Welcome to MakerSpace USNA

Design, Build, Perform

MakerSpace USNA is a 3D printing laboratory space at the United States Naval Academy providing 3D printing capability for classroom and laboratory instruction as well as project support for students, faculty, and staff at USNA.

MakerSpace USNA is a (1) modern, (2) open, (3) student oriented, and (4) adaptable design space where students can design, build, and evaluate engineering projects within Engineering and Weapons Division at USNA.

All students, faculty, and staff are welcome to make an account on this website and utilize facilities in the MakerSpace.  Guests outside of USNA are also welcome to create an account, provide comments, and participate in our discussion of 3D printing.

Please use the links below or the menu above to join in on the discussion.

Enjoy your visit to MakerSpace USNA!

Well this what happens when you let a blog go too long without updating....

So much has happened that there is not enough room to update everything. Several great improvements over the last few weeks and several great success stories (https://twitter.com/MakerSpaceUSNA/status/1238246255811313667) but sadly all are overcome by the recent events with CORVID-19.

Bottom line: MakerSpaceUSNA is shutdown. If you have 3D printing needs at USNA, you need to reach out to CAPT Baker, MR2(SW) Matthews, or Marc Bergeron to get help. You can also reach out using admin@makerspaceusna.com.

Wishing everyone the best...

R/CAPT Baker

Well originally I was going to make a post about the week and give some SLA pointers, but something happened recently that was both bad and very funny in opinion. It also gives us an opportunity to hand out the next AM achievement coin with a few important details.

Attached below is a tragic Baby Yoda, and no Baby Yoda is not giving us the bird nor has he gone on a diet - although that is what it looks like. Also attached is what Baby Yoda should look like from a print last week. All I will say is that I printed this new Baby Yoda in Pearl Gold ABS with PVA supports on one of the Ultimakers. There is probably a lot more we could learn from this Baby Yoda also...

The first person to successfully point out to me what I did wrong will be the next coin winner. However, you need to be able tell me EXACTLY what mistake I made. I made a very simple mistake that lead to this disfigured Baby Yoda. Even worse a student made this exact same mistake last year - and to my credit, I did not yell at them, but then I made the exact same mistake so I am glad I do not get too upset last year.

Many of you will get very close to the right answer but will probably provide a secondary effect rather than the root problem, i.e. you will probably identify the major problem but not the single mistake that lead to the problem. I do not think I have told anyone this year about the problem from last year (mostly because I did not think it would happen again), but if I did tell you the problem, I ask politely that you recuse yourself from the competition. The final hint I will give is the mistake I made is VERY easy to make and can be easily overlooked. There are other ways to make a similar mistake but the mistake I made is both worse and harder to recognize.

Good luck!

R/CAPT Baker

P.S. - It was a pretty good week in the lab so nothing huge to report. Good job overall on SLA and LulzBot printing!

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Ok, so maybe this will turn into a weekly thing as long as we are continuing to learn. Quick bullets:

Biggest issues:

- Retrieve your part as quickly as you can and reset the printer for the next print job. Each printer is slightly different but basically a simple button on the printer itself.

- Make sure your job matches all of the following that you need: material, printer, and extruder (print core) and there might be more than 1 extruder.


- The MakerBots seems to be behaving quite well. Z18s still have transfer issues sometime and I have had to cancel some jobs. Methods do not always sense amount of material correctly but this is easily overrideable. Replicators seem to be having no major issues.


- Getting jobs into and out of the queue is working but requires close observation. 1 poorly submitted job can and has clogged the entire queue. Usually this is because a user has selected the wrong material and/or print core.

- It is possible that this problem is due to the arrangement of the host Armstrong. Ride is still a BETA test basically so there might be real issues that we are still working through.

- So what does this mean? Follow your job into and out of the queue and look to see if something is "clogging" the queue.


- 1 of the Form3s (I forget which as I am writing this) is having problems sensing the cartridge. We have submitted a ticket on this and unfortunately there is nothing we can do right now.

- All other SLA printers are ready. When printing for just an assignment, use whatever resin is currently in the printer rather than changing resin out.


- LulzBot use should start this week - good luck! Here are the ways to get your GCODE to the printer: (1) through Octoprint through the network, (2) via a USB stick,or (3) using an SD card. My class knows/will know how to do these. Please put all items back once you use them.

Network issues

- There is not doubt that our private network setup has some issues but I still believe it is the best method right now. Few people will really care but here are weird things that happen: (1) the Ultimaker web page does not always load correctly, (2) the Ultimaker web cameras often do not work, (3) time stamps everywhere are very wrong (back to 1970s), and (4) these IT issues are the reason for the MakerBot transfer times.

- The solution to these almost all of the time is to use the 2 local PCs in the MakerSpace. They rarely have problems and if you know what the problems can be you can work around them usually from your laptop.

Comments always welcome!

R/CAPT Baker

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