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

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

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Rubber Ducky you're the one

Ian Smith

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!


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Jobs and Troubleshooting the MMU2S

Ian Smith

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!


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helloworld

Ian Smith

Hello, Ridgewood! And hello, world!  We are very pleased to announce that TechAhoy, a non-profit makerspace is coming to Ridgewood, NY.  

We are in early stages of building out the space, so our journey has just begun.  If you are interested in being a part our new space please fill out our form so we can gather more information and best serve the community.

A makerspace is place where individuals can come together to learn, share, and build!

We plan on offering classes and programming in a variety of subjects, but we also want to be a staple providing you a place to show up and ask a million questions, tinker on your latest creation, design a 3D model, make a quick print of a prototype, design a video game, explore a new medium, take advantage of our soldering irons and hand-held tools, hunker down for hours with your head buried in code, or just take advantage of our free wifi.

We have completed our interior renovations and are presently adding the final touches to make the space a welcoming environment for everyone.  Please stay tuned, follow us on Twitter (@techahoynyc) and Instagram (@techahoynyc), or just check back here to see our progress!