Welcome to the Kalamazoo Maker space where the only limits are your imagination.
Our facility is available to you to build nearly anything you want, with the resources you need.
This is your space to create, design and explore new creative disciplines
The handbook is your starting guide to your maker journey. More detailed information on just about every subject covered here is on our Wiki at https://www.kzoomakers.org/wiki
Everything we do boils down to personal responsibility. This goes from asking for help when you don’t know how to do something, to cleaning up after yourself, to not showing up when you are contagious with ebola.
You are responsible for your actions. This document does not spell out every detail of what is expected. We also expect you to stay up-to-date on policy changes, and we consider it our responsibility to make it easy to do so.
Kzoo Makers is made up of people from all walks of life: different ages, educational backgrounds, genders, sexual preferences, political affiliations, occupations, religions, nationalities, etc. Kzoo Makers strive to be inclusive.
We like that every person will approach an issue differently. Together, we can work as a team. Having so much diversity requires that everybody have a sense of respect for themselves as well as for those around them. This includes understanding that we are all very different, and realizing that the best solution to a problem may come from an unexpected source. This is not a place to be arrogant. This is a place to be successful.
New Member Signup
Congratulations on making the decision to sign-up! A Coordinator will be available on the same days that tours are regularly scheduled. Check kzoomakers.org for current hours. Forms of payment include PayPal (has a service charge), check or cash. You can use a credit card with PayPal. MAKE CHECK OUT TO: “Kalamazoo Innovation Initiative”.
Tours of the facility are regularly scheduled on Tuesdays between 5 and 7pm and on Saturdays between 5 and 7pm. Please check kzoomakers.org to confirm that these hours have not changed. You can also request to schedule an appointment outside of the regular hours by emailing email@example.com.
Dues are payable in advance by the first of each month.
Membership hours are based on the membership category. See kzoomakers.org for current categories and hours.
A key fob is required to access the building outside of public hours. The key fob has an additional one-time cost.
Day Passes and Punch Cards
For the day pass or punch card options, please schedule in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or the appropriate Zone Leader. In the email, include what equipment you are interested in accessing and if you have used it before at Kzoo Makers.
How to participate
Although there aren’t a lot of rules, members and guests are expected to follow the ones that do exist. We also require that everyone be respectful of each other, and that you take responsibility for whatever you are working on. It is important to be mindful of your surroundings and to maintain safety.
Scheduling events begins with the Zone Leader of the area in which you would like to host an event. The Zone Leader will work with you and help you submit the event request form. If there are not any conflicts, the Zone Coordinator approves the event and then adds the information to the website calendar.
Right now, some of the equipment is first come first served, and some is reserved through the Zone Leader. Eventually, there will be a system to sign-up ahead of time. If the equipment is available and does not require authorization, then it is ok to use without a prior reservation. Note: there may be an additional fee based on time and/or materials used. See the Zone Leaders or the Wiki for further information.
When it comes to equipment or tools, if you don’t know how to use something, ask. If you still don’t understand, ask again. Do not risk your safety or the safety of anyone else. Please, just ask.
The Zone Leader or Zone Mentor is a good source to find help.
The greatest benefit of Kzoo Makers is that we have a community of people who bring different experiences to the table. Feel free to ask for help or advice. Note that just because a member has experience does not mean the member is required to help you with a project. The member may not have the interest or time. A Zone Leader is a good source for finding someone who might assist you one-on-one. That assistance may incur an additional cost and will need to be negotiated between members.
Rules and Policies
How to get kicked out!
We will not tolerate:
- Sexual harassment
- Misuse of equipment
If Disciplinary suspension is incurred or your access to the makerspace is revoked:
We will not offer a refund to any member involving discipline. If the duration of your suspension/probation includes pre-reserved time on any machinery, we cannot issue a rain check for that time already purchased. If you are allowed to use secure equipment after corrective action, you may be asked to demonstrate competency again and it is up to the discretion of the staff how involved your training must be. Violation of Kzoo Makers rules or policies may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of current membership and prohibition of future membership.
Guests and Visitors
- Members may bring a limited number of guests into the facility.
- Guests and visitors must be accompanied by a member at all times.
- Members are responsible for their guests and their actions.
- Guests and visitors are not allowed to use tools and equipment, except as part of a scheduled class/workshop.
- Guests and visitors are encouraged to become members.
Minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied closely by a parent or legal guardian at all times. “Accompanied closely” means visual range generally, and immediate reach when near dangerous tools.
- Parents/Legal Guardians are responsible for their children and their actions.
- Minors under the age of 18 must have their liability form signed by a parent or legal guardian.
- Parent/legal guardian and a zone leader must accompany a minor at all times while the minor is operating machinery or equipment.
Kzoo Makers does not promote or discriminate against any person, population group, or organization with regard to categories protected by applicable United States law. These include, but are not limited to race, color, religion, sex, gender expression, physical appearance, language, education background, national origin, age, disability, and veteran status.
Harassment is prohibited and will not be tolerated. Any person who feels they have been the victim of harassment should ask the harasser to cease the behavior. If the behavior does not change, please report it to a Kzoo Makers executive council member of your choice. Members or guests asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.
Harassment includes the following, without limitation:
- Offensive comments related to race, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, or physical appearance
- Obscene images
- Unwelcome physical contact or sexual attention without consent or after a request to stop
- Threats or incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to engage in self-harm
- Deliberate intimidation by words, gestures, body language, or menacing behavior
- Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes
- Continued one-on-one contact or communication after requests to cease
- Deliberate "outing" of a sensitive aspect of a person’s identity without their consent
- Deliberate misgendering. This includes deadnaming or persistently using a pronoun that does not correctly reflect a person's gender identity.
- Gratuitous sexual behavior
Don’t Leave a Mess
When a member makes a mess, that member must clean up their mess. If other people have not cleaned up after themselves, it is not a free pass to make a mess. All workstations must be cleaned before you depart for the day - it doesn’t matter if you’ll be back tomorrow. If you aren’t sure how to clean it up or cannot find the right tools, ask and we will be happy to help.
Leaving Things Overnight
We understand that sometimes you need to let paint dry, epoxy cure, etc - and it can’t be done in a single day.
Projects left overnight must have a sign on them that indicates your name, the date, and the reason the project is staying, and when you expect to return.
Projects left overnight must be approved by the Zone Leader. The Zone Leader will try to find a location where it can be left undisturbed. We may have to move your items, although we will attempt to avoid this whenever possible.
It is inevitable - things will break. If a tool breaks because of normal wear and tear (the most likely occurrence), we will simply replace it and move on.
Many tools work in specific ways, and we will ensure that you have been trained in them before use. If you disregard this and use the tool in other ways, and it breaks, you are responsible for replacing it with the same item. This does not mean hand-crafting a replacement or buying a lesser brand. If it is important that it be a specific item, we may purchase it and bill you.
When Things Go Wrong
If you use a “cheater bar” on a socket wrench and break it, you’re going to buy a new wrench!
The most important part of breaking anything - no matter what happened - is TELL THE STAFF IMMEDIATELY.
Do not try to repair it yourself (we need to know what happened) and do not simply throw things away (we have to inventory that kind of thing). If a machine broke your tool, we need to investigate it together to determine what happened. If you make it a habit of breaking tools, we may need to take disciplinary action.
Bring Your Tools From Home
We understand that you may want to bring in your own personal tools for a project. They must be clearly labelled with your name, using a method that works for the tool, such as masking tape or engraving. Your tools must either leave with you at the end of the day or be stored in your own rented space. We are not responsible for their misuse or misplacement!
Should you injure yourself, let us know immediately. We will work with you to provide first aid, and if necessary, call 911.
Report all injuries.
There is a first aid kit in each bathroom.
Additional Member Provided Services
If you're looking for someone to do some work for you, we do have a bulletin board with positions offered and wanted. Our members are sometimes open to working on outside projects. You're welcome to discuss arrangements with them to get your project completed. Let us know, or put your business card on our bulletin board, if you'd like to offer your services to members.
Safety is a big concern throughout the makerspace. If any member sees something unsafe, first tell the member(s) in danger, then tell a Zone Leader or Zone Mentor, and fill out a safety report.
Members are required to attend a Zone Safety workshop and be approved by the Zone Leader or Zone Mentor to work in a zone. In addition, members are required to attend the Safe Operation workshop and be approved by the workshop instructor to operate specific power tools, machinery, or equipment. This is a requirement of our insurance.
- Know the locations of all the first aid, fire suppression, and safety equipment.
- Know the locations of accident report forms.
- Follow specific rules as specified in the area where you are working.
- Do not talk to, distract or interrupt someone who is using power tools or machinery.
- Never use a machine you are not qualified and competent to use.
- If you are unsure about how to use a piece of equipment after being trained ask for additional training.
- Members who are operating equipment should never work alone. Always use the buddy system.
- Equipment operators should keep their hands at a safe distance from sharp tools, moving parts, and pinch-points.
- Equipment operators need to ensure that safety guards and safety devices are in place before operating the equipment.
- Before and after using equipment, the equipment operator should ensure the power switch on the equipment is off, equipment is properly locked out and safety devices are in place.
- Check each machine for safety before you begin an operation. DO NOT assume the previous user left the machine in a safe state.
- Never leave a machine unattended while it is powered up.
- Never make any adjustments to a machine when it is in operation.
- Do not attempt to use a machine in a manner inconsistent with its design or intended use.
- Any work that produces dust, smoke, fumes or vapors must be performed in a properly ventilated area. Do not block ventilation before starting work.
- Talk to the Zone Leader or Zone Mentor before making adjustments to equipment.
- Avoid lifting loads improperly or carrying loads that are either too large or too heavy.
- Never start work if you cannot do the job safely. There are limits to what we can build here and how safely it can be done.
- Use discretion when eating or drinking while working on your project. Use common sense in all work space areas.
- Clean up after yourself and return all tools and materials to where they belong. A clean and well-organized shop is a safe shop.
- Be sure to allow sufficient time in your project schedule for clean up. This will prevent being rushed and working unsafely and leaving a mess for other members.
- Never operate machines while impaired. This includes when you are sick, too tired, stressed, hurried or under the influence of any substance that could impair your perception, coordination, or judgment.
- Always wear proper clothing for the work activity.
- Appropriate eye protection must be worn at all times in designated areas. Prescription glasses may not meet this requirement.
- Shirt and shoes must be worn at all times by members and guests.
- Always wear closed-toe shoes in makerspace shop areas. Steel-toed safety shoes are preferable. Open-toe footwear is not permitted.
- Remove or secure anything that may become caught in moving machinery.
- Never use gloves or loose fitting clothing while using stationary rotating equipment. Gloves are permitted for operating small power tools designed to be handheld.
- Rotating equipment can pull an individual’s hand or body into the equipment if clothing, gloves, jewelry, lanyards, or long hair gets caught.
- Put up long hair and remove dangling jewelry and personal accessories.
- If you are wearing a name badge, place your badge a safe distance away from machine operation.
- In restricted areas and during hazardous operations, use appropriate safety gear: safety glasses, hearing protection, welding hoods, gloves, dust masks, and other safety gear specific to the hazards.
- Wearing clothing made of natural fibers is better. Synthetic fabric blends may melt when exposed to high temperatures and exacerbate burn injury.
Kzoo Makers currently has eight zones. The current zones include 3D Printing, Fiber Arts, Electronics, Laser Cutting, Machine Shop, Metal Shop, Computer Lab and Woodworking Shop.
Each zone has a designated Zone Leader and potentially Zone Mentors in charge of the work area. The Zone Leader is in charge of the development, programming, and continued success of their zone. These leaders are authorized to approve member access to work in a zone. Zone Leaders and Zone Mentors are authorized to train members in the safe use of the equipment in the zone. Members interested in being a Zone Mentor may contact the Zone Leader.
The Zone Leader is in charge of the equipment in the zone.
Members will report to the Zone Leader or Zone Mentor if equipment is not functioning properly. Members or zone leadership must tag broken equipment so that other members do not use the equipment. Broken equipment should not be used until it is repaired. Zone leadership will coordinate all repairs to equipment. No repairs are permitted unless zone leadership authorizes the repair.
Zone Leaders and Zone Mentors are available to answer questions members have when building your projects. If a member is authorized to work in a zone and is willing to help others when they need help, Kzoo Makers welcomes your participation in mentoring other members. Successful projects help the success of the makerspace. Mentors and Zone Leaders are knowledgeable in their area, but are not necessarily experts. Success is not guaranteed. Kzoo Makers is not responsible for the outcome of your project.
Equipment owned by the makerspace
Members in good standing may use the equipment owned by the makerspace after completing the required safety training and equipment use training. Some equipment and materials require an additional cost for maintenance and materials replacement. See the wiki pages about specific zones and equipment for more information. Equipment is intended to be shared by all members who have completed the required training. If equipment is in high demand, Kzoo Makers reserves the right to limit individual use of an item and require equipment reservations. See the scheduling section for more information.
Members may bring equipment or materials to the makerspace and share it with the members and retain ownership of the equipment. To share property with Kzoo Makers, complete a shared equipment form with the appropriate Zone Leader. A fair market value of the item is determined when the equipment is brought into the space. If the owner chooses to sell the equipment, the makerspace reserves first right of purchase. The owner may remove the property at any time after notifying the Zone Leader.
Members are free to bring in their own materials and equipment to use in the makerspace as long as it meets the safety and policies of the makerspace. Personal property should be taken with the member when they leave for the day. If the member wants to keep personal property in the makerspace, refer to the storage section. If an item is left, it may be considered abandoned.
Members of the makerspace and the general public are encouraged to make donations of desired equipment and materials. Donations are welcome as long as they fit into the plans and needs of Kzoo Makers. Prior to bringing a property donation, please complete a donation form and submit it to the Zone Leader for approval. We’re sorry we cannot accommodate all potentials donations as space is limited. If the donation is accepted and you wish to take a tax deduction, a receipt will be provided to you.
Small amounts of materials can be stored at Kzoo Makers while you are actively working on it. They must be clearly labeled with your name. The storage location depends on the zone. Check with the Zone Leader for availability of storage locations in your zone. Kzoo Makers may have space available for members to rent to store personal property or keep a project space for an extended period of time. See the wiki for more information.
The makerspace is intended to support active members. If a member is not actively working on a project and leaves their personal equipment or materials in the space, the Zone Leader and Executive Council reserve the right to designate it as abandoned property.
If materials or equipment are brought into the makerspace without following the processes documented in the previous sections, the Zone Leader or Executive Council may consider it abandoned property.
Because of the limited space we have available for member storage, the Zone Leader and Executive Council have the right to use or dispose of the abandoned property as they see fit.
How much does it cost to join?
Regular membership is $50/month. Ask about current specials.
Is the only choice a monthly membership?
There are different levels, ranging from a day pass to all-access membership.
What do I get for the membership fee?
Members get access to the building during open hours and access to equipment. Machine usage may require additional training and cost.
If my (minor) kid wants to join/come with me, what are the requirements?
One minor child per adult may come as a guest and sit with you. For junior membership or day pass, the child must be at least 12, and a parent/guardian must be with the minor.
Is there a family plan and who would that cover?
A family plan is available for two people to join together at a discount as long as dues stay current.
What is the website address?
What are the hours?
Building hours vary by plan and for the public. Please see kzoomakers.org for the most updated information.
If I only want a day pass, what are the hours?
A day pass must be pre-arranged. Please contact ahead of time at email@example.com or come in during the public open hours listed on kzoomakers.org.
How can I learn how to use a machine?
The training need varies by machine and project. As a member, the best idea is to start with the Zone Leader of the area or one of the mentors. Another choice is to look at https://kzoomakers.org/events-calendar/ for a training workshop.
Who would I talk to about machine use?
Talk to the area Zone Leader or one of the mentors.
I have experience using this tool. Do I still have to take your safety workshop?
Yes. Everyone is required to take the applicable safety workshop. See the safety section of this handbook for more information.
Are there people available to help me with a project?
Although there are members who may have expertise, it is not guaranteed that they will answer more than general questions. Start with the Zone Leader of the area and ask for a referral.
I need help with my design. Will you help me do it?
The design service is extra. It is not included as part of the membership.
What if I want someone to make my project?
Some members may be open to working on outside projects. You're welcome to discuss arrangements with them to get your project completed.
Are there classes and how do I find out when they are?
Kzoo Makers does not offer classes. We do offer regular activities and workshops. They are listed at https://kzoomakers.org/events-calendar/ and also may be at .facebook.com/KzooMakers/ and https://www.meetup.com/KzooMakers/.
How do I contact someone?
You may email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the building at 269-270-3141.
Can I store my project while I’m working on it?
It depends on the size of the project and the length of time, and there may be a charge. Contact the Zone Leader of the area for further information.
Where do I sign-up? (Membership/day pass/punch card)
At the Kzoo Makers office during public open hours.
Where can I find more information?
Information is available on kzoomakers.org.
Contact Information (also available on the website):
1102 E. Michigan
Kalamazoo, MI 49048