The case for Makerspaces

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
21,919
I have been a member of Dallas Maker Space for well over 5 years, I had to let my membership lapse when I had my stroke and no money, but I'm getting back in. DMS started w/ just 5 members (One of whom is one of my best friends on earth), she and I have a lot in common (nuff said) It started in a empty store front, and has had to move twice due to growing member ship and the need for more space. While they are not moving again, they are moving into a new suite next door to open more space. For me as an added bonus the new space has a handicap ramp in front! As I have said elsewhere, the main challenges is governance, an theft control. We have had problems with petty thieves in the past,but we have camera's recording through out the space, and as it happen stealing from a C305 nonprofit ups the criminal penalties substantially, so the problem is manageable. As it happens, enough people love the space that finding volunteers for various committees has not been a problem. We are up to 2500+ members and still growing. because I was one of the volunteers there everyone seems to know me.

Very soon I will have a working RFID fob as I pay my dues, and I will be back in the space again! due to idiosycracy of the forum sofware, While I started this thread, when I move Mr. chips older post in
https://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/threads/beginner-looking-for-recommendations.160777/page-4#post-1409508

he is now the thread starter for this thread, no big deal. Actually this was the first post originally.
 
Last edited:

Wolframore

Joined Jan 21, 2019
1,483
I have a lot of maker friendly equipment.... some of which are very dangerous... I would be concerned about theft, safety and abuse of equipment from lack of training and understanding (vandelism).... having said that this would be so cool. Since I never had one close enough all the free space I get (garage, basement... a little here little there has turned into mine). I had a chance to take a free Bridgeport but I no longer have the space... would have been awesome to get it... the shop that had it didn't want it any longer... in fact I get a lot of cool things from them. I recently got a Rigol 20MHz and Instek 2 MHz function generators... I would be glad to share them with a local space since they get used very rarely....
 

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
21,919
Like I said, find other like minded individuals, start a 3C05 charter, and all of you can chip into renting a space somewhere, like a Climate controlled storage shed. Make it open to the public, Use another maker space for rules, It might be self supporting in two years. Mine uses 4 tablet kiosks where people interested in joining sign a waver (I joke if you cut something off, take it with you to the hospital and don't sue the Space. Seems kinda obvious, but you have to cover your butts. Also, we have a rule, no sleeping in the space. Seems some members figured monthly dues were cheaper than an apartment, after all it is climate controlled, and has bathrooms. What else do you need? Cameras everywhere of course. We have enough IT types as members our computer needs are met. With 1 TB hard drive going for less than $60 nowdays, we record everything. Did I mention the free classes as a community service? We give free tours (after signing the waver) ever Thursday evening to recruit new members. DMS is one of the largest Spaces in the world. I was amazed how quickly it became self sustaining. It have only two paid employees, cleaning staff (waste cans and floor cleaning), and a CPA. Open to members literally 24/7. RFID means no guards needed. With as many members we have it cover basic maintenance issues and allow the Space to get new toys.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
5,853
There’s one in Boston. I was about to join, but there was one piece of equipment I needed that they didn’t have. I tried to think of a project that I could do there...

And realized I had too many projects on my plate. And to pay for a new one didn’t make sense at the time.

I was also looking for an oscilloscope, but cmartinez suggested an adequate model that cost less than 1/2 of the dues.
 

Wolframore

Joined Jan 21, 2019
1,483
That’s why I believe it should be non for profit like a library but just cooler. There’s got to be a model that makes sense so folks can enjoy and learn.... but also keep the maker space running without anyone taking over and hogging it. Maybe someone will figure it out.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
5,853
That’s why I believe it should be non for profit like a library but just cooler. There’s got to be a model that makes sense so folks can enjoy and learn.... but also keep the maker space running without anyone taking over and hogging it. Maybe someone will figure it out.
Boston is a non-profit
 

Wolframore

Joined Jan 21, 2019
1,483
dj what are the fees like? If the maker space had incredible equipment it might be worth it.

In the military I discovered that you can rent a lift and do your oil changes and maintenance for a token amount. I believe at the time it was $3/hr to cover fees and maintenance. There were tools and guys around to help. It’s a wonderful thing. My buddy used to make things in the wood shop...

I believe it was run by MWR.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
5,853
dj what are the fees like? If the maker space had incredible equipment it might be worth it.

In the military I discovered that you can rent a lift and do your oil changes and maintenance for a token amount. I believe at the time it was $3/hr to cover fees and maintenance. There were tools and guys around to help. It’s a wonderful thing. My buddy used to make things in the wood shop...

I believe it was run by MWR.
$50 per month
 

Wolframore

Joined Jan 21, 2019
1,483
Might be easier if it was pay as you go or some sort of card that tracked something. $50 ($600 annual) = lot of money = projects or equipment for guys like us especially while starting out. I still pick up thrown out electronics to save a few bucks and feed my curiosity. Like my new vacuum fluorescent display. Must be working for them.
 
Last edited:

killivolt

Joined Jan 10, 2010
742
There’s one in Boston. I was about to join, but there was one piece of equipment I needed that they didn’t have. I tried to think of a project that I could do there...

And realized I had too many projects on my plate. And to pay for a new one didn’t make sense at the time.

I was also looking for an oscilloscope, but cmartinez suggested an adequate model that cost less than 1/2 of the dues.
I am looking to get rid of Mine, it is complete. Does both Analog and Digital. PM me if you want it.

kv
 

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
21,919
ABout the same for Dallas, but you can joinwhen you have a project, and cancel it when you don't. On par w/ tool rental IMO.
 
Top