FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is a MakerSpace?
- A makerspace is a place that provides the community access to tools and equipment... and a community willing to help others learn to use them. It's like a gym, but for tools.
Why do I need to be a probationary member? Can't I just sign up and have free reign of the place?
- We need to get to know you so that we know you will be a safe and respectful member of the community. Members have 24-7 unrestricted access to a facility with potentially dangerous tools. For the safety of you, other members, and our equipment we need to be comfortable that you will follow our rules.
What tools do you have?
- Woodworking, metalworking, textiles, ceramics, electronics, and more. Check out the Equipment page for the full list. Many of our tools have been generously donated or loaned by community members! Donations are tax-deductible.
Would you please make my part for me?
- Unfortunately, no. Rockford MakerSpace is intended for users to come make their projects, and provide a space where other members can offer guidance as you build — not for us to make the parts for you.
What do my membership dues go towards?
- Rockford MakerSpace is paid for entirely from membership fees, donations, and sponsorships. As a not for profit organization whatever money we make is used entirely for the benefit of the makerspace to pay basic monthly costs and invest in tools.
Besides my membership dues, do I need to pay for anything else?
- Certain equipment such as 3d printers and laser cutter have usage fees to cover the costs of consumables or long-term maintenance costs. Also, some classes have nominal costs. You will of course need to purchase materials for your projects.
I'm skilled in X, can I teach at the makerspace?
- Yes - all of our classes are taught by members or others in the community willing to share what they know. We welcome a broad range of maker crafts.
Can I volunteer?
- Absolutely! We rely on volunteers to teach classes, maintain tools, mentor other makers, you name it!
How are you funded?
Rockford MakerSpace is a "low-budget" operation. We have no paid staff and keep expenses to a minimum by relying heavily on volunteers. Membership dues cover some of the expenses and donations/contributions/sponsorships cover the rest.
My group/committee/team would like to tour Rockford MakerSpace, can we do that?
- Yes! We are happy to show you what Rockford MakerSpace is all about and how we contribute to the community. Contact us to schedule.
What can't I make at Rockford MakerSpace?
- Weapons, anything illegal, and anything dangerous. If you're unsure if your project qualifies, contact an area captain or board member before getting started.
Can I sell items I make?
Can my child attend a class/workshop?
Typically teens 13+ may attend when accompanied by a parent/guardian, however age restrictions on specific classes are at the discretion of our volunteer instructors. Please let us know if you have a class in mind and we can put you in contact with the instructor. A minor participation consent form is required for participants under 18.