April 2020 - Member Meeting

4/18/2020 - Area 515 Member Meeting

Total Number of Members Attending: 13

Total Number of Full Members Attending: 11 + 2 by proxy

Quorum was reached (11 Full Members were required)

Board of Directors Attending:

  • President: Dave

  • Secretary: Brad

  • Director of Education: Bailey

  • Director: Jason

  • Director: Tom


  • Vice President: Jake

  • Treasurer: Meg

  • Currently 56 members

  • Currently 22 Full members

Secretary's Note: In light of COVID-19 this meeting took place via Google Hangout.

State of the Space

  • Due to COVID-19 we've been canceling classes and doing virtual meetings.

Face Shield Project Update

  • To date over 3k shields have been made, goal is 5k. The Iowa Department of Education is transporting our face shields to requesting organizations all around the state. Have also been working with NewBoCo - a makerspace organization in Cedar Rapids.

  • We're trying to gauge future demand. NewBoCo is stopping production, we've been hearing there's still need here. We're still getting requests from dental and nursing homes. Ryan has also heard that the Marshalltown VA is in need of face shields and masks, we will find out more once the weekend is over. Jason has a contact at the Iowa Vets Home and can ask if they have need.

  • We could still use help assembling face shields. Sat & Sun they're working from 12-6pm at Barnum Factory.

  • So far we've received $995 donations for face shields. It was discussed that that money should probably go towards

    • reimbursing members for materials

    • buying new stuff to replace what's been used

    • donating towards other efforts

  • Dave said he would try to tally how much the members have spent on materials out of their own pockets. At least one member contributed over a thousand dollars of their own money.

  • Ryan said there was somebody on one of the conference calls asking for a dollar figure on how much it would cost to reimburse everyone.

New Tools

  • Tim S officially donated his Full Spectrum Laser to the space. Now both FS lasers are property of the maker space. (The Sharktooth still belongs to Ray.) Bailey is going to teach Ryan how to align the lasers.

  • Dave got a new die grinder

  • The Prusa is running without the MMU (Multi Materials Unit) as it was becoming too unreliable.

  • Enough money was raised for the Vinyl cutter, but due to COVID-19 it hasn't been purchased yet.

Current Membership Count: 56

  • We expect that membership will dwindle a little due to COVID-19, but we haven't seen a massive loss of members yet.

  • To any member experiencing financial hardship: the board has blanket approved a Starving Hacker Rate (SHR) to anyone who requests it. The SHR rate is half the member's current rate for 3 months.

  • Multiple people mentioned knowing other people interested in becoming members.

Website Improvements?

  • The idea of finding somebody to improve our website was brought up. More specifically, the website should display links to our Instagram posts (since those are now regularly updated by Jason) and youtube videos and such.

  • In the past, people have volunteered to update our website, but can't get anyone to contribute content.

  • It was discovered that although our website is supposed to be linked to our Instagram account, in practice that doesn't happen. Caroline says that we need a better Instagram integrator for the website, something that would pull from Instagram (or Facebook) and put it on the site. It was mentioned that Zapier has a new word press post that pulls from Instagram posts.

  • The ideal solution would be to keep someone on retainer to work on the site. Money has been requested on a couple grants for a purpose like this.

  • Beau commented that a coworker's wife does social media campaigns. He would ask her for more info.

  • Dave agreed to update the info about Open House on the website so that people know its virtual.

"In for $10" Counter on Website?

  • Ryan suggested we put up some kind of counter on the website that could display the progress of "In for $10" drives towards their goals. Unfortunately, no one knew of an easy way to do this. "In for $10"s are not centrally processed anywhere. Currently when people donate, Brad or Meg only know what "In for $10" the donation is for by reading the comments with the payment. They then manually keep track of the donations. Nothing is done automatically. Even making a new PayPal donation button is considered a pain.

Front Sign Update

  • Tom designed it. It will be metal vertical logo with standoffs, backlit with 12V DC LED rope lights. Jerry is willing to cut it on his CNC plasma cutter.

  • Brighter parking lot lights will be added on the same circuit

  • Is still within budget of $500

Clean Up Your Stuff

  • If this is unclear, please refer to section heading above.

  • This has been an ongoing problem in the auto area, people forget to sweep the floor. Food has often been seen left on the classroom table.

  • Eventually, all drawers in the space should be labeled. Dave wants to use the vacuum former to make drawer inserts.

Vacuum Former Status

  • Matt is working on the wiring. The front control panel is what's left plus another rectangular frame.

New Lock for Gate in Courtyard

  • Our policy is that after business hours go ahead and close and lock the gate if it's open.

Face Mask Project

  • Laura is trying to get materials out to people, she's also doing error support.

  • We're working with "Masks for Front Line Iowa," over 4k masks have been made all over Iowa.

  • 2 people borrowed sewing machines from the maker space.

  • Caroline will work with Laura on printing ear savers.

Financial Report

  • As of the last board meeting on April 1, we're still looking good financially. We're not sure whether we're currently operating in the black or not. Even with zero income we have enough savings to keep the lights on for a considerable length of time.

  • The major tool purchase we were planning has been indefinitely postponed. We discussed doing some purchases on a case by case basis still.

Code of Conduct

  • The evening before this meeting, a draft Code of Conduct (CoC) was posted on our Google Group page. It was hoped that the CoC could be voted on at the meeting, but since only 24 hours were given for members to view it, the board did not want members to feel like it was being pushed on them.

  • In the ensuing dicussion, members generally said that they liked most parts of it. Many members also wanted seperate sections for how people are treated and how tools are treated. It was also proposed there be a section dedicated to safety.

  • Bailey volunteered to write the next draft of the CoC for members to review.

  • It was also brought up that we should redo/update our waiver of liability.

Vote to Move Members from Supporting to Full

  • Beau H was nominated to become a full member

   Vote to make Beau H a full member
   In Favor: 13
   Opposed: 0 
   Abstain: 2
   Result: PASSED

Discussion of Visit to River City Labs

  • Many were impressed by their overall cleanliness. They had their CoC and rules right on the wall. Rule 1 was be good humans and don't make us make a rule.

  • They have a massive laser, 90W 2' x 2' bed.

  • Their Makers On Tap is a great podcast.

  • Everything there is mobile.

  • They purchased a saw stop after somebody lost a finger.

  • We should keep their website in mind when redesigning ours.

  • They offer more membership levels than we do. For instance, they charge for online access to their resources. Dave and Ryan said they would look at ways to do something similar here.

  • RCL apparently gets matching funds from Caterpillar, it was discussed if we could do something similar here. Some corporations here do contribute money to us. For instance, John Deere gives money for time their employees spend volunteering here. It was decided that more people should ask their employers to make donations to the space. We should also pitch corporate memberships more.


  • The space has access to Google Classroom and so we may offer some classes online.

  • Dave is working on a BeagleBone Black PiHole Ad Blocker class.

  • Jason's sharpening class will be rescheduled. In the mean time Jason will create youtube videos.

  • Making Things Fly class is still on for first full week in July.

  • Only 7 people showed up for the virtual open houses. It was suggested maybe we could stream with a GoPro from the space?

  • Jason said he would like to do a virtual tour of the space. Shun was mentioned as possible source of good camera gear.

  • Laura proposed asking people to donate now and having them come to an event planned later, like some kind of Re-Open House event.

End of Meeting

  • Fun Quote #1: "We've been social distancing from you for years, Chris"

  • Fun Quote #2 - made in reference to Laura who was holding her child, sewing, and participating in the meeting all at the same time: "Can you juggle while you're doing that too?"

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