatible, 3D printed disposable face shield.  Incredibly, Make It Dayton was able to design, prototype and receive approval from Ben to begin producing the face shields within about one week from being contacted.  Two designs have now been created to fit the two most commonly used flight helmet models.  Those designs have been shared for free online through the 3D printing website, ( and, so that other makers across the country can help their local in-flight medical workers. Due to the unique demand and lack of supply for flight helmet mounted PPE, Make It Dayton has transitioned their entire effort to fulfilling this critical need.  Collectively, the group is printing about 200 face shields per day, and will keep doing it as long as there is a need.  

Copyright (C) Make It Dayton 2020

Make It Dayton is a grassroots group whose mission is to support and grow a community of hobbyists, craftsmen, DIY-ers and life-long learners in Dayton, Ohio.  Since 2015, Make It Dayton has hosted the annual Make It Dayton Festival at Carillon Historical Park, bringing 60+ hands-on exhibits covering everything from building model rockets to glass blowing, robotics to candle-making, in a family friendly festival celebrating the Makers among us.  Make It Dayton also hosts smaller maker and STEM meetups throughout the year, and coordinates volunteer efforts, like this one, where makers can contribute to the local community.  For more information follow @MakeItDayton and @MakeItDaytonFest on social media, or visit

Desktop Metal Printing for the DIY Market

This week’s blog post is from Rick Wills. Rick is a retired aerospace engineer, amateur liquid rocketry proponent and one of our co-planners of the Make It Dayton Festival.

WSM Printing and the University of Dayton teamed up to development a desktop 3D wire welder printer.  The current prototype printer is in testing and uses a Miller Matic 180 to melt the wire; the welder’s head is on a custom 3D printing gantry.  

A picture containing indoor, floor

Description automatically generated

The printer is developed to meet the DIY market; additionally all information for this design is open source. The development team is currently planning to experiment with the printer’s capability and limits 

The first piece attempted was a cylinder.  The pictures below show this first piece with the wire printer head

A picture containing indoor, wall, window, table

Description automatically generated

We’ll be publicly demonstrating the printer for the first time at the Make It Dayton Festival. Hope to see you there!

A picture containing indoor, table, sitting, wooden

Description automatically generated

Making Memories: Cooking with Children in a 19th Century Kitchen

This week’s blog post comes to us courtesy of Samantha Collins. Samantha is going into her senior year at Taylor University seeking a BA in History.  She was one of two interns to assist during Settler Survival Summer Camp 2019 at Carillon Historical Park.  As an interpretation intern, she was given the tasks of learning early settlement demonstrations such as cooking, gardening, sewing, woodworking and more and then used that knowledge during Camp to teach to the campers.  Samantha was also tasked with creating a lesson plan of her own to teach. Her chosen topic centered around American Indians; how they are not just people of the past and how there are many different tribes and nations that have unique cultures and stories to tell. 

Working with children is always an interesting challenge. Now add in trying to teach children about 19th century cooking, involving knives, hot pans, fires, and bake ovens. Carillon Historical Park’s Settler Survival Camp teaches just that—engaging children ages 8-12 in skills that settlers would have used on a day-to-day basis! Children make or build lots of different things, including totem poles, ink from blueberries, and a trellis for beans. But cooking lunch is always one of their favorite activities. The kids are assigned to make a meal, from scratch, using the tools and food that would have been available to early Dayton settlers. No pizza or tacos, much to the kids’ dismay. They make everything; from hand squeezed lemonade, jams, noodles, pies, and different meats. The food is not only made by them, but they decide on the menu as well; camp counselors simply assist them in the planning and the making process (the children don’t touch the fires). They usually choose lots of sweet stuff and no vegetables but it makes it more exciting and unique to them. Plus, the food is usually all gone by the end of lunch (no leftovers). 

It can be frightening at times. We cram lots of people into two small houses with all the knives and fires going as kids move about. But in the end it is always a good time. Some kids return year after year and love to talk about the food that they made and how it is their favorite thing that we do. They get to experience the pride of making something that reflects history.

Pictured: Nerves of steel and a skillet of cast iron

This was my first year at the Settler Survival Camp.  I came in with little experience with 19th century cooking practices, so the idea of having a small group of kids that I was supposed to help seemed like it was going to be hard. But I survived. I helped make macaroni and cheese with homemade noodles (it was a great hit with the kids), three different kinds of cakes, two different kinds of jams, icing, rolls, and fresh squeezed lemonade. Not only was I able to help teach the kids in this style of cooking but they taught me what it is like to take pride in your work, even if it is not perfect. We had under baked cakes, cake that tasted like eggs, rolls that were pretty hard, and jam that was too runny but they were still excited to try it because it was something that they made with their own hands. Through this experience I have learned to take pride, even in things that might not last for years or even hours. We spend that morning cooking and by the afternoon the food is gone, but it can still be something that makes you proud.  That is one of the amazing things about working with children, they teach you almost as much as you teach them. That is what is so unique about this camp; the tangible doing and making throughout the week does not matter when it comes down to it. What matters is that the campers are making memories.

Apollo 11 Tribute

This Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. We’ve put together a short video commemorating the event. Enjoy!

Model by Makerbot:



Printed on the TronXY X5S and filmed via OctoPrint with a Logitec C920


Tile and Error: Part 2

Last week, I 3D printed a replica of an Arts and Crafts style art tile. At the end of that blog post, I mentioned that I was going to paint the tile and frame it, and report back to you.

That did not happen.

But, it didn’t happen because I changed my mind on how to finish the tile. I decided it would be cool to dye epoxy resin and fill the design in with that, instead. So, for starters, I sprayed the printed tile with some automotive primer.  This was to help smooth out the ridges between the individual layers of plastic, and provide a flat surface to receive the resin.

While waiting for the primer to dry, my wife and I ran out to the craft store to get some resin, since we’ve never worked with it before. And then, I went in search of some knowledge. The resin we bought was clear, and we didn’t buy any dyes, having seen Peter Brown’s series of videos on homemade dye alternatives. They’re quite good, and I very much recommend them. (Side note: I also plan on trying electroforming a print, because that looks like fun too)

Because minimizing the number of things you’re trying to figure out is for suckers

So, we picked some colors, smashed up some sidewalk chalk we had laying around, mixed up a small batch of epoxy resin, combined the chalk and tried pouring it into the tile. Since I didn’t know what to expect, I started with the larger areas of the tile. The results were…a result.

Important science truth: Negative results are still results!

It didn’t look terrible, but it wasn’t the look I was going for. Fortunately, that’s the beauty of having a 3D printer; I can always try again. But, since I clearly hadn’t figured out the best way to approach the dye, I decided to keep using this tile as a test piece. The large flecks of chalk in the resin seemed to indicate that we hadn’t smashed the chalk down fine enough. In the video, Peter used a mortar and pestle, which I didn’t have. So, I went outside, grabbed a garden paver and a rock.

You thought I was joking

Unfortunately, my makeshift mortar and pestle didn’t seem to work as well as I had hoped. I was still getting large flecks of chalk in the resin, though the overall color seemed stronger.

Also, the resin just may have spilled over some of the outlines

To take my ability to grind the chalk out of the equation, we decided on a different dye the video mentioned. Cocoa powder. The setback: I was out of large areas on the tile. So, we bought some pipettes online to use to slowly dole out the resin. This worked pretty well, once we realized the first pipette had a hole in it and switched to a working one. And that’s where things are at today.

I’m pretty happy with the general look of this. Obviously there are some things to fix in the next iteration, but if you decide you want to try this yourself, here’s my current set of take-aways:

  1. The dye powder needs to be pretty finely ground with uniform particles, otherwise it will not incorporate well
  2. Resin runs, but not as much as you think it will
  3. For pours this small, the working time is pretty long
  4. The surface tension of the resin is high enough that you don’t need to prime the tile.

Finally, I did end up breaking down and buying a cheap mortar and pestle online, which arrived about an hour ago. I plan on trying it out soon and then doing a full re-cast of the tile. If anyone out there has any suggestions, let us know on Facebook. I’d love to hear from anyone who has experience with resin or suggestions for changing the print to better support a resin cast.

Dye it

Pour it

Make It Dayton

Tile and Error

In general, I’m a fan of the Arts and Crafts movement style. It’s also got the added bonus of having some similarities to the maker movement: combining the design process with the creation process, ensuring that the things you have are up to your own standard of quality, and appreciating the role of the craftsperson in the design. I’ve got a few books on constructing A&C style furniture (which one day I’ll gather the nerve to attempt), and a fair amount of the decor in my home is A&C. Until I do finally build that Morris chair, I thought being able to create my own art tiles would be a cool challenge. The difficulty being, all I know about working with clay comes from trying to plant a vegetable garden in the soil around here.

Seriously, a major shoutout to anyone who doesn’t just run from clay, screaming

What I do know something about, though, is 3D printing. So, I thought I could print an art tile, paint it to look (marginally) like a ceramic tile, and frame it. To start, I went looking for a reference image. If you’re ever bored, do an image search for Arts and Crafts tiles; there is some really amazing work out there. But, I finally found an image that would suit my needs: looked nice, but simple, since this would be my first attempt at such a thing

Please note, I could not find the original artist for this tile. If you know who it is, please let us know, so we give them credit

With that, I imported the image into FreeCAD (my design software of choice), and tried to work out how to do what I wanted. What I settled on was to draw outlines (in the Sketcher workbench) around the raised edges in the image and extrude the resulting face. And, like all good projects, I figured out a better way to do it after the fact.

FreeCAD will let you import SVG files and do the same extrusion process that I had been using. So, I could have drawn the basic shape (much more easily) in Inkscape, outset it how I needed (still in Inkscape) and then imported it into FreeCAD and used extrude. This would have made it much simpler, as the Sketch process has some limitations in terms of freeform curves, such as the dragonfly wings (it doesn’t seem to like them).

For a more in depth explanation on this process, there are any number of excellent tutorials on YouTube.

And now, the simple part! Printing! I’ve already got my printer set up, and I recently set up OctoPi, so now I can send things to it wirelessly. What could possibly go wrong?

Got a few minutes?

Yeah. As it turns out, my printbed was “somewhat” out of level. A bit like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, actually. Since my printer doesn’t have automatic bed levelling, I had to adjust it by hand, which is…not my favorite job. But, once that was done, the print was on its way (okay, there was 1 more failure, but it was a fluke. Just a second try at printing fixed it.)

And that’s where I’m at, right now. I’m hoping that this week I’ll be able to try and paint it, as well as build a frame to mount it in, so I can report back to you all in the near future. If you’ve got any questions or ideas, let us know on social media.

Design It.

Print It.

Make It Dayton.

Watch out!

Today I want to showcase a homemade watch-winder.  I built this watch-winder for my self-winding watch. (Wait…What?) The self-winding watch is a type of watch that is usually wound through the normal arm motions while wearing it.  Self-winding watches are pretty fancy; generally I don’t wear it day-to-day, and as a result it loses track of time. Which is why I wanted a watch-winder for a self-winding watch. But instead of buying one, I decided to make use of my 3D printer and make one.  I printed the parts, assembled it, and wrote my own software for controlling it.

The watch-winder is not my own design.  I found the design at, which is a website that hosts designs that you can buy.  This particular design cost me less than $2.00, and I figured that was worth it.  What makes it work is the set of concentric rings. The rings provide a couple of degrees of freedom, each degree of freedom allowing rotation around an axis.  A motor is connected to an arm that spins in a circle. At the end of the arm is a bracket which is connected to the innermost ring. As the arm spins, the rings “wobble” in just the right motion to wind the watch. It’s a neat design and fun to watch. 

Which is the key to intergalactic travel and which is the watch winder?

The design also includes a base, which hides the electronics and motor.  I did need to modify the base design slightly, because I wanted the power to come through a proper power jack, rather than through some dangling wires. This Jupyter Notebook captures the steps I took to modify the base.  I used my 3D printer and PLA plastic to print model.

All of the electronic components were purchased from Adafruit.  I bought an ESP8266 microcontroller, a stepper motor, a stepper motor driver board, a power push button, power jack, and power supply. Before soldering the wires to the jack and push-button, I had to mount those parts to the base.  After they were mounted I could solder the wires. The board required soldering headers to connect the stepper driver board to the ESP8266 board.

To assemble the model I used a variety of on hand m3 screws, m3 hex nuts, and thin m3 square nuts.  Assembling the model was frustrating at times. The hole for the push button was a bit too small, making it difficult to insert the push-button. The nut traps, holes for the square nuts, were poorly designed. The nuts were difficult to insert and align with the screws.  The original model could use a few more design iterations, in my humble opinion. Despite the issues, assembling the model is pretty straightforward. Before closing off the base, I programmed the ESP8266.

Pictured: Me considering a redesign

The ESP8266 is a wireless capable microcontroller. It can be configured with an Arduino Integrated Development Environment to run the standard Arduino software framework. Using this framework opens a set of software libraries that considerably eased development.  I chose to use PlatformIO IDE instead of the Arduino IDE. PlatformIO provides the same Arduino framework, but in a development environment that I prefer. My code can be found on GitHub.

This was a fun and comprehensive project. I enjoyed building this watch-winder, and I believe it’s something you can do too.

Print It. Solder It. Code It.

Make It Dayton.

Life After Make:

Earlier this week, Maker Media announced it was suspending operations, and let go of all its employees. For the full announcement, see the TechCrunch article here.

In the 3 days since Josh Constine posted his article on TechCrunch, social media has been exploding with well wishes and happy #MakerFaire memories from Makers around the world.  MATRIX Labs (@MATRIX_creator) has even launched a GoFundMe campaign to try and bolster the Make: brand.

So, where does this leave the maker movement? Make: was (and may still be, if they can get back on a sound financial footing) one of the great centralizers of the Maker movement. They pushed for Maker education, and brought the idea of do-it-together to the forefront. Without that force, can we continue calling ourselves a movement?

Personally, and probably unsurprisingly, I think so. Making is an idea whose time has come; the desire to learn new things, shape the world with your own ideas and your own hands, and to revel in the joy of creating. And, speaking for the festival producers here in Dayton, that joy is something we want to spread.

I liken Make:’s troubles to early aviation (because, you know, Dayton). The fledgling field of aviation kept moving forward after Wilbur Wright died in 1912, because aviation was an important, world-changing idea. So too, the Maker Movement will not fail just because one of the leading voices of that movement has left us.

While Make: brought a bright spotlight to the Maker Movement, it did not create it. This movement even has roots all the way back to the Barn Gang here in Dayton.  Makers, inventors, artists and creators of all types find encouragement and inspiration by gathering together, and that will not change. Sharing our ideas, our passion projects and our love of making with each other and the greater community is important, and potentially as world-changing as aviation ever was.

So, for now, the community as a whole, and I personally will mourn Make: and Maker Media. But we won’t stop creating and sharing, because that was the point; we can carry the movement forward by doing-it-together.

In that spirit, Make It Dayton will still be hosting a 1-day celebration of making in the Miami Valley, called the Make It Dayton Festival this October.  For more details, visit

Make It Dayton Festival

Exhibitor Sign Up: Fill out this Form

When: October 5th 2019

Where: Carillon Historical Park

We hope you will join us next year on Saturday, October 2, 2021 at Carillon Historical Park.
Unfortunately, like many other events in the Dayton area, the 2020 Make It Dayton Festival has been cancelled due to COVID-19.  We hope to see you all once again in 2021!  Please stay tuned to our social media and website for updates as we begin planning for next year.

The Make It Dayton Festival is Dayton’s own gathering of Makers. We showcase the local artists, woodworkers, and 3D-printers alongside makers, inventors and craftsmen of all kinds, from professional to hobbyist. If you have a passion for arts, hobbies, and do-it-yourself projects, then you will find that you will love the Make It Dayton Festival. We encourage families and people of all ages to attend. And if you have that maker spirit, we would love for you to sign up and show off your talents.