Contact Us

TechAhoy is located on the corner of Woodward Av and Putnam Av.

TechAhoy Inc.
801 Woodward Ave.
Ridgewood, NY 11385

P: 917-994-2441
E: info@techahoy.org

Send us a quick message - we are happy to hear from you!

801 Woodward Ave
Ridgewood, NY 11385
United States

(917) 994-2441

A Friendly, Neighborhood Makerspace

blog

What’s happening at TechAhoy? Check back often to find out! 

Light Stick Painting

James Botwina

This week at TechAhoy we built a light paint stick using components from Adafruit’s Adabox 009. This project uses sequences of LED flashes to display a pattern of light. In order to show the light’s trail we increased the shutter speed on a camera to allow the camera’s digital sensor to be exposed to light longer. The pixels of the light stick are extremely bright and can be coded to emit different patterns and colors.

Just in time for Halloween, we were able to upload a flying bat pattern to the light stick! These are just some of the examples available for us to use.

What spooky image would you like to see using our new device?

Come by the space and take a picture with a gallery of designs we already have in stock!

Thank you!

Ian

Thank you everyone for coming out to our second open house this past Saturday, September 14th. It was a lot of fun!

We hope you all enjoyed learning to solder, exploring Minecraft and Bloxels, designing video games, and learning about 3D printing.

Raffle

Each person that signed up for the newsletter was entered to win a Flying Sea Turtle. This 3D model was being printed on our Prusa i3 MK3S MMU2S. The winner will be announced on Instragram on Wednesday, September 18th - follow @techahoynyc to see who wins!

Girls Who Code

Many of you expressed interest in our Girls Who Code 3-5 grade club. This club meets on Monday’s from 6:30-7:30PM and we are currently at capacity. If you are still interested and would like to be added to the wait list, email info@techahoy.org. The club is scheduled to run throughout the 2019-2020 school year - we will contact you once slots become available.

Upcoming Events

If you didn’t have a chance to create your very own robbienano don’t worry. We have a learn to solder workshop this Wednesday from 6:30 - 8PM. Class size is limited so sign-up today!

Bookmark our calendar and stay tuned for other upcoming workshops like:

  • Code Together - Learn to code with your child

  • 3D print Halloween Masks

  • Operation Redeux - Recreating the classic board game

  • Coding classes for adults

We had such a great time meeting all of you and hope to see you at many events to come!

Left to Right: Tom, Ian, James & Karen

Left to Right: Tom, Ian, James & Karen

- TechAhoy

Announcing code:CADET!

Ian

We are happy to announce that registration for code:CADET is now live! code:CADET is our co-ed after-school program designed to educate, encourage, and empower young learners through STEAM focused activities and projects. Throughout the year, our young learners will learn new skills and collaborate with peers, create imaginary worlds, design robots, and gain confidence.

code:CADET occurs daily Monday through Friday from 2:30 - 6PM. In addition to the fun activities we have planned, we will also spend the first portion of every day providing homework help to anyone that needs it.

A typical day has the following schedule:

2:30 - 3:30: Pick-up where available and drop-off
3:30 - 4:00: Homework help and snacks
4:00 - 5:30: Club activities and projects
5:30 - 6:00: Pick-up

code:CADET will be lead by Ian and James, two individuals with a strong passion for technology and sharing knowledge.

James01-small.jpg

James - Assistant Instructor

James is a born and bred New Yorker from Forest Hills, NY. After college, James spent a year as an English language assistant for science and music classes in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain before attending the University of Pennsylvania as a Master's student of Computer and Information Technology. James plans to pursue a career in firmware development after graduation and enjoys tinkering with augmented reality applications. As the newest member of the TechAhoy team, he hopes to inspire children and the community to develop technologies that benefit society and are exciting to use.

ian-headshot.png

Ian - Instructor

Ian is the founder of TechAhoy and has over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field. Throughout his career, Ian has followed his passion for sharing knowledge and strived to show others how technology can be fun and easy to use. When he’s not making, coding, or tinkering on a project, Ian can be found indoor rock climbing, running around the neighborhood, hiking, or playing soccer. Ian received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Management Information Systems from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Register your child today!

Rubber Ducky you're the one

Ian

As we mentioned on Instagram, we have entered the 2019 Red Hook Regatta. We are sailing under the mighty RHS-TechAhoy and over the past week we have been brainstorming on boat ideas. Originally, we were considering a flat top boat with a rather straight hull, but then inspiration struck and we decided to model our boat after a rubber ducky pedal boat!

Rubber Ducky you’re the one - You make 3D printing lots of fun

Rubber Ducky you’re the one - You make 3D printing lots of fun

Although this is our first time designing and 3D printing a boat we think the overall process should be straight forward. Our design will consist of three different components:

  1. the head and neck

  2. wings (largely decorative although they may help secure the cargo)

  3. the hull (catamaran style)

IMG_2237 2.jpeg

The size limit for the 3D-Printed Boat Race requires our boat to fit in a 2’ x 2’x 2’ box (or 609.6mm x 609.6mm x 609.6mm) which is fairly large considering our Prusa i3 MK3/S printers have 210mm x 210mm print beds. To print a hull that large we’ll need to split our print into three different sections.

Looking closely at the bottom of Ducky we can see two parallel hulls making it a catamaran. This double hulled design offers increased stability which may serve us well during the competition because the harbor at Valentino Pier can be a bit choppy. Typically, one trades stability for speed and while speed is important it isn’t, strictly speaking, the name of the game. The competition is won by the team with the most points achieving points by successfully ferrying foam containers from the shore to the pier where an awaiting teammate will attempt to extract the foam container from their boat using a large magnetic fishing pole. So, while a team must quickly transport cargo it must also keep the cargo secure. We are banking on secure cargo being more important than speed - we’ll see how this pans out.

Teams will compete to transport “cargo” (foam containers with metal plates) from “Stevedores” on the beach to designated “crane operators”, who will be receiving the cargo on the pier using fishing rods equipped with red magnetic hooks. Each cargo container picked up by a crane constitutes one point for that boat’s team, and the boat with the most points is the winner.

We did some intense Googlin’ and while it seems single engine catamarans aren’t a particularly good idea most of the online commentary suggests single engine catamarans should work for low-speed craft . Our Ducky won’t be breaking any speed records so this design should be ok. And reviewing Google images we found a few photos showing the underside of pedal boats which, as seen below, do have a single “engine”.

The folks at Pioneer Works really hooked us up when it came to the electronics kit which includes:

  • 4 Channel Receiver/transmitter pair

  • Motor and propeller

  • 7.4V 3300mAh Battery

  • Speed Controller

  • Steering Servo

  • Deck plate for access to electronics

  • Rubber Tubing

All of this was provided by Pioneer Works, once we registered for the race. Wow!

All of this was provided by Pioneer Works, once we registered for the race. Wow!

We ordered translucent yellow and orange PET filament from MatterHackers and it should arrive this week. Once the filament arrives we should have everything we need to put our little boat in the water! And the competition is only 20 days away so we need to get crackin’!

We will be working on the boat throughout the week and specifically focused on its build from 6:30PM - 8PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays (see the calendar) each week until the competition on Saturday, August 24th. This is a community build which means if you are in the area and want to contribute, check on our progress, or just say hello then we encourage you to stop by!


Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to receive updates for this and other projects of the week!

Jobs and Troubleshooting the MMU2S

Ian

First and foremost, we are hiring!

We are looking for a creative and energetic individual who loves sharing knowledge to join our team as a Makerspace Instructor. If you or someone you know is interested, check out our jobs page to learn more and apply.

hiringannoucement.jpg

We added a new tool to our virtual belt - the Prusa Multi Material 2S upgrade kit (MMU2S). We’ve had our eyes on the MMU2S since February, but put off ordering due to the lengthy lead times. Lead times dropped recently and we finally placed an order!

As excited as we were and confident with the Prusa brand our initial impressions were underwhelming. We have assembled three i3 MK3 kits and two i3 MK3S kits without issue and all five printers performed amazingly out of the box. The MMU2S is a different experience all together. The instructions, while clear, forked several times depending on whether you were upgrading from a MK3S/MK2.5S or MK3/MK2.5 which lead to a slower overall build as we flipped back and forth in the manual ensuring we were on the right step. And there was this curious, little feature - a razor blade to cut the strings produced by the extracted filament. The seat for the razor is barely present, nothing more than a groove, which lead to a major issue right away.

The razor would slip out of the blade-holder and create a cut on the front-PTFE-holder (pictured above right). This happened more than once and finally cut so deep it created a jagged edge which required the front-PTFE-holder be reprinted to prevent future jams. We weren’t the only ones who encountered this problem - note the 24 comments at Step 21 in the Pulley Body Assembly chapter. We took a suggestion from a few commenters and added a drop of super glue to the razor before securing it with the blade-holder and reassembling with our reprinted front-PTFE-holder.

Although we were able to resole that issue we encountered another one which again seemed out of character for the Prusa brand. The main draw of the MMU2S is its ability to print five different filaments at once. To facilitate this capability, Prusa includes five spool holders and what it calls a buffer assembly. The spool holders work well enough - they provide a smooth glide for the spools as they unroll. But, the buffer assembly is awkward to say the least. The idea is each filament has it’s own layer through which it can glide from spool to PTFE tube to MMU2S and by default the buffer assembly is affixed to the back of the MK3S which creates a logistical challenge. To change filaments, one would have to reach behind the printer and pull or push the filament through the PTFE tubes attached to either side of the buffer. Naturally, the filament wants to curl which means it doesn’t slide straight from one side of the buffer to the other. Under normal circumstances this would become a very frustrating process when swapping filament colors.

So, we ditched the buffer completely and designed our own guides to use in conjunction with our IKEA SKÅDIS pegboard! (You can download the 3D model from our Thingiverse collection.)

Our guides work pretty well, but the MMU2S is still prone to jams and requires a lot of babysitting. Fortunately, Prusa has incorporated some really great error detection into the MMU2S - the printer will kindly notify you that MMU needs user attention if there’s an issue retracting or inserting filament during transitions. The MK3S will even power down the hotend and then reheat automatically once you’ve intervened. So, despite the frequent jams we’ve yet to experience a true print failure.

It probably goes without saying, but print times are considerably longer due to the time it takes to constantly swap filaments. And the filament wipe towers produce substantial waste; in the case of the pink sheep the wipe tower was larger than the final print!

All that being said, when the MMU2S is working it is a sight to behold - it really complements the MK3S; print quality hasn’t suffered in the least! Even if the learning curve has a longer tail, the MMU2S will really add value to our print farm. We are putting it through the paces now printing a cheeky smile and some 80’s style sunglasses for legü. The latest version of PrusaSlicer is a cinch to operate; you can easily place complicated multi-part STLs and select their respective filament colors without issue.

We are excited to have the MMU2S in-house despite the issues we outlined and we look forward to mastering its setup and printing jam free!


Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to receive updates for this and other projects of the week!