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!

Many of you are starting to become more familiar with the Form2 SLA printers so I want to quickly go over some tips on how to use them.


If you have not already, make sure you watch our SLA video which goes over most things you need to know made by 2nd LT Joel Austin '19: https://www.makerspaceusna.com/how-to-printer-videos?wix-vod-video-id=9a9b6d772082458a82f8cee0179b9781&wix-vod-comp-id=comp-jy1te2gk#


Also we do have a forum dedicated to SLA printing although there has not been much activity yet: https://www.makerspaceusna.com/forum/formlabs


So here are some tips:


- Cleanliness is EVERYTHING. Keep the printers clean. The resins are not hazardous but they are messy. I wear gloves just to try and keep things clean.


- There are 2 sensors for the resin trays. One is the sensor for the tray type (you can see this as 3 little pins on the printer) and the other is a level sensor that is in the back lower side of the printer facing into the resin tray. Both of these can be quite difficult.


- There is also a sensor for the resin cartridge which you can see on the bottom of the cartridge near the "nipple". This one is not normally a problem.


- The "best" resins (i.e. have the least problems) are: grey pro, the normal color ones like white/black/clear, and high temperature. The flexible resin is really cool but is VERY difficult to print with. The tough and durable resins also have significant problems. Although the clear resin is easy to use and good, we have dedicated projects that use clear resin only so do not use clear resin without discussing with me first.


- Do not use new trays or new cartridges until you have to. If you have questions, ask me or Marc.


- If you do use a new tray, label it using the label maker (in both sides of the lab).


Final point, SLA is more expensive and takes longer so SLA is not the time to just "practice". You need to have a good handle on 3D printing before moving to this step.


Happy Printing!


R/CAPT Baker

Time flies when you are having fun printing! I apologize to everyone in advance since most of these updates are long overdo. Please read all of the following comments but I will try to highlight the most important first and also try to be brief:


Major changes

- The only real bad news is we have had some issues with inexperienced users in the MakerSpace so I am restricting user access to 1/C and 2/C students (from any major so not just limited to engineering students). This is not meant to be a penalty to underclass, but I expect the printing load to increase soon and we need to avoid some easy to correct engineering problems.


- There have been TONS of issues with MakerBot printer connectivity. I believe users are having to reauthenticate EVERY time. I have discussed this with MakerBot at length (pretty sure there is a dart board at MakerBot with my picture on it or a comment like "don't take emails from this guy..."). Bear with me while we work to correct.


- We have 2 completely new printers: 2 LulzBot Pros in the back of Ri225. They are not quite ready for prime time, but we will be looking for jobs to test them out very soon. If you have used a LulzBot before (or know Octoprint which I know some do...), contact us and you can be the first to use these new awesome printers.


Other news

- Both Mech-E and Aero will be offering an AM elective in the Spring of AY20 (i.e. next semester). They will be similar if not the exact same class. If you are interested contact me or Maj Graves in Aero. This class IS NOT limited to just Mech-E or Aero majors.


- Our SLS metal printer is fully working (but sorry not really ready for students yet). Check out some cool new videos: https://www.makerspaceusna.com/?wix-vod-video-id=c90b32fed86c4bab8c0336ee436557b7&wix-vod-comp-id=comp-ju5rvgc32#


- We replaced one of the Form2 SLA printers. Most people will not even notice this change.


- Our Current Projects page is fully up to date. Please check it out: https://www.makerspaceusna.com/current-projects . If you are working on an individual or Capstone AM project and need help or want to be showcased, let me know.


- We have a great way to capture time lapse videos of your builds and these make great (and very easy) additions to your Capstone presentations. Once you have figured out the printing process, talk to me or Marc and we can show you how to record a video of your build (using one of our GoPro cameras).


Final point, hopefully we will be recognizing some AM achievements this semester such as best 3D printed part or best AM project for the Fall semester. In addition to being highlighted in the MakerSpace Hall of Fame, we will hopefully have a real "reward". More to follow..


As always, Happy Printing!


- CAPT Baker

Congrats to all for surviving the first week of AY2020!


In our first official week, we jumped to 14 student members and 9 faculty members which is a good start. My plan is to use this blog and the running slide show in Ri226 as the primary means to pass information to MakerSpace users. Here is my first update:


MakerSpace status

- All printers are operational with the exception of 1 Form2 which is undergoing repair.

- While available for experienced users, the LulzBots are not in their final configuration and are not setup for easy use yet. If you need to print custom material or specifically need a LulzBot, let me or Marc know.


Coming soon...

- The ability to make our own filament with the filabot system (www.filabot.com) is coming soon. We expect to have at least 1 student or student team work on this in Spring AY2020.

- More Formlabs printers (4 total: 2 Form3, 1 Form3L, and Fuse1) are expected to arrive Fall AY2020.

- Keep your eye out for a 3D printing elective class (likely called Drafting and Additive Manufacturing) which we hope to offer again in the Spring AY2020.


Other notes

- High humidity in the MakerSpace makes it advisable to remove PVA from Ultimaker printers when PVA is not needed. PVA exposed to high humidity is likely to fail during printing. (note: this does not apply to MakerBot Method printers)

- MakerBot printers are working well without glue on the build plate. Just monitor your first few layers to make sure you part is adhering well. You can use glue if needed.


Happy Printing!

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590 Holloway Rd, Annapolis, MD, USA