Everything TOG in August, craft, code, lock picking, CAD, book club, free events in Dublin!

Hello all,

Craft Night: Runs on Wednesdays, the 8th and the 22nd August at 7pm. Knitting? Crochet? Embroidery? Laser cutting? 3D printing? Join us and work on something you know, or learn something you don’t.

We are supporting the great Dublin Raspberry Pi Jam crew to put on their first jam. It will be hosted in the Science Gallery on Saturday August 11th from 12:30. You can join the waiting list on the main event page -> https://ti.to/dublin-raspberry-pi-jam/first-pi-jam

Electronics and Micro Controller Night: Runs on Mondays, the 13th and 27th of August at 7pm. Arduinos, Raspberry Pis and Intel Galileos are just some of the things you can work on down here, or try our introductions to electronics worksheet. Recommended you bring your own laptop.

The Science Fiction Book Club gets ambitious this month, we’ve chosen two Philip K. Dick novels: A Scanner Darkly from 1977, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the inspiration for the 1982 classic filmBladerunner. The meeting to talk about them is the last Wednesday of the month, 29th August.

Lock-Picking: Runs on Monday 20th of August at 7pm. Come down and try your hand at cracking open tumbler, tubular or warded locks.

Open Social: Runs on Saturday the 18th of August at 7pm. Join us for an evening of conversations, games and our glorious hand made wood fired pizza.

Coding: Runs on Monday 20th of August at 7pm. Come down and work on a project or help others with theirs. Laptop and project of your own recommended.

Wikipedia Editing: Runs on Wednesday the 29th of August at 7pm. Ever wondered how to get started editing Wikipedia? Come along and will get you adding to the world’s largest open collaborative knowledge project. All are welcome, no editing experience is necessary and the event is free, just turn up with a laptop to start editing.

If you happen to visit EMF Camp from the 31st of August, be sure to drop by the Irish Embassy.

Remember, TOG is run by members, if you want to get involved and help run events + get full access to the workshop and facilities, talk to any member about joining.

Upgrading the 3D Printer

After some TLC was offered up to Tog’s 3D printer, by way of a little restoration and tuning, it became very clear that the current hotend was on its way out.

Tog’s Lulzbot Taz 3.0 FDM 3D Printer has been deprecated and is approximately 3 versions behind the current technology. What’s worse is that the nozzles for the extruder were not standardised, byt comparison the E3D V6 style hotend and nozzles have been almost universally adopted. Even by manufacturers.

So, in case you’ve been wondering why Tog’s 3D printer has been out of action for approximately the past 2 weeks, thats why. I have started the process of upgrading the extrusion system to use an E3D V6 style hotend. Initally I tried some chinese clones (the designs are GPL’d after all!) but found their quality seriously wanting. I cannot comment on the genuine article as the order appears to have been lost in the UK postal system for the time being.

The main issue with changing from the Lulzbot Budaschnozzle v2.0 configuration to an E3D V6 is that there is apparently no models or designs we can draw from to make a mount. So I had to design one from scratch. I say design one, but actually there were many designs. The first was a laser cut wood mount – It worked but it just didnt feel like it what I was experiencing was truely level.

As I am lucky enough to have a Prusa i3 MK3 printer of my own, so I have been iterating over the design and protyping a lot of different variations to see what works. When I say a lot, I do really mean a lot…


I think now I have finally I settled on this design:


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The current backplate – which is already a reasonably good hot-plug-able system, is replaced with an altered one. This new one comes with a 5 x 7 grid (14mm spacing) of 4mm hex cavities which will be used as a ‘mechanical key’ to home whatever tool is installed. This way we come a little bit closer to achieving “true level”, mostly. It also has the added feature of supporting many different applications in the one piece – wheras originally it only supported the extruder assembly and the stock nozzle, this new design could even be used for things such as drawing circuits or as a plotter.

As I’ve been using AutoDesk Fusion 360 to design it, you can use this link to see the current model and download it if you so desire. It is still very much a work in progress,  however.


3D Printer Restoration and Tuning

In 2014 Tog won a Lulzbot Taz 3, since then it has been used on and off and mostly off for the past 2 yrs. During this time, there was very little, if any maintenance carried out on the printer. As a result, it had become gunked up with the remains of previous prints. From shavings in the extruder to melted plastic stuck all over the nozzle and heat brake, it was pretty messy.

As I had recently ordered a Prusa i3 MK3 for myself, I thought it was as good an excuse to reintroduce myself to the nitty gritty of 3D printing – by restoring the Tog Lulzbot Taz 3.

The first issue was that because the Lulzbot Taz 3, or at least our version of it, had no endstop switches on one side of the Z Axis (they’re are actually only one for each axis, presumably only used for homing), it was incredibly easy to instruct the 3D Printer to break itself – and that’s precisely what had happened.


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One of the Z-Axis followers had been broken into two while the X-Axis and Extruder assembly was being raised too high and hit into the main frame of the printer. This resulted in a broken part. 

The emergency fix for this was to use zip ties to hold the follower together just long enough to print replacement parts (pictured right). We were actually incredibly lucky that this worked! If it hadn’t there would’ve been no way to fix this part without finding another 3D printer to produce the necessary part – but as it was, the temporary fix worked just long enough for us to do a few test prints and to print an actual working replacement part. Albeit in PLA which is not ideal, but it works!


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Once the 3D Printer was back to being somewhat functional, I set to task to begin calibrating and cleaning and doing basic maintenance on it – something which has been sorely missing for the past 4 or so years of its operation.

The print bed had years worth of hair spray caked onto it, so a lot of time was spent scraping that off and wiping it clean with isopropyl alcohol (99%). Then doing basic tasks such as levelling the bed, re-homing the z-axis etc. After all that we printed some calibration prints


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After a little tweaking, we measured that the prints were +/- within 5% of the expected outcome. So for a 20mm part, it could be anywhere between 19 and 21mm. This is far from ideal for mechanical fitting parts, but its a good start. 

The next task on the docket was to clean up the hot-end. It had accrued quite a lot of grime over the years, so I set to task to cleaning it up. First I tried some acetone, which removed some of the lingering ABS plastic, but the PLA was completely untouched. After inspecting the nozzle, it became clear that it has been seriously worn out after years of use, so I was okay with being a little less delicate with it than I would ordinarily, so I used a wire wheel to clean and polish both the heat brake and the nozzle itself.

3D Printer Screen Shot 09-06-2018, 23.12 (1)

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This is only the start, we have a lot more maintenance and upgrade tasks. 

#BigDayIn #SnowDay3 #Liveblog

It may be snowing outside, and the Big Day Out was cancelled, but TOG has been featuring some of the technology and projects we work with over on our Twitter account. We have complied some of the resources here as well so it is easier to reference. Remember to ask us questions or share what you are up to today using the hashtag #BigDayIn

Coding and Computers

Head of Education at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Carrie Anne Philbin, put together this great series called Crash Course Computer Science. It explains a lot of useful theory about how computers work and the videos are really easy to understand.


We found this really cool basic Introduction to Electronics series.

This is video is an introduction to the Arduino board, really useful for sensors.

This video introduces the Oscilloscope.


Continue reading “#BigDayIn #SnowDay3 #Liveblog”

Lego Automaton Jukebox – stage 0.2 incomplete, stage 0.3 started

It takes time & certain amount of failed ideas to design anything. Ideas rarely come in a box, they require slow birth rather than rapid unpacking.

STAGE 0.1 IdeaBuldozer-01

B: “What would you build if I gave you a coin counter?

I: ”Any purpose?”

B: ”Yes, to make a machine so the visitors put money in.”

I: ”hmmm… a Jukebox? … hmm with dancing Ducks…”

STAGE 0.2 Learning

I have decided to build prototype of an automaton from Lego Technic. There were plenty sets & I have never had an opportunity to play with those… ehhh Lego <3

Day 1: some basic Lego models from booklets

Day 2: big bulldozer started – learning Lego

Day 3: BREAK sorting bricks day… too hard too find elements anyway.

Day 4: BREAK DISASTER element needs to be ordered online

Day 5: BREAK unsuccessful at building part replacement from other bricks

Day 6-9: BREAKBuldozer-04

Day 10: part arrives 😀

Day 11: model is finished… gears aren’t working

Day 12: disassembling 🙁

Day 13: Here we go again!

Day 14-15: It works! – Lego lvl Advanced reached.

Day 16: Time to upgrade!

Day 17: I hbrick-01ave decide to add electronics from Lego Mind Storm Setbrick-02

Day 18- 28: BREAK – Dublin Maker




Upon my positive experience with Lego & positive associations towards bricks from public I have decided to build actual Automaton from Lego. Ducks bricks will have to be designed & 3D printed.Buldozer-02

STAGE 0.3 3D printing Lego Bricks

Day …XX(lost count, but it’s today) First general Lego Piece was 3D printed 🙂

SUCCESS 3D printed Lego piece fits with regular bricks!


  • Build automaton
  • Design Lego Bricks in a shape of Ducks
  • 3D print Ducks
  • program Bulldozer (why not its almost done!)
  • find manual for coin counters…

Would you like to try to create own designs? Come along to our ongoing (every second Monday) CAD workshop in Tog. Looking forward to see you here – next class 17th of August 2015.



Latest decision –  to add Arduino & remote controller to Bulldozer 😀