Category: Classes

The Zero To Maker event was conceived to help new members get up to speed with safety training and equipment usage at the COG. In one shot, we could cover some of the most popular pieces of equipment and make sure everyone was checked out on safety procedures, along with receiving a new ID card to allow access into the space. It worked well, but had some limitations… which is why we’ve rebuilt it from the ground up!

Weekly classes – More time – Continuous availability

Rather than a quasi-monthly event where all the information needs to be crammed into a 3 hour session, we’re moving to a weekly class series format. Each Tuesday from 7pm – 8pm we will have one of the core Zero To Maker classes. If you happen to miss one, no worries! It will be back in another 4 weeks! It also means that an opportunity for a refresher class is available, just in case you’re a bit rusty!

While the original Z2M sessions spent only 20 minutes per zone, the new format allocates a full hour for instructions, demonstrations and questions! In the case of some classes, like the laser cutting class, an online video will also be available for review in advance of the class so that the in-person session can be more hands-on.

Here is the current schedule of classes:

  • June 7th – 3D Printing
  • June 14 – Laser Cutter
  • June 21 – Wood Shop
  • June 28 – Fiber Arts

Based on the feedback from the initial 4-week run, we will make adjustments to improve the program. Please let us know if you have any questions, comments or concerns about the new format!

Saturday, June 4th

1 P.M. – 4 P.M.

TVCOG Kitchen and Lounge

Back to the Beginning!
Over the past 20 years, the homebrew revolution has completely changed the course of beer
drinking in America. Where once a small number of nearly identical beers of very simple, light
character dominated, now drinkers have literally thousands of choices with a wide range of flavors,
textures and recipes.
Homebrewing is an exciting hobby that can range from simple and inexpensive
to wildly complex and capital intensive. Recipes can be bought pre-packaged, as raw materials, or
anywhere in between. Beer is now something *anyone* can hack, and members of the Tech Valley Center Of Gravity have expressed strong interest in joining the homebrew movement.
This Pod will is an informal gathering open to everyone from neophyte to brewmaster, where we can talk, learn, brew, and sample together. This time, we’ll be designing and building out our brewing closet, sampling our last brew, and depending on manpower, starting our next one! It is a free event, but donations to the cause are always welcome!


We’re two weeks away from our first major Hackathon, and we already have 80 hackers registered! If you’re interested in learning more about it, and registering for the event, please check out the IoT Hackathon nexus at

We are going to start having daily updates to the event information page, and also tweets as the event draws near, so now is a good time to follow us on Twitter @TVCOG

There are several topics in the discourse forums that are soliciting feedback from the community, including posts on removing some clutter from the makerspace, forming groups in different zones of operations to manage and maintain equipment, and feedback on our web presence. Jump in! You can join Discourse at

Upcoming Events

A complete list of events is on our calendar, but I wanted to point out a few near-term highlights:

  • General Meeting – Tues, Jan 19th 7pm – 8pm: Robert Tait will share information from his trip to CES, and we’ll discuss Hackathon prep.
  • 3D Printing Syndicate – Thurs, Jan 21st – 6pm – 9pm: Hang out with the largest 3D printing meetup in the Capitol Region!
  • Intro To Laser Cutting & Engraving – Friday, Jan 22nd – 7pm – 10pm: Learn how to use Big Red for laser cutting & engraving. This class has sold out the last 3 times it was offered, so register now at
Many of us start the New Year with a resolution or two, and it’s typically the usual litany of things we’d like to do differently. Maybe it’s to lose some weight, get organized, or spend less / save more… those are the top three statistically speaking. However, I’m adding one to my list, and I invite you to do the same: Make something every week.

Resolutions are about establishing new habits, and breaking bad ones. I know personally that I get caught up in so many other things that I often don’t take the time to be a maker (though Bob likes to give us an out by saying that we’re making a Makerspace…). So I’m going to make it a habit. Every week. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, it doesn’t have to save the world, but it does have to scratch that maker itch. I hope that others will do the same, and a little habit can become a BIG one!

Zero To Maker – Jan 9th, 2016: 10am – 12:30pm.

What better way to start the New Year Making Resolution than with Zero To Maker, our event to jump-start your skills and get you working in the makerspace! Come sign up, get your ID card, and receive your new member initiation and Red/Yellow safety training on some of the power tools. You’ll also get an introduction to using the laser cutters and 3D printers, all in one morning.

The event will be starting promptly at 10am, so please be on-time or early.

There is no cost to attend, but to participate, you must have a Full Membership or higher. See membership options here.

Save time on the day of the event by filling out the form and paying for your membership online before you arrive. If you have an Associate Membership, you may upgrade it to Full Membership at this time as well. PLEASE BRING YOUR MEMBERSHIP NUMBER WITH YOU!

Please RSVP using the Universe sign-up page or RSVP to so we have some idea of how many to expect. Walk-ins will be accepted as space allows.

Ok, maybe that’s a good description for life in the second week of December as a general principle, but it is definitely true that we have a fantastic assortment of opportunities this week, from making & coding to 3D design and marketing… there is something for everyone here at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity! In addition to our usual Social Night (Tuesday, Dec 8th starting at 6:30pm), here is a quick summary of the awesome on-deck:

  • Homeschool littleBits Workshop – Wednesday, Dec 9th, 1:30 – 3:30pm: A great opportunity for homeschooled kids to learn how to create and design with littleBits, a small library of easy-to-use electronic building blocks that snap together with magnets. Registration is required through Eventbrite at and there are a limited number of seats (only two left as of this writing).
  • Tech Valley Solidworks Users Group – Wednesday, Dec 9th, 5:30pm – 8:30pm: Presentations and networking on Solidworks, a leading 3D CAD and Simulation tool. Hosted in the SEFCU Community Room at the TVCOG. Please RSVP to so they have enough food and prizes!
  • Tech Valley Game Space Social Night – Wednesday, Dec 9th, 6pm – 9pm: Fun time talking about games, development and cool projects. Hosted in the TVCOG main hall. 
  • Photoshop 1 – Out of the Gate – Wednesday, Dec 9th, 6:30pm – 8pm. Learn the basics of photoshop that will form the foundation for enthusiasts and pro-users going forward. Hosted in the Board Room at the TVCOG, requires registration through Eventbrite at
  • Entrepreneur REBOOT Session – BRAND – Friday, Dec 11th, 12pm – 2pm. Part of the monthly Entrepreneur REBOOT series offered by the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce. This session is on BRAND with a real group of power players in the industry…Kelly McMurray from 2Communique, Jake Dumesnil and Tom Nardacci from Gramercy, and Duncan Crary of Duncan Crary Communications. This workshop is free to boot camp graduates and members of TVCOG. Please RSVP by emailing Janet at
  • Tech Valley Game Space: Ludum Dare 34 – Friday, Dec 11th – 7:30pm – Monday, Dec 14th, 10:30pm: The largest online game jam where participants race against time to create a game in 72 hours or less! TVGS will be working through the weekend, offering team building exercises and motivation, camaraderie and inspiration for newcomers and experienced alike to participate. Check out the calendar listing for full details!
  • THINQubator: Kids Night Out – Saturday, Dec 12th 5:30pm – 9:30pm: This event is Holiday themed. Make decorations on the laser cutter, 3D printer, with LEDs, or wood. Registration is required, and you can register through:
  • Holiday Gift Workshop: Snowman! – Saturday, Dec 12th, 6pm – 10pm: How to make a 3D printed snowman ornament. This event requires registration at
  • Holiday Gift Workshop Series – Jewelry Making – Sunday, Dec 13th, 6pm -10pm: This event is taught by Irene Purificato and will feature making jewelry as a holiday gift. Registration is required for this event through

WHEW! As usual, to learn more about the above events and ones further in the future, please consult our calendar at

Please note that our next General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec 15th from 6pm – 8pm!

This past week we had our SPECTRVM Services launch event, and we are pleased to announce the following organizations (in alphabetical order) are Charter Members of SPECTRVM:

  • All Over Albany – Content Creation, Online Advertising, Media Sponsorships & Strategies
  • Amala Consulting – Grant Writing
  • Capital Region Chamber – Entrepreneurship boot camps, networking and government relations and advocacy
  • Dalle Accounting and Cash Management – Financial services and reporting, including taxes, payroll and regulatory filings. 
  • Duncan Crary – Publicity, Communications and Event Consultant
  • Koppett – Leadership and Team development, Executive and Presentation Coaching, Meeting facilitation
  • One Hudson – Engages entrepreneurs and organizations exploit and develop disruptive technologies
  • Pinnacle Human Resources – Hiring, Recruiting and Developing Human Resources 
  • Saratoga National – Business Banking and Finance
  • Schwartz Heslin Group – Mergers, acquisitions, capital raising, business valuation, and other strategic and corporate finance matters
  • Tech Valley Innovation Research – Technology prototyping and consulting

If you missed the event and you want to register as an entrepreneur or company interested support from SPECTRVM Services, please send an e-mail to Tom Tongue ( and we will get you set up!

One of the best things from being a part of the Tech Valley Center of Gravity is seeing all of the creative and entrepreneurial endeavors that are going on in the Capital Region. This week is a great example, with two great events you’re going to want to come down for:

  • Pitch Night – Tuesday, Nov 17th from 6pm – 9pm: Five minute pitches by teams or companies looking to get feedback on their product or idea, especially with regard to selling to global markets. This event is held with Autonomy Distributors, and is a repeat of last years successful event.
  • AlgoRave 0x00 – Friday, Nov 20th from 8pm – 11pm: Our first music event! Join us for an evening of live audio-visual performance mixing electro-acoustic improvisation with live-coded sound and image.

Please see our web site calendar for complete descriptions at:

In addition to the two events above, theres plenty of other exciting events and meetings this week at the TVCOG:

  • Tech Valley Game Space – Lesson Night: How to make games with RPG Maker VX Ace – Thursday, Nov 19th 6pm – 9pm in SEFCU Community Room: Drawing upon the love of the classic 16-bit RPGs of yesteryear, Enterbrain’s RPG Maker allows anyone to easily create the type of colorful tile-based RPGs made popular by games such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Whether you’re a gamer, hobbyist or professional, RPG Maker is simple enough for a novice and powerful enough for an expert developer.
  • 3D Printing Syndicate of Albany – Thursday, Nov 19th 6pm – 9pm in the Main Hall: Monthly meetup of 3D Printing Enthusiasts – come meet, share tech and experience and find out about new projects and software.
  • MakerFront i3PRO Build Event – Saturday, Nov 21st from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm: Come build your i3PRO with it’s engineer! If you recently purchased an i3PRO from MakerFront, but you haven’t built it yet, this is a great opportunity to build it with others and get some pro help.

Just a quick reminder that we have our SPECTRVM launch event coming up Thursday, Nov 12th from 5pm – 7pm! SPECTRVM is a curated selection of service providers that understand the unique challenges that start-ups and small businesses face, and can scale their service offerings to meet those needs. I’m pleased to announce we have eleven Charter Members of SPECTRVM with services ranging from accounting and payroll, to human resources, publicity, management, and investment.The event itself will provide an overview of the SPECTRVM service and upcoming entrepreneurship events, and an opportunity to meet with providers and learn more about the services they provide. Please RSVP through Eventbrite at

ZERO TO MAKER: Saturday, Nov 14th – 10am – 2pm. This our big event to get training to new members! If you haven’t joined the TVCOG yet, this is the perfect opportunity to come onboard and get making quickly! Please spread the word about this event, and if you’re a new member, this is where you’ll get the safety training, and learn how to work with the 3D printers, laser cutter and more! Attached is a flyer for the Zero To Maker event, please share it!Flyer.TVCOG Zero To Maker.111415

Our next General meeting will be on TUESDAY, September 29th from 6:30pm – 8pm in the SEFCU Community room at the new TVCOG! This is going to be a fun and important meeting, so please plan to attend! It will be fun because we’ll have highlights from Maker Faire NYC. It will be important because we’re holding a Board of Directors Special Election to fill a board seat vacancy. This means we need QUORUM, but thanks to the recent meeting, we only need 20% of the voting members. Still, if you can make it, please do, and if you can’t, please arrange for a proxy.

LAST CHANCE – The Introduction to TIG Welding class by Bob Bownes is tomorrow (Saturday, Sept 19th) from 10am – 2pm. This is a members-only class and is limited to 6 students, please register in advance through

ZERO TO MAKER: Sunday, Sept 20th – 10am – 2pm. This our big event to get training to new members! Please spread the word about this event, and if you’re a new member, this is where you’ll get the safety training, and learn how to work with the 3D printers, laser cutter and more! Details at: 

WORK PARTY – We continue to peck away at adding capabilities to the new space at the Q and moving old stuff out of the old TVCOG. Tomorrow (Saturday, Sept 19th) from 1pm – 5pm we will have a work party to (hopefully) accomplish the following tasks:

  • Setup tools on individual woodworking stations
  • Move vinyl curtains from old COG to cover the entrance to the wood shop as a dust barrier
  • Install the board room table in the board room on its table legs and move the board room chairs into place
  • Hang whiteboard in the board room / conference room.
  • Bring cubicle walls from the Super-Sekrit Storage facility to establish a temporary COG office 
  • Set up the card printer and COG admin computer so we can make RFID cards at Zero to Maker on Sunday
  • Move the projector from the old space to the SEFCU Community Room
  • Setup QR Code station to provide members with the lock-box code to open the doors while we wait for the RFID readers to be installed
  • Setup user storage areas (involves picking up the shelving from HD, setting them up, etc).
  • Anything else we see as an area of high need!
  • If you can’t make it for the work party, but can come earlier, let Tom Tongue ( know and he can provide suggestions for single person activities that will be a great help!

Just a reminder, if you have not already checked out our new discussion system (Discourse), you’ve missed our deliberations on the new laser cutter, CNC Router and 3D printer. Please check it out at:

To sign in, you can use your Google ID, so there is no separate sign-in process! SUPER EASY. Please join us and give comments on how we can use this tool to share information and facilitate a continuous discussion about the life and growth of our community.


Yesterday we set up the main floor of the new space at the Quackenbush building!! Thank you to every who came to help lift, carry, setup and test equipment in the new space! Thanks to all your hard work, we are now partially online in the new space, and definitely making progress on the rest! Want to see some photos of the results? Erica Iannotti took some snaps at the end of the day, and they are now posted to our Flickr pool at:

With the new space now ready for members, we have the volunteer shifts operating out of the Quackenbush building now. So if you are scheduled for a volunteer shift, please contact Tom Tongue ( to find out how access to the building is currently arranged. We are still working with the landlord and the security equipment contractor to get maglocks and RFID readers installed so that we can switch over to our new and improved access control system. Until then, we have KEYS.
Speaking of volunteering, Tom Yanuklis has put out the call for September volunteers!
We encourage there to be at least 2 volunteers on duty a a time, so don’t get discouraged from an ideal time if you see a name there. EMAIL: to be added, we’ll send a google calendar invite to confirm. Remember: 8 hours of volunteer duty gets you $20 off your membership renewal the following month!
This week we have a bunch of events! All of them will be at the Quackenbush building! Here is the list:
  • Shapecrete Instructables Build Night – with Jayme Wood! Monday, August 31st @ 6pm. We received quite a bit of Shapecrete to support this build night, so please come out and see what this stuff can do! More info:
  • Social Night! Come hang out on Tuesday night (Sept 1st) from 6:30pm – 8:30pm, check out the new space and think about the next project you want to make! Also… in the interests of full disclosure, there will probably be more setup and such to do. 🙂 More info:
  • COG Reads – hosted by Jayme Wood. Wednesday, Sept 2nd! Our first book club / reading group meeting! More info:
  • Arduino 101 – Friday, Sept 4th from 6:30pm – 9:30pm in the SEFCU Community Room. This class is taught by Tom Tongue and is part of the “Microcontrollers for Makers” series, and is limited to 10 students. You must register to attend through Universe, and the class is $30 per student. If you don’t already have an Arduino Uno, please contact Tom (email: and there are kits available for $35 that include an Uno clone, LEDS, switches, breadboards and other neat stuff. More info and registration at:
Please help us fill our calendar with the exciting variety that will attract a diverse membership to the TVCOG. We’ve got a shiny new community room that is perfect for classes and workshops (available NOW)! If you’ve taught a class in the past, or would like to now, please contact Kathy Ceceri ( or fill out an event submission at
Just a quick reminder to consider these other modes of getting your TVCOG fix:
Thanks again for being a part of the growing Maker community in the Capital District. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, let me know!
All the best,