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.


Make, learn, don’t share COVID-19

SHOP CLOSURE: Twin Cities Maker, at its core, is a community.  In the interest of that community and the public at large, from 11:59 PM on Sunday, March 22nd through Sunday, March 29th, we will be closing our shop to any work on personal projects and asking that people only come in to pick up personal items (see below). From 11:59 PM on Sunday, March 29th to Monday, April 13th we will be temporarily closing our shop to all members. This decision was difficult to make, and we hope that our members understand the importance of doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Here’s what you need to know about the temporary closure:

11:59 PM SUNDAY, MARCH 23rd: The shop is closed to members working on projects. In order to facilitate members removing any materials they would like to bring home for doing project work while practicing social distancing (or potential shelter in place order) we are allowing members to sign up on this spreadsheet TC Maker – Project Storage Retrieval Schedule – COVID19  for 1 hour time blocks to grab their stuff. We are limiting the number of people in the shop to 10 people at a time. Please limit yourself to your one hour slot that you have signed up for. 

Twin Cities Maker is not authorizing the removal of ANY tools owned by the organization for use at home. Please do not take any Twin Cities Maker property home with you. This is for insurance purposes as well as inventory tracking. 

11:59 PM SUNDAY, MARCH 29th: All access to the shop will be closed. Key fobs will be disabled for the duration of the closure and will be turned back on when the shop opens again. 

ALL CLASSES AND EVENTS from March 23rd to April 13th (or for however long the facility is closed) will be cancelled. Students already signed up for these classes will receive a full refund.

ON MONDAY, APRIL 13th: The board is keeping an eye on the situation. We hope that the shop will only be closed for a few weeks. On or around April 13th we will decide whether to reopen the shop or remain closed for a longer duration. Updates will be sent out as we know more. 

MEMBERSHIPS: We hope that many of you will show your support for our community by continuing your membership with Twin Cities Maker through this temporary shop closure. By doing so, you help ensure that this amazing organization will last through the ages (and that we continue to pay rent in the interim). If you can continue paying dues, we urge you to do so. For those who maintain their membership through these hard times, we are also offering one free month of membership, upon request, when we reopen the Hack Factory. 

We are also aware that COVID-19 may be impacting some of you financially, and will offer refunds of March memberships upon request for those who are experiencing financial hardship. For March refund requests, please email: Depending on the volume of requests, it may take some time to process them. 

NOW WHAT?!?!?! While our facilities may be closed, the Twin Cities Maker community remains alive and well. We’ll be utilizing (and sometimes experimenting with) some ways to reach out in virtual. Look for blog posts on projects people are working on at home. Connect on Facebook, Google, and Slack (email to request an invite to our slack channel — spots are somewhat limited). Some shop managers are looking into using video conferencing to host tutorials and interest groups in virtual. Look for emails containing information. 

We hope to be seeing you all before too long. 

– President Becca – 

COVID-19 Precautions

I know we’re all tired of hearing about corona virus. However, with 14 confirmed cases in Minnesota, mostly in the metro area, Twin Cities Maker has decided to take a few precautionary measures to help keep everyone healthy.

Wednesday night open house @ the Hack Factory will be cancelled for the next two weeks (until April 1, 2020). We’re sorry about the inconvenience and hope you understand.

Classes may be cancelled at the discretion of the instructor. Students will receive a full refund if their class is cancelled. Please keep an eye on Eventbrite and look for email to confirm the status of all classes.

Additionally, for any class being held before April 1st, we are allowing individuals to withdraw from the class and receive a full refund, even if they withdraw the same day of the class. We’re doing this to encourage anyone who is feeling unwell to stay home and not feel like they should attend because they’ve already paid. 

The shop will remain OPEN to all current members during this time; however, please STAY HOME if you are sick, symptomatic, have tested positive for COVID-19, or know you’ve been exposed. This is part of being excellent and keeping each other safe.

Finally, we’re encouraging everyone to take personal precautions like washing their hands, just like in this video put out by Vietnam’s Department of Health:

Thank you for your continued support.

– President Becca –

Drum Sander Offline for a While

Our Drum sander in the wood shop has been down due to it blowing a 30amp fuse whenever you try to start it.  After some exploration, it appears that the motor needs to be tore apart for further diagnosis of what is going on.  ETA of repair is unknown.  A Post and Email will go out once we know a better ETA on repair.

The laser’s combiner lens is replaced!

The laser should now have it’s aiming laser back. Since adding lenses tends to change the light a little, make sure to recheck your settings!

The laser feels a little better now, but is not out the woods.

I removed the cracked lens today and refocused the laser mirrors sans the combiner lens. In my testing the power seems to be normal on both sides of the bed now. Unfortunately, removing this lens means we don’t have red point laser for aiming .

I have ordered a new lens which should be here within a week.

If we still power issues with the laser in the coming weeks, then it probably means the tube is dying and we will have to go through the process of replacing it.

The Laser is sick!

The laser is currently not cutting consistently across the bed, and at severely reduced power on the right of the bed. I think the problem is with one of the lenses and I will hopefully get it replaced shortly. You can still use the laser, but be warned it may not work well for larger designs.


No Open House on Christmas Day

Just a quick note: We won’t be doing an open house on Christmas day (12/25). As of right now I’m planning on being at the shop on New Year’s Day, so we’ll have Open House then as usual for a Wednesday night. Have a great holiday everybody!

Prop Party Saturday, November 16

Join local members of The Replica Prop Forum for a party, with props!

Do you have an interest in building props for cosplay or your own collection? Come in and meet some local prop builders, learn some techniques, find some sources.  This event is open to all prop builders, collectors, prop curious, costumers and cosplayers.

TC Maker Members drop in whenever you want, otherwise please register on through our class registration system.  See you then!

Join Us at the Tool Swap & Expo!

Twin Cities Maker will be setting up a booth and bringing the life size operation game to the Twin Cities Tool Swap & Expo Oct 19 from 10am-4pm

Stop by to say hi, and test your operation skills 🙂

Location: Bloomington Armory, 3300 W 98th St., Bloomington

Where to Go to See More Info On the Event: