I’m really pleased to announce that we’re back to running in-person Open House nights every Wednesday from 7-9pm! It’s been a long year and half, but we’re eager to see new faces (even if they’re partially covered).
With our new “season” of open house, we have a few changes:
- Tours will run at 7pm, 7:30pm, and 8pm. This will keep our volunteer guides from getting overloaded with tours. Between 8pm and 9pm tours will run as needed, and as volunteers are available.
- Masks are recommended while inside the building. If you’re vaccinated against COVID-19 you aren’t required to wear a mask, but it’s a good and simple thing to do in any case to help protect those around you.
So if you’ve been curious to find out what Twin Cities Maker is all about, come by on a Wednesday night! We’d love to meet you and show off our little workshop.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and I hope we’ll see you soon….
Scott Hill, President
Twin Cities Maker
Hello TC Makers,
The Board would like to first and foremost thank you for giving us the time and your input as we try and thoughtfully move to a more open maker space. The survey results, comments, and conversations we have had with you over the past few weeks reflect the polarization seen in the wider community over COVID-19 prevention and vaccination. Based on your feedback on June 20th 2021 we will move to align more closely with current CDC guidelines:
- Vaccinated persons do not need to wear a mask ( but we would appreciate it if you would).
- Non-vaccinated DO need to wear a mask ( and we appreciate you doing so).
- If a fellow member asks that masks be worn while working in a shared space please do so ( this falls under our core shared value , the rule of simply being excellent to each other).
There will be more movement to open TC Maker up in July and August as we work with the area managers to re-assess capacity limits and update the scheduling system in Clubhouse. What won’t be changing anytime in the near future are our fellow TC Makers that are immunocompromised or unvaccinated. As vaccination rates have soared in Minnesota leading to decreases in COVID-19 infection and mortality, what is being overlooked is a surge in cases amongst the unvaccinated and immunocompromised (Business Insider article). In fact, the infection and mortality rates in the unvaccinated are as bad as it was in December 2020 and the emergence of new variants, such as Delta, merit continued concern (CDC surveillance program).
If you are immunocompromised, unvaccinated, or have any concerns related to safety and accessibility please contact the board to discuss your specific situation by emailing the board. We’re actively exploring how to make our space more accessible to all members and it would be helpful to learn more about individual situations and requirements as the Boards conversation progresses.
Again, thank you for your continued input and we look forward to seeing everyone in TC Maker in the near future.
TC Maker Board
Long overdue…Highly anticipated…Possibly the worst kept secret…Biggest investment to date…
Thunder Laser USA – Nova 51
- 100w Laser
- 55” X 40” work area
- LightBurn Software
- Red Dot Pointer, for ‘dry run’
- Optimized raster, vector, or combined modes
- Up to 800dpi with HR Head
- Roller Rotary (for cylindrical objects)
The Nova 51 was selected from three options presented to the Board by the Laser Shop to increase capacity, expand capabilities and decrease maintenance time. Thunder laser systems have a reputation for being dependable mid-range laser cutters that can stand a lot of abuse and are backed up by excellent customer support from Thunder, USA. The order is being finalized and we expect delivery in 3-5 months.
The addition of the Nova 51 to TC Maker will necessitate a few changes as it is too large for the existing laser room. The space committee has proposed that the current classroom be subdivided into a small kitchenette, electronics workspace, multipurpose room, and much larger Laser Room. This is where the Board would like your input and help. If you have any suggestions on what the space should look like or want to help with the build out please feel free to contact us at [email protected]
Also, with the rapidly rising cost of construction materials, lumber is up 188%, the Laser Shop has started a GoFundMe page to help offset some of these higher than anticipated costs. Our community needs your help to support making this area of Twin Cities Maker a better place to make, share, & learn. Please help by giving financially, volunteering for the build, or just cheering our team along.
If you are able to give financially please use the following link:
TC Maker Laser GoFundMe
Stay tuned for more updates on the Nova 51 and shop improvements. The Board and our dedicated shop managers and volunteers have lots in plan for 2021 as we slowly re-open and can come together again as a maker community.
TC Maker Board
Annual Membership Meeting On ZOOM: Saturday, October 3
We’ve scheduled our annual meeting for Saturday 10/3, starting at 1:00pm .
To keep everyone safe we will be holding the meeting and election remotely. You be able to attend the annual meeting via Zoom, look for more meeting information to come.
We’ll go over the previous year’s financial s and major happenings, and talk about future plans. We’ll also be voting for two Governing Board seats that are up for reelection this year. There will be more information coming out as we get closer to the meeting date.
Which brings up a couple of sub-points:
Nominations for board positions are open
Have a member you think would be an excellent leader for out organization and want to nominate for the Twin Cities Maker 2020 Election? Please do email [email protected].
Eligibility Requirements: Any member in good standing and 18 years of age or older may be nominated to the Board.
The board terms are for 3 years and will expire in 2023.
Please review the Board Position and Expectations and Code of Conduct before making a nomination.
Want to know what a board meeting is like? All of our meetings are open to members! The next board meeting is Tuesday 9/8, starting at 6pm here: go.tcmaker.org/boardmeeting .
The meeting agenda is also open
Got something you’d like to discuss at the Annual Meeting? Let the Board [email protected] know that too! We need to get the agenda at least mostly set by Friday 9/25, so please submit your items before then. There will still be the chance to bring things up at the meeting, but 9/25 is the last day we can get it onto the agenda that will be sent to all members. (Why do we send it out to all members? We want members to be involved and state law says we have to!)
Want to get Involved another way? We have open shop positions that need Leaders to fill them.
These positions are an excellent way to make a positive impact on the Twin City Maker community, the lives of others in it, and those who are touched by it’s impact.
Shop General Manager
Robotics Team Coordinator
Marketing Team Volunteers
Position details and responsibilities can be found on our wiki here: https://wiki.tcmaker.org/about_us/org_chart/start
I hope you are all doing well. The shop closure has been tough, but we’re back!
Please read this message carefully, as it contains information that you will need to know to get into the shop. Remember, as much as we all want to get in and work on projects, it is important that we do so in a way that keeps everyone safe.
ILLNESS: If you are feeling unwell, or have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, please STAY HOME. If you have already been in the shop and suspect that you have COVID-19, have tested positive, or have been around someone who is confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19:
- Please email [email protected] to inform us.
- This information will only be used to the extent necessary to inform others that they may have potentially been exposed and to make decisions about closing areas of the shop for a more thorough sanitization. This information will also be needed in the event that contact tracers need information from us.
Your identity will not be made public.
LIMIT ON SHOP CAPACITY: Our big focus on helping to prevent excessive spread of covid-19 will be social distancing in the shop. Unlike our normal operation (24/7 access whenever you want), we will be limiting the number of people in the facility at any given time.
We have worked with area managers to determine how many people can be in each area while still having enough room to allow people to work at least 6 feet apart. Signs have been posted around the shop to clearly show how many people that area has been limited to.
SHOP USAGE SIGN-UP: If your membership is current, you should have received an email from [email protected] inviting you to register for our new membership dashboard. If your membership expired, or if you’re a new member, you’ll get an invite sent to you.
- Once logged into the dashboard, you will be allowed to register for one 3-hour timeslot for the area of the shop you wish to use.
- The number of spots for each area is limited to allow for social distancing.
- Each person is limited to one signup per day..
- If you find that you will not be able to make it at your designated time, please cancel your reservation. This will allow someone else to utilize that spot.
- Key fobs will be activated and deactivated according to the registrations.
WHEN IN THE SHOP:
- Please follow the MDH and CDC’s recommendations https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/prevention.html and remain at least six feet away from other people if possible.
- A face mask is required per the City of Minneapolis.
- Please wash your hands frequently. We have also stationed hand sanitizer at convenient locations around the shop.
- Please limit your work to the area that you have signed up for. Obviously people will need to do things like use the restroom, wash their hands, or grab a few items from storage; however, please avoid working in other areas.
SHOP CLEANLINESS: In addition to the normal expectation that everyone cleans up after themselves (materials and tools put away; sawdust/metal shavings swept/vacuumed), we are asking people to take some additional steps.
- Sanitize the part of equipment that gets touched (handles, buttons) before and after use.
- Follow signs for each department / piece of equipment for the appropriate type of cleaner. Some cleaners are harmful to certain materials. Please only use what the area manager has recommended.
- Please only spray cleaner onto a paper-towel and then wipe down handles / buttons. DO NOT spray cleaner onto the equipment. This can damage motors and electrical components.
MEMBERSHIPS: For both new and returning members, our sign-up process is being revised to minimize the need for face-to-face contact.
- Some contact may still be needed for key-fob hand-off.
- Due to the possibility of many people wanting to renew memberships at the same time, there may be up to a week delay on processing membership renewals. We understand that people are excited to come work on projects again; however, membership processing still relies, to some extent, on volunteer time.
Finally, I want to thank all of the people who have continued their memberships despite the shop closure. You’ve helped to sustain the organization through this trying time and ensured that we’ll be able to bounce back. A big thank you also goes out to all of our board and staff for working hard behind the scene to prepare us to have a successful reopening.
Twin Cities Maker
As most of you have heard by now, Governor Walz has extended the stay at home order to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 17. In light of this announcement, we will not be reopening the shop on May 4th.
In the meantime, the board of directors and shop managers are putting together a more detailed plan on what reopening will look like. We may also offer another round of project/materials pick-up time slots before May 18th.
Stay tuned for future updates.
The board had a lot to discuss last night about the current shop closure and what might be possible in terms of reopening. Here’s what you should know:
Materials Pickup: We’re offering another opportunity for people to come in for the limited purpose of picking up materials. Once again there is a sign-up sheet, which you can find here: PickUpSchedule. Our woodshop manager, Jon, has agreed to be present at these times to facilitate material/project retrieval to save us from having to turn keys on and off. This schedule is for April 16-18.
Limited Purpose Access: Twin Cities Maker will also be allowing limited purpose access to the shop for PPE production (masks, face shields, etc). These efforts are being coordinated to limit the number of people in the shop. Right now, Joseph is spearheading the effort to 3D print face shields for medical staff. To join the effort, email [email protected]. We will also allow access to individuals who want to use sewing for masks; however, it will need someone to coordinate the project. If you are interested, email Jamie at [email protected].
Reopening: As it stands right now, earliest we will be able to reopen the shop is May 4th due to the shelter-in-place order. Our goal is to reopen the shop to members when this order is lifted, so an actual date is very dependant on whether the governor extends this order again. Whenever we reopen, it is likely that we will initially not have public events. The other factor in whether we are able to open the shop to members is availability of PPE and cleaning supplies. Twin Cities Maker made the decision to donate most of our masks and gloves to hospitals when we closed the shop. Before we reopen, we’re hoping that we will be able to source the proper protective equipment for our normal shop hazards (skin and respiratory irritants like glue, dust, etc).
Cleaning Protocols: When the shop is reopened, there will be some additional cleaning protocols in place that we will need our members to abide by. All equipment will need to be cleaned after each person uses it to limit the potential spread of coronavirus. Because different types of equipment require different chemicals for cleaning, we’re developing a universal sign to accompany tools that will tell you what sort of cleaner to use. This will ensure that while we maintain a more sanitary work environment we are not damaging our equipment.
Finally, I want to once again thank everyone who has continued their membership despite the unavailability of a physical shop. Your support is ensuring that Twin Cities Maker will survive this pandemic and still have an amazing facility to work in.
Stay safe out there.
Tonight’s board meeting (04/14) will be held virtually via google hangouts. The link is up on the calendar.
If you decide to join us, please adhere to the following:
1) Please keep your mic muted unless actually talking. This minimises background noise that makes it hard to hear.
2) Roll call will be taken at 1900. If your login does not match your name in some easy to identify way, please let us know which login you match up with. 🙂
3) If you have a question or the board has solicited opinions and you’d like to contribute, please type two asterisks (**) and then your question / “hand raise” in the chat window. Please wait to be acknowledged before unmuting/talking. I haven’t tested how it works with calling in on the phone number and having chat window open.
4) Please be patient with us. This is our first fully virtual board meeting on google hangouts.
Hello everyone! I hope you’re all healthy and safe. Here’s an update on how things are going for Twin Cities Maker, and what the board is doing at this time to keep our organization going.
Shop remains closed past Monday 4/13…
Unfortunately, given the governor’s extension of the stay-at-home order, the shop will remain closed for the time being.
…But we’re looking at options for reopening
The board will be discussing our options for reopening at our next meeting on Tuesday 4/14. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has said that we qualify as an essential business, since many members use our facilities to maintain and improve their homes. There are conditions on that however — limited hours, number of people in the shop, etc. — so we’ll be discussing what we need to do to meet those conditions with an all-volunteer staff. This board meeting will be held online so that we don’t spread our nasty germs around. If you’d like to join the meeting, watch this space for connection info on Tuesday evening. The meeting starts at 7pm, we should have the link up by 6:30pm.
Yes, we are 3D printing PPE
Our 3D Lab staff have been coordinating the printing of PPE for area hospitals. If you have your own 3D printer, you can help out by contacting [email protected] More information can be found in the last 3D Lab newsletter. Please contact the 3D Lab staff before you print anything, so you can be sure you’re getting the latest version of the print files.
Wednesday nights are now online
Our Wednesday night open house/social meetup has moved online! It’s a nice way to catch up with people, talk about whatever comes to mind, and socialize through a rather anti-social time. The meeting goes up around 6:30pm-ish, and runs until whenever. Stop in and say hi! The link for the meeting is on the calendar.
New promo video
In all of the disorder surrounding our new viral friend we forgot to post about this: We’ve got a new cool promo video up on YouTube! Pass it along to all those people who wonder what this weird “makerspace” thing is that you keep talking about. The video is super professional — a big big thank you to everyone who helped make it possible!
Thank you for your continued support
I want to thank everyone who’s kept their memberships running through our little COVID-cation these past couple of weeks. TCMaker is in good financial shape, and your continued memberships mean that we’ll be able to get back up and running quickly once we’re all through this.
I also know a lot of you are facing some financial stresses, and have had to let your membership go. Rest assured that TCMaker will still be around when you’re back in a better place, and we’d love to see you back in the shop again.
When we all get through this, and rest assured we will all get through this, we’ll meet up, raise a glass, and compare our battle scars. Stay safe, stay healthy, get excited, and make things!
Vice President, Twin Cities Maker
The governor of MN has issued a shelter in place order starting Friday, March 27th at 11:59PM (tonight). In light of this announcement, we will be moving up the shop closure and door locking to the same time (two days early). Anyone who had timeslots scheduled on the spreadsheet (see previous post) for pickup of materials this weekend has been contacted and asked to reschedule for today.