Category Archives: 3D Printing

This “week” in Maui Makers 12-7-2015

Lots of exciting happenings at the Makerspace in the last month.

We are trying out a new look to the website. Let us know what you think. If you like the old one, you can find it here.


As part of our Crafty Makers series, Rob Bartlett led an awesome 3-part introductory class on the Zen of Quilling. It’s a great way to make very complex and wonderful objects using very simple techniques.







IMG_20140523_181938_698Arduino Build Night continued. John D. continued to make progress on his zombie apocalypse props.

3D Printing Special Interest Group completed some more of the prosthetic hands, and started an Intro to Fusion 360 self-paced study group.



20151111_Menehune Makers

We kicked off our Menehune Makers program for younger kids (K-12). Some of the kids are calling it the Robot Class. We haven’t built any robots yet, but will soon.

We continue to have awesome and interesting people drop into the space, and it’s the people who make the Makerspace.




In December, we’ll be focusing on CNC Machines.

Island Hobbies made a generous loan of a 3-axis CNC machine. The terms of the loan were that we take care of the machine and teach folks how to use the machine. We’ll need your help with getting this set up and running. It’s a nice machine that can mill wood, brass, aluminum and steel.

Other activities will continue as usual:

Arduino Build Nights

3D Printing

Menehune Makers

Crafty Makers

3D Printing and Prosthetics Special Interest Group

First and Third Wednesday 4:30pm-6:30pm

3D Printing is a fantastic technology that lets you create parts at low cost form 3d-design files. Maui Makers has several 3D Printers in house (our own and on loan from members).
We are currently printing e-Nable hands for youth on Maui. These low cost prosthetics are a great way to understand the power of 3D printing. Come on down to the makerspace and help out!

Chocolate Printer Cooling System Test

This week I attempted the first test of the chocolate printer cooling system.  The cooling system is intended to solidify the chocolate just after it leaves the extruder nozzle so that by the time the next layer is started it will have a solid layer to sit on.  The cooling system consists of a centrifugal blower with a brushless DC motor blowing room air into a styrofoam cooler containing a block of dry ice.  The air passes over the dry ice and gets chilled as the dry ice sublimates directly into very cold CO2 gas.  The chilled air and CO2 mixture exit the box through a port with a hose that will ultimately blow the cold air on the chocolate.  At least, that’s how it is supposed to work.  It blows air at -12C as measured via a thermocouple, but unfortunately, the air exit port ices up in about 2 minutes and blocks the air flow.

There are many possible solutions.  I can add a heater to the exit port to prevent formation of ice, or dry the air going into the box using a dessicant cannister or maybe just use water ice instead of dry ice if the higher temperature will still cool the chocolate adequately.   Maybe using an old miniature freezer with an air hose coiled inside would do the job.  It would be really interesting if I could use the waste heat from a freezer to keep the chocolate liquified and flowing.  Back to the drawing board!

3D printing introduction

10/24/2015 18:00
10/24/2015 21:00
10/24/2015 18:00
10/24/2015 21:00

Event registration managed on compass. Please sign up at the following link:

What is going to be covered.

Introduction to 3D printing

3D printing methodologies

File types, machine operation

Best practices/troubleshooting prints

3D software overview

3D design fundamentals

Using 3D printing for projects

Non-Member Price: 

This “Week” in Maui Makers October 18, 2015

Halloween is almost here

Are you ready for it? We’re having a lot of fun with Halloween-themed events at the MakerSpace! Come join us.

We’re tweaking our communications to see how best to get the word out about our events. What’s your preference? Google Calendar, MeetUp, Facebook, our website, email, something else? Let us know in the comments section.

Note that some events are discounted (or free) to paid members. All funds collected go to getting a bigger, better place to play, more toys to play with and keeping the lights on. Mahalo for your support and donations.


The ever popular Arduino continues on Thursday from 6 to 9 PM. All skill levels are welcome. We will continue the self-paced introductory class, as well as a special Halloween-themed treat this week. Bring your own spooky project, or buy one of our handy skull eyes kits, and we’ll help you get it assembled and working.

To RSVP, click here:



3D Printing

We  have the Hulk Hand (it’s all green) printed and assembled, and parts for another couple of hands. St Anthony is working on getting us the measurements for Sam. Join us on Wednesday from 4:30 to 6 PM if you want to help out, or learn more about 3D printing. We had a newbie go from zero to one-of-a-kind Christmas presents in less than 10 minutes! He was stoked.

We’ve been playing with our 3D pens and making masks with them. We have a limited stock on hand at great prices, and they are a fun and low-cost way to explore 3D printing–same nozzle and filament, it’s just that you are the motor. You can RSVP here:


Halloween Fun for Artisans and Crafters

And speaking of Halloween, join our Artisans and Crafters Group every Sat at 10 AM for some..ahem…”witch craftery” with a special Halloween theme. And if that isn’t enough Halloween for you, we’ll have the space ready to help you “bling out” your costume during open hours on Saturday, October 24. If you really like to procrastinate, we do have open hours on Halloween.

RSVP required for mask making:


To RSVP for Bling Out Your Halloween costume:


Beading for All Ages

This is an open activity to introduce persons to the craft of beading. It is open to Menehunes above the age of 5 providing they can stay focused and behave. Menehunes below the age of 15 must be accompanied by a guardian over the age of 18.

The activity will be led by Margaret an independent Jewelry maker and there will be the same kits available that MMI sold at the fundraiser. There will be other beading kits and accessories for sale to participants.

There will be a nominal activity fee of $10 of which $7.00 will be given back as a kit credit. for purchases during the activity. This can be shared between the Menehune and guardian.

Individual Kit prices start at $1 and go up from there. Basic kits include plastic bead bracelets, necklaces, and key fobs.


New Time: Menehune Makers (our kid’s program) every other Wednesday from 5 PM to 6:30 PM. Our first class will build Hovercraft!

Suitable for anyone over 3 that can remain focused and engaged. Note that this is not a drop off program. We encourage parents to learn and enjoy fun activities with their kids.


Barnes and Noble sponsoring a Maker Faire at their store Nov 6-8

Speaking of Maker Faires…Barnes and Noble showed up to chat about the nationwide Maker Faire they’ll be sponsoring in November. It looks like they plan to start carrying some cool toys that might appeal to some of the younger makers. Well, actually the adults did have fun playing with the toys, too.

Out and About in the Community

The UHMC STEAM Maker Camp was a success. Jerry Isdale, Buck Joiner and Cole Santos taught an EdVenture Class on Arduino, TinkerCAD, 3D printing and rockets. Fun was had by all.

The high school students working on the Internet of Things continue to make good progress.

One of our UHMC interns has made tremendous progress on getting the Gocupi drawing robot running like a champ. Here is a picture of Tim in action.

3D Printing–Part 1–The Basics

Maui Makers seems to be getting a lot of interest lately in 3D printing, so I’m going to post a few short blogs to answer some of the most common questions.

If you’re interested in learning more, come by the Makerspace for a 3D-printing Special Interest Group meeting (to be announced shortly).

What is 3D printing?

Like most technical terms, there is common usage as well as formal standards. The ASTM has defined it as:

3D printing: the fabrication of objects through the deposition of a material using a print head, nozzle, or another printer technology.

DISCUSSION—Term often used synonymously with additive manufacturing; in particular associated with machines that are low end in price and/or overall capability.

ASTM also defines:

material extrusion: an additive manufacturing process in which material is selectively dispensed through a nozzle or orifice.

While there are other ways of 3D printing, the machines we have at the Makerspace use Material Extrusion, this is the kind of 3D printing I’ll be talking about?

How does it work?

I like to describe it as a piece of string on a spool. The string goes into a nozzle, which melts the string. The melted string is kind of like hot glue–it will stick to some things, but the thing it really likes to stick to is itself. 2 motors move the nozzle around lay the string down to form a layer of the object, then another motor moves the nozzle up a layer and repeats, until you have the entire object. This process can be very mesmerizing to watch, and I’ve seen kids and adults entranced by the motion

How does the printer know what to make?

The easiest way to get started is to acquaint yourself with Thingiverse (, which is where people share things they’ve made. It contains a number of fun and useful objects and is a nice way to get an understanding of what you can do with a 3D printer. The only thing you need to watch out for is that Thingiverse also contains files that are intended for laser cutters. With a little experience, you can figure out the difference.

The next step would be to  draw the object on your computer. This sort of design used to be pretty much limited to Engineers (and there are still some high end programs out there for this audience), but with the advent of low cost, do-it-yourself manufacturing technologies, many computer programs are available for free or at low cost. A few examples in the no/low-cost category are: OpenSCAD, TinkerCAD, FreeCAD, SketchUp and Fusion 360. Fusion 360 is interesting at the moment, since it’s a relatively high-end package being offered under a free 1-year startup license for “hobbyists, enthusiasts, makers, and emerging businesses that make less than $100,000 per year”, with the paid version $300/year. Compared with other high-end suites, this is a bargain.

Upcoming 3D Printing Events

In September, Maui Makers will be setting up a Special Interest Group and printing some very low cost e-Nable ( prosthetic hands (like the one shown above) for kids on Maui.

In October, Maui Makers and MEDB will be hosting Fusion 360 training.

Drop a line to if you want info either event.


Science Carnival a Success!

Maui Makers participated in the Science Carnival this Saturday to benefit the Maui Science Center. There was great turn-out of all ages, not just at the overall event, but even at our corner of one of the tents. There was a constant flow, never a slow moment! The Gravity Well was a huge draw for the kids; the marbles never stopped rolling. There was immense interest in the 3-D printing and the various samples. The 3-D pens were a hit. It was wonderful to watch the surprised and delighted smiles on the faces of kids and adults alike as they experienced the mysteries of the magnets with our latest interactive displays. We had a lot of sign-ups for general info as well as classes.  We got great exposure (even the mayor was interested in our work)! Because of this event, we surely will see some new faces at Maui Makers!

Lego Automaton Jukebox – stage 0.2 incomplete, stage 0.3 started

It takes time & certain amount of failed ideas to design anything. Ideas rarely come in a box, they require slow birth rather than rapid unpacking.

STAGE 0.1 Idea

B: “What would you build if I gave you a coin counter?

I: ”Any purpose?”

B: ”Yes, to make a machine so the visitors put money in.”

I: ”hmmm… a Jukebox? … hmm with dancing Ducks…”

STAGE 0.2 Learning

I have decided to build prototype of an automaton from Lego Technic. There were plenty sets & I have never had an opportunity to play with those… ehhh Lego <3

Day 1: some basic Lego models from booklets

Day 2: big bulldozer started – learning Lego

Day 3: BREAK sorting bricks day… too hard too find elements anyway.

Day 4: BREAK DISASTER element needs to be ordered online

Day 5: BREAK unsuccessful at building part replacement from other bricks

Day 6-9: BREAKLego Automaton Jukebox – stage 0.2 incomplete, stage 0.3 started

Day 10: part arrives Lego Automaton Jukebox – stage 0.2 incomplete, stage 0.3 started

Day 11: model is finished… gears aren’t working

Day 12: disassembling Lego Automaton Jukebox – stage 0.2 incomplete, stage 0.3 started

Day 13: Here we go again!

Day 14-15: It works! – Lego lvl Advanced reached.

Day 16: Time to upgrade!

Day 17: I hLego Automaton Jukebox – stage 0.2 incomplete, stage 0.3 startedave decide to add electronics from Lego Mind Storm SetLego Automaton Jukebox – stage 0.2 incomplete, stage 0.3 started

Day 18- 28: BREAK – Dublin Maker




Upon my positive experience with Lego & positive associations towards bricks from public I have decided to build actual Automaton from Lego. Ducks bricks will have to be designed & 3D printed.Lego Automaton Jukebox – stage 0.2 incomplete, stage 0.3 started

STAGE 0.3 3D printing Lego Bricks

Day …XX(lost count, but it’s today) First general Lego Piece was 3D printed Lego Automaton Jukebox – stage 0.2 incomplete, stage 0.3 started

SUCCESS 3D printed Lego piece fits with regular bricks!


  • Build automaton
  • Design Lego Bricks in a shape of Ducks
  • 3D print Ducks
  • program Bulldozer (why not its almost done!)
  • find manual for coin counters…

Would you like to try to create own designs? Come along to our ongoing (every second Monday) CAD workshop in Tog. Looking forward to see you here – next class 17th of August 2015.


Lego Automaton Jukebox – stage 0.2 incomplete, stage 0.3 started

Latest decision –  to add Arduino & remote controller to Bulldozer Lego Automaton Jukebox – stage 0.2 incomplete, stage 0.3 started

Chocolate Cooling System Almost Ready For Testing

Chocolate printer progress continues.  This week was devoted to the print cooling system.  The chocolate will come out the extruder nozzle in a semi-molten state.  It needs to solidify by the time the next layer of chocolate gets deposited on it, and I’d prefer it doesn’t drip or sag, so it needs to be chilled right after extrusion.  The current plan is to blow chilled air over the chocolate just after it leaves the extruder.   The chilled air will come from a foam insulated box containing a block of dry ice.  There will be a blower pushing air into the box and a hose delivering the chilled air/CO2 to the print.

A couple weeks ago I got a blower from American Science and Surplus and this week I got it running by using a model airplane ESC and servo tester to drive its brushless DC motor.  It appears to be capable of blowing much more air than I’ll need.  There are many unknowns yet to test.  How much chilled air/CO2 will it take to solidify the chocolate after it leaves the extruder?  How long will a block of dry ice last when used this way?  Will ice build-up inside the chiller box adversely affect its performance?

I designed and printed three parts for this system- a mount to attach the blower to a foam box up to 1.5″ thick, a hose coupler to allow delivery of the chilled air/CO2 to the print, and a hole saw to cut holes to fit the other two parts.   The printed parts fit as if they were designed for the job!

3D printed hole saw

Chocolate Cooling System Almost Ready For Testing

Hose connected to hose coupler

Chocolate Cooling System Almost Ready For Testing

Hose coupler parts

Chocolate Cooling System Almost Ready For Testing

Blower mount for air chiller box

First Ever Test of the 3.5 Liter Syringe Extruder

My last post showed how I made a plunger for a 3.5 liter syringe.  Today’s post is the results of the first ever test of that syringe assembly including the plunger.  The goal of the test was to determine if the syringe pusher would be able to push very thick, viscous paste (sort of like melted chocolate) out of the 1/4″ syringe nozzle.  It was also a test of the ability of the previously made silicone plunger to maintain a seal even against whatever pressure develops inside the syringe as it is pushing.

I mixed about 1 liter of extra thick pancake batter to a consistency that I thought would be much thicker than molten chocolate (pancake batter is much cheaper than chocolate) and shoveled it into the syringe, then bolted on the pusher and hooked it up to a power supply:

Looking back, I probably should have loaded the syringe from the other end.

Syringe loaded with super thick pancake batter.












Here’s the actual test.  It gets especially interesting about 1 minute in:

The syringe continued drooling after power was removed due to air that was trapped inside the syringe.  As the plunger pushed, the air was compressed.  When the motor stopped the compressed air continued to push out the batter.  I will have to be careful to eliminate air bubbles in the material when it comes time to use this in a printer.

It only took a couple minutes to clean out the syringe after the test was done.

The pusher did its job much better than expected, and the plunger held up just fine, too.  I feel confident that this device will be able to extrude chocolate.   Now the real work begins…