So you have signed up, set up your direct debit and the first payment has gone out. You are a bona-fide member of South London Makerspace. Now what?
First of all - Welcome!
South London Makerspace is a community as well as a physical space. We want you to feel welcome and valued as a new member and to feel like you are part of something amazing. You probably have lots of questions, so here are some answers to start you off.
How do I access the space?
After your first direct debit payment has reached us, you can have a key fob to open the front door. Simply come down to the space one evening, introduce yourself, and ask any member to give you a key fob. You will then need to touch it to the reader in the front door, note the time, and send a message to @directors who will then activate your fob and link it to your membership account. You will then be free to come and go whenever other members are in the space. There is more information here about accessing the space.
When is the space usually open?
The space is open whenever members who have shutter access are in it. In practice, this is usually most evenings and weekends, and some weekdays too. There is no set schedule which may be frustrating at first but please remember that we are a community organisation, not a service with paid staff. We have no employees and are run by and for our members. We have a booking topic that you should be able to see on Discourse once you are a member here, this will allow you to see when people have scheduled to come in - before coming edit the wiki post and add your username to an existing booking.
After you have been a member for a while and have got to know some existing members, you can ask someone to nominate you for shutter access and then you will be able to come and go 24/7. The space is also regularly open Thursday evenings for Electronics Night.
When is a good time to drop in?
There’s an open evening every other Wednesday where a couple of members of the space host and give guided tours. It’s a really good chance to see the space and get to know some of the members. Have a look at the calendar to see when the next open evening is. Thursday evenings are normally Electronics Night, and weekend afternoons are also usually good times to drop by.
How do I get more involved?
It took literally years to setup the wonderful space we have today. Helping continue to improve and maintain the space as well as share your skills and knowledge is a great way to get to know other members and to become part of our community. We are actively recruiting volunteer ‘Techs’ for all areas - these are people that spend a couple hours a week or a day a month on keeping the tools running and inducting (basic training) to get others able to use tools and parts of the workshops.
Volunteering to co-host an open evening is also a great way to get involved. We always try to have two people hosting, so you can pair up with another member who can help answer questions. Your perspective as a new member is very interesting for visitors so you can start hosting open evenings as soon as you join. Sign up here to host an open evening.
How do I share my skills with other members?
If you have a skill you want to share, you could volunteer to host a workshop. Just start a thread in the discussion section to gauge interest and then pick a day that works with everyone. Or you could offer to do a demonstration for members and visitors on any open evening.
How do I get started making stuff?
We want you to be safe while using Makerspace tools and equipment. Some of our tools are expensive and easily broken, and some of them have the potential to cause serious, life-threatening injuries. Because of this, even if you have used similar tools elsewhere, all new members need to go through our induction processes before using the laser cutter, the Ultimaker 3D printer, and the metal / woodworking tools.
How the induction process works..
Note: there are also lots of activities that do not require an induction, ie. Electronics, Textiles, Some hand tools etc… Here is a full list of the tools in the space: List of Tools in the Space!
Who do I ask if I have more questions?
There are a small groups of members responsible for various activities and areas within the Makerspace. We call these @roles and the groups are:
Otherwise, if you have a question and are not sure who to ask, ask anyone in the space or post it on here and someone will point you in the right direction.
Welcome again, and happy making.