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!

MakerSpace Users,

Great job so far to everyone in the MakerSpace! We are up to almost 70 members which is by far the most we have ever had. There are tons of great parts being printed almost every day from: parts that literally glow, a skull with a brain that fit in them and skin that wraps around it, parts for satellites, and the normal cool little models. We always like photos of cool prints so please email, tweet, or post to instagram any cool parts you make. Here are some overall updates from the MakerSpace:


- There are still intermittent authentication problems on the MakerBot printers but I think this is going unnoticed because not many users are using the MakerBots. If you have problems, please let me know. I am working on a solution directly with MakerBot.

SLA printing

- Many users are gravitating to the SLA printers which is great, but please makes sure you know the basics behind 3D printing before going directly to the SLA printers.

- Please continue to keep the SLA printers and the printing area clean. We are doing better at this.

- Please continue to use the whiteboards so we can help you out.

- Be very careful when installing/removing the trays. The trays can be left in the printer when not in use as long as the orange UV cover is down.


- The Ultimakers also also working well. Please clean up the build plates when done.

- The most common problem on the Ultimakers is PVA printing. In some cases the PVA filament becomes too brittle due to moisture absorption. This is why we run dehumidifiers as much as we can in the lab. Right now we are leaving PVA on the filament spools, but if PVA problems become more consistent again (we had lot of problems over the summer), we will remove PVA when not in use.


- No one is using the LulzBots currently so admittedly they are low on our priority, but as you become more familiar with 3D printing, many users will find them to be the best and most capable printers. If you think you need to use the LulzBots, let me or Marc know and we will make sure they are ready.

Coming soon...

- 3 new SLA printers should be coming this semester. These will be VERY useful. We may have to set priorities for these printers as I expect them to be in high demand.

- I will be ordering more clear, white, elastic, and draft SLA resin very soon. If you think you need something else, please let me know soon. I will also be ordering filament so if there specific filament you need, let me know that as well.

- Ultimakers makes a brand new "printing station" (see here: https://ultimaker.com/3d-printers/ultimaker-s5-pro-bundle ) that has very quickly moved up our priority list. ETA is probably early to mid Spring.

- We are actively looking for students who want to do research projects using the Filabot filament making system. If you are interested, let me know.

I meet with our primary research sponsor in 1 week and plan to give them good news on many of our projects. If you have a project listed on our current projects page ( https://www.makerspaceusna.com/current-projects ), please try to update your data when you can. If you have long term needs in the MakerSpace (such as new capability), please discuss these with your faculty members and then give me input. We plan to make significant expansions over the next 5 years - nothing is off the table!

Happy Printing!

R/CAPT Baker

Ok, so finally some good and hopefully cool news to share. CDR Jon Gibbs has done an outstanding job with the new metal printer in TSD and we hope to finally start our AM student challenge this year.

Watch this cool video of how we make a CMC Challenge coin:


or here on youtube: https://youtu.be/LFp4mONYw1g

The plan is that we will award some of these coins during AY20 for the best AM student or Capstone project. Stay tuned for your opportunity to compete!

Happy Printing (even if not in metal)!

R/CAPT Baker

I am hoping I can get this word out using this Blog, but if not, I am going to have to resort to spam email. There are several small issues that we need to improve on in the MakerSpace. Please read and help me with these issues:

- There are several SLA printing issues and I cannot tell what all of the issues are that users are having, but bottom line, SLA print failures are (should be) rare. If you have an SLA print failure, the right answer is not just to restart the print. You need to find out what went wrong and try to correct. See me or Marc if you have questions.

- Still on SLA printing, there are several issues that need to be fixed right away: (1) resin needs to be put back into the lower cabinets when done using (both trays and cartridges), (2) build plates must be cleaned (this can be in the alcohol wash), (3) the alcohol wash needs to be closed when complete (you can very easily smell the alcohol if that is not done and the alcohol will evaporate), and finally (4) users need to understand printer settings - I found a job on the printer that was queued and the resin desired did not match the resin in the printer; I do not understand how this happened.

- Still on SLA printing, the sensing pins for the middle printer have been damaged. I am not blaming anyone for this as the pins are sensitive and we have seen this before but it reminds us of the importance of being gentle when installing the trays. For now the middle printer will be for clear resin (and really on for EME/ENR Capstone teams) so we do not remove the tray.

- For FDM printers (both MakerBot and Ultimaker) you need to "tell" the printer that the build is done after you remove your part. This is done via an on screen prompt. If you do not do this, the next job cannot be started. For now this is not a real problem, but in the Spring - when print demand will go up - this will be a problem.

- Please help on MakerSpace overall cleanliness: put chairs back where you found them, try to keep build plates clean, throw away trash etc. Me and Marc do mulitple daily walkthroughs and we will help keep the lab operational but we need user help to do this.

Keep pushing along and keep learning so please do not take these reminders as discouragement.

Happy Printing!

R/CAPT Baker

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590 Holloway Rd, Annapolis, MD, USA