Meet the Maker: Ben Riggins 2

Ben Riggins is an electrical engineering major, and a DIY enthusiast. He came to the MakerLab to build a faceplate to mount some cool electronics in his car.

Ben Riggins“I’m building a device which will be mounted in my car’s dashboard to display things like the temperature, the direction, and weather forecast information. It is connected to a Bluetooth module to communicate with my phone. The MakerLab allowed me to design and print a custom faceplate to mount the LCD screen and buttons. I’ve always felt limited to the parts I could make myself, but now so many things are possible. Thanks MakerLab!”

We encourage experimentation with electronics and open hardware in the Lab. To assist users, the Lab is equipped with Raspberry PI’s and MakeyMakey Kits. One of the projects our lab guru, Danny, is working on is to enable queueing of prints on our 3D printers, using the Raspberry Pi. Send us a note using the contact form if you would like to work with him over summer on this or other fun electronics projects.

Become part of our maker community by subscribing to our blog or ’Liking’ us on Facebook.

About Vishal Sachdev

Director of the Illinois MakerLab. More information at or

2 thoughts on “Meet the Maker: Ben Riggins

  • Matt Underwood

    Hi Ben,
    You REALLY need to print your part in ABS, not PLA. I understand that the Makerbot Replicator 2’s that Makerlab has only can print in PLA because they lack a heated build platform, but PLA will warp at only 130° F and your car dashboard will heat up over 150° on a sunny day in the summer with the windows rolled up. This is why PLA will never be used in automotive applications. I left some PLA parts on my car seat last year when the outdoor temp was only 93° and they warped badly.

    ABS is totally stable at any temp in a car, and is used in many interior parts. I used to work for an auto plant that made dashboards. A greater benefit to a 3d printer with heated build plate is that they can print large parts flat, even flat PLA parts.

    Good job designing and making a 3d print. Keep up the good work. If you need help printing large ABS parts, contact me. I’ve built many 3d Printers and have thousands of hours of print time. 3d printing isn’t just revolutionary, it’s fun.