Help build a massive Rosie the Riveter sculpture, and learn about 3D printing

On Monday, May 7th, Nova Labs kicked off a two-part event to help print out a 6-foot-tall statue of Rosie the Riveter. Calling all woman makers to come out next Monday, 5/14, to help print a part of Rosie!

You can sign up for a part here:
You’ll need a Google account so they can track who has what part 🙂

If you need help printing, we’ll have printers and helpers on hand Monday, May 14, 2018 from 7-9pm; we’ll also have a rack of printers dedicated to the project at Nova Labs in the Orange Bay.

You can mail in the parts yourself, or leave them in the Rosie Box and we’ll mail a batch in. Please send an email with your part # to – he’ll send you the tracking number when your batch ships.

Sign up here for next Monday:


ed note: As of 5/8/18 at 2:15pm, Paul and the Nova Labs community is at the top of the leaderboard for number of parts printed!

All the Nova Labs parts are being tracked in this Google Doc.

3D Printer Build Group 11 is here!

Build your very own 3D printer at Nova Labs!

The 11th 3D Printer Build Group is launching on December 9th, 2pm, at Nova Labs. On that date we’ll be putting together a kit that anyone can purchase, assemble, and turn into their very own Nova I3 3D printer. If you’ve got time to help assemble, please sign up here:

The 3D Printer Build Group meets every Monday evening from 7-9pm to assemble kits.

Kits will cost $450 for Nova Labs members, $500 otherwise, and may be purchased at any time, but will not be ready for pickup until the 9th. There will probably be kits available for some time after the assembly, but they are sold on a first-come first-serve basis. If you have any questions feel free to email Paul Chase – paenian at gmail dot com – or come to any of the 3d Printer Build Nights, every Monday evening from 7-9pm.

If you’re interested in joining the build group you can email Paul Chase: paenian at the gmail dot com

The printer we’re building is the Nova I3, which is a high-end printer for a mid-range price.
Features include:

  • Genuine E3D hotend, capable of printing high-temperature materials
  • Heated Bed
  • 24v motor and heater supply for high torque and fast heating
  • 200mm cubic build area
  • LCD & SD card for computer-independent printing
  • Available upgrade to dual-extrusion

The frames and 3d printed components are made right at Nova Labs; we’re also looking for volunteers to cut frames and print parts.

Laser Cutting

If you’re trained on the laser I could especially use help cutting – each kit comes from a single sheet of MDF, and takes ~40 minutes to cut. After cutting, the parts are stored in our boxes waiting for the kit assembly. Please contact Paul Chase, paenian at gmail dot com if you can spare some laser babysitting time 🙂

3D Printing

All the parts are printed by volunteers; they’re up on my Github page:

The full_plate.stl is everything needed for a printer, about 12 hour print on a BG machine. The other three plates combine to make the same parts if you have a smaller machine. Parts must be printed in (recommended) PETG or ABS; color is not important. Again, please contact Paul Chase, paenian at gmail dot com if you’d like to print a set or two :-)​

3D Printer Build Group X – Kit Assembly

Ed. note: Key Member [Paul Chase] writes in to talk about the 10th 3D Printer build group at Nova Labs:

This post is a bit dated, sorry! Back in March before NoVa MakerFaire, Nova Labs launched its 10th 3D Printer Build Group, making our mildly customized Prusa I3 printer, the Nova I3. With the launch of this build group, Nova Labs once again has 3D printer kits for sale – $500 for regular folks, but only $450 for Nova Labs associate and key members!

Before selling the kits, though, we must assemble them! For that I called on the Nova Labs community to help distribute the dozens of parts.

If you’re interested in joining the build group you can email Paul Chase: paenian at the gmail dot com, or join us on Monday evening, from 7-9pm – we should have kits for the next few weeks at least:
April 17th:
April 24th:
May 1st:

And now, pictures!

This is what the machines look like once they’re put together:

Finished Nova I3 Printer

Finished Nova I3 Printer

Nova Labs Members 3D Print Prosthetic Hands for Kids in Support of E-NABLE Initiative

Photo: Courtesy of E-nabling the Future

Photo: Courtesy of E-nabling the Future

BALTIMORE — Over the course of several weeks, Nova Labs volunteers Jason Kohles, Keith McGerald, Paul Chase, Erica Kane, Jeff Balderson, and Thomas Johnston 3D printed hundreds of small parts that were assembled into 17 prosthetic hands for kids at last weekend’s E-NABLE Conference at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

In all, over 200 prosthetic hands were printed and assembled at the conference!


The E-nabling the Future initiative aims to harness the potential of open source designs and distributed, low-cost manufacturing to make the frequent refitting of prosthetic hands during kids’ growth years cost effective for families.

Photo: Iron Man Edition. Courtesy of E-nabling the Future

Support our efforts through a tax-deductible donation or get involved by signing up for our prosthetics group mailing list! To subscribe, register for a Nova Labs account, then visit your Nova Labs listserv management page to subscribe to the prosthetics listserv.

Making Bad: Walter White Lives On in Nova Labs’ 3D Printing Challenge


Four groups so far have constructed their own 3D Printers from kits with the help of the Nova Labs 3D Printer Group. Every Monday the group puts their printers to the test to see who can produce the best 3D print. It’s a good way to keep printers calibrated and finely tuned as well as to experiment with new methods for improving prints.

Here’s a roundup of the 3D Printing challenges to date.

3D Printing Challenge #1: “Sliced Human Skull with Mandible and Teeth”

The source can be found on Thingiverse:
Results from Week 1 of the Nova Labs 3D Printing Challenge.

Results from Week 1 of the Nova Labs 3D Printing Challenge.

3D Printing Challenge #2: The 5 piece “Iris Door Box v3”

The source can be found on Thingiverse:

 At World Maker Faire NY 2013, there was a company that had produced hundreds of these “Iris Door Boxes”, and they actually sold out during the first day so this item is very popular.
Iris Door Box (v3) Week #2 3D Printing Challenge Results

Iris Door Box (v3) Week #2 3D Printing Challenge Results

To assemble the parts for the Iris Door Box, you need 5 pan head screws #4 x 1/4″.

3D Printing Challenge #3: A 2 piece print, the “Screwable Jewelry Box”

The source is found on Thingiverse:

Don’t be fooled. This print challenged how well printers were calibrated. The idea is that the two printed parts can screw together perfectly to make a fully closed box.  There were 3 variants to try.


Eric Mitchell demonstrates how the box fits together:

3D Printing Challenge #4: A 4x normal scale Lego-style “Minifig”

The “Blank Minifig, Jumbo Snap-Together Version” is found on Thingiverse:

Competitors were asked to be creative with colors, accessories, and characters (Heisenberg/Rick Grimes characters were given preferential treatment).

Scott Harris contributed the Walter White entry (Shown as title photo). This entry is titled “Minifig Frozen in Carbonite.”
To stay informed about Nova Labs 3D Printer Challenges, register for a Nova Labs account and subscribe to the “3D-Printer” listserv.


Maker Tech Well-Received at 39th Annual Manassas Hamfest

600_245945972MANASSAS, VA — Nova Labs presented a number of new technologies at the 39th annual Manassas Hamfest held June 9th at the Prince William County Fairgrounds. Though traditionally focused on Amateur (Ham) Radio, the newer Maker Tech, which included 3D printing demonstrations and multiple quadcopter and hexacopter drones were a welcomed addition. Christopher Vo, autonomous robotics researcher at George Mason University, showed off a gyro-stabilized camera gimbal that attracted a lot of attention.

Nova Labs’ participation in the fest sought to pay homage to Hams as the “original hackers”, who organized build groups and hack labs similar to modern day makerspaces—back before people called themselves “Makers” and long before it was “cool.”

The hamfest was presented by the “Ole Virginia Hams” Amateur Radio Club, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and enhancement of Amateur Radio.

Nova Labs goes to Washington: Keep 3D Printing Free!


This gallery contains 10 photos.

WASHINGTON, DC — On Wednesday, April 24th, representatives of Nova Labs Erik Moon and Amar Zumkhawala presented at the Public Knowledge event “3D Printing: Bits to Atoms,” held at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. The event sought … Continue reading