Hackers – Getting started with 3D printers


At the Hackers group, we started learning how to use 3D printers this week. 3D printers are a fantastic technology for turning 3D computer models into physical objects. They are also impressively inexpensive, with the Arduino-based Materia 101 printer that we are using costing about €600.

Thanks a million to Kevin Madden who joined the group to show us how to use 3D printers. Thanks also to his employer, Boston Scientific, who have loaned three 3D printers to us and are also covering the cost of the plastic “ink” used in them. Thanks also to Kevin’s colleague Cathal Egan of Boston Scientific, who initially offered the printers to us.

Here are Kevin’s notes on how to set up a 3D printer: 3d-printer-setup (PDF)

Here are the configuration files needed: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6otj5ok7i00ikds/Slic3r-Materia101-Settings.zip?dl=0

And here also is a diagram Kevin prepared, showing the 3D printing workflow:


At our next session, we will look at how to do some 3D modelling to create objects we can print. Should be fun!

Explorers – Writing Commands to move sprites

Hi everyone,

We had a great crowd for our first session in our Explorers group. A big welcome to all our new Ninja’s and of course a special welcome back to our younger Ninja’s from last year, who are still with us.

Thank you all for coming and for your patience while we got everyone sorted out with downloading Scratch 2.

We started today with our first game, as well as learning how to write commands to move our sprites, we took a brief look at the interface for Scratch 2.


We also took a first look at some fundamental concepts that we will be using throughout the year. Today we looked at the X and Y axis as well as the number of degrees in a circle.








Here are the presentation slides from the day, in PDF format: cda-s6-week_02-firstgame.pdf

I hope you all enjoyed today and hope to see you all again over the next couple of weeks!



Welcome to the 2016-17 Season at CoderDojo Athenry!


We had a great first day back at CoderDojo Athenry on 17 September 2016, with about 205 young people and their parents attending the first day.

In case you missed the session, you can review the introduction notes here:
1-coderdojoathenry-infosession-2016-sept (PDF)

This year, we have renamed our groups:
  1. Explorers, led by Martha, was formerly the Scratch Beginners group, as well as Scratch, it will include graphics packages and stop-motion animation — overview notes here: 4-explorers-wk1_information-session (PDF)
  2. Advancers, led by Mark and Oliver, was formerly the Scratch Advanced group, and will feature more advanced projects Scratch and packages such as GameMaker — overview notes here: 5-advancers-coderdojoathenry-kickoff-sept2016 (PDF)
  3. Bodgers, led by Declan, was formerly the Raspberry Pi group and will involve hardware and electronics projects — overview notes here: 6-bodgers-coderdojoathenry-info-sept2016 (PDF)
  4. Creators, led by Kieran, was formerly the Unity group and will involve 3D game development in Unity, complemented by 3D modelling and sound effects — overview notes here: 7-creators-coderdojoathenry-kickoff-sept2016 (PDF)
  5. Hackers, led by Michael, is a new group, and is a hacker space for CoderDojo Athenry, with more in-depth projects building on technologies learned in other groups, as well as new ones — overview notes here: 8-hackers-coderdojoathenry-infosessoin-2016 (PDF)

We encourage people to work through the groups in the order listed above. Creators and Hackers are aimed at young people in secondary school.

For the Bodgers group, Declan has also posted additional notes about getting started: Bodgers-Setting up our laptops.

See you all next week!

Bodgers-Setting up our laptops

We returned today after the break with a new name for our group, the Urban Dictionary defines a Bodger as:

1. Anyone who creates objects (machines, vehicles, buildings , etc.) from a mishmash of found or improvised materials.
2. An expert in bodging.
3. An unorthodox hobbyist or artist whose body of work has been cobbled together from garbage or materials used in ways that deviate from their intended purpose.

Every bodger knows that PVC pipe and duct tape are two most important resources on Earth.
You can commonly find bodgers in their natural habitat: hardware stores, dumpsters, and junkyards.

Some of us got a chance to install the software we will need over the next few week but some of us didn’t get a chance to. I have a few slides with instructions for installation here.download-installation-instructions

I’m really looking forward to doing cool stuff with cool Bodgers over the next year.

Congratulations CoderDojo Athenry Members at Coolest Projects 2016!

Congratulations to everybody from CoderDojo Athenry who participated in the CoderDojo Coolest Projects on 18 June 2016.

12 children from CoderDojo Athenry presented their group or individual projects at Coolest Projects in the RDS Dublin – this is the annual competition organised by CoderDojo, and had over 700 projects from Ireland and internationally.

We are very proud of everybody who participated, including 5 of them who won prizes: Shane won top prize in the Hardware category for his Flood Gauge project, Roy won a runner-up prize in the Games category for his Pretendo arcade game project, and Ruaidhri, Luke and Oisin won a runner-up prize in the Games category their Broken Island game written in Unity.