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Eugene Maker Space Board of Directors meeting April 1st, 2021

Call to order

7:19PM Attending: Ben, Karen, Beata Also present:

Approve this agenda

Motion: Karen moved that the Eugene Makerspace Board of Directors approve the agenda as amended.

The motion was seconded by Beata.

Motion passes, the vote was Unanimous.

Approve previous minutes

Motion: Karen moved that the Eugene Makerspace Board of Directors approve the minutes from the March BoD meeting as submitted.

The motion was seconded by Ben.

Motion passes, the vote was Unanimous.


President's report

Nothing to report.

Secretary's report

Nothing to report.

Treasurer's report

$1,190.98 in the bank account. $96.60 in PayPal. $1,413.28 in Patreon. Total: $2,699.86 Outstanding: Comcast for $58.80 Scaleway $8.99 Rent: $1,500 Total after we pay everything: $1,132.07 remaining This is a difference from last month/burn-rate of $191.10 (an additional $51 worse) Piotr has updated the monthly maintenance cost for the shop based on the current situation $1,785.01. Our current income figure (useful for planning) is $1,527.91, a gap of $257.10 (8 new members needed), this figure does not account for one or two people paying by check or cash.

Shop status

Old Business/Action Item Review

Karen will update burn rate number on whiteboard at shop


Ben will see if he can improve the new user flow


COVID-19 status review - Open Hack closure status

Last month, we adopted a chart to indicate how we will react to the changing COVID status going forward. We are currently in the lower-risk category so the guidance from the chart indicates that maximum capacity is now 10 people in the shop and Open Hacks can be held on Tuesday (if we secure a volunteer) with a maximum of 12 people.

The chart is available via slack, on the website, and through an email to the membership.

Karen will cancel all meetup events through the next board meeting


Ben and Facebook Calendar

Recurring. In progress.

Karen will schedule bank trip with Piotr, Ben, and Beata

Unable to continue at this time due to COVID-19. The county remains in Extreme Risk category. Karen's recommendation is that we continue to cancel open hacks through February and refresh the membership's memory regarding mask rules, spacing.

Karen will install a new hard drive in the 3d Printer workstation


Karen will write a letter to the Meetup.com membership to see if we can convert some of them to members


New Business

Shop renovations, Tech, and the Future

Karen reported on things she's read that for some organizations, the pandemic has created an opportunity to make big changes in the physical space because the chance for disruption was less than usual.

She described an email she'd received from someone interested in printing Transformer pieces. She reflected that we'd received a few mails like this over the last year, people wanting to print or model and print things for them. There's folks who want to do production-level fabrication for things at the shop. Despite this interest, we haven't been able to offer much help when asked. Our laser cutters are underperformers (charitably engravers more than cutters).

Even if the laser cutters were functional, our sawdust situation is untenable.

Folks come to us expecting/hoping we can do things for them that we can't. Question: Are we being the Maker Space the community needs us to be? Instead of a Maker Space, we've become the 'wood working place'.

Piotr described the Maker Space he'd envisioned having more of a social component, being a place to hang out in addition to creating things. "A second living room where we hang out and play strange memes on the TV". European maker spaces have some of the same tools (like 3D printers and laser cutters) but not the same heavy equipment and loud, grinding tools that generate noise and smoke.

Karen expanded on this and shared her feeling that while we have a mission statement, we currently lack a vision. We have been focusing on keeping the lights on (which Piotr noted is a reasonable immediate target) but that we may be falling short in other areas. She had a vision for creating workspaces for computers so folks could design things and build and create, but that effort has fallen to the wayside for the last year.

"How do we begin to address the question of where do we see ourselves in five years?" What is our vision, how do we get new people in?

Piotr expressed that he felt the metal and woodshop remain available despite the noise and debris because they provide a vital function.

Piotr would like to see us get to a point financially where we can purchase a new device as opposed to inheriting something that's problematic.

Karen asked whether we could build 3D printers using the parts we have on-hand? There was a general consensus that we could, but it would be a big project. Piotr discussed a vision he had for us getting printers working then putting in place firm rules regarding the use to maximize their longevity.

Piotr touched back on the original point Karen made about industry vs. crafting and shared his perception that we're leaning more towards the the crafting side than the harder core STEM community that was part of the Maker Space's original DNA.

Ben described some of the community that we had before the move, we had some more community and worked on some projects together. Karen asked if facilitating woodworking and metalworking might have been to EMS' detriment? Piotr shared his opinion that this might have been the case. "It may have been useful to a small group of folks but may not have been conducive to the community of the place". He described a challenge we faced with some toxic membership a couple years ago that we haven't recovered from.

Karen speculated that there may have been a political component to some of the problems because some of our ex-membership that caused the most harm to other members were heavy-dutily political and came from a culture that tended to favor heavy focus on wood-working. Piotr suggested that we may need to contain the dirt situation and that the way to do this may be to 'put it into a box'. The task of ventilating things and keeping dust under control would be made easier if the heavy duty works were better enclosed. Currently, the open-concept shop design allows all of our equipment to exhaust filth everywhere in terms of sawdust and metal grinding exhaust and more.

Karen would like to see a place where Ron can do his resin casting, where vinyl cutting can happen, where electronics can happen (arduinos, etc), the 'cool stuff'.

Ben described a suggested 'dirty room' that's heavily ventilated where equipment that generates debris (such as grinding metal, sawdust producing wood cuts, etc).

Piotr suggested that if we were to follow this plan, we would need to clearly identify a plan for how to implement it. Construction, supplies, people to make it happen, these are all required.

Karen suggested that we strip out some of our junk by dragging the dumpster in and spending some time making use of it to reduce our clutter.

Karen also expressed concern about how our ideas on how to change the shop might affect some of our users who use the shop in the current manner that generates some of the challenges we're facing but without hurting feelings. Piotr suggested that this would probably be best addressed by talking with those folks and involving them in the planning.

Ben asked if we should reach out to the membership to collect ideas to generate a word cloud or vision board of some sort. Piotr counseled caution, he felt that before we make a wide appeal to the membership, we should focus on the heaviest users of the shop right now to include them from the very beginning to see what changes they might be able to help us make that don't interfere with their own needs. "What are your biggest griefs about the current situation? What can we do that helps you?"

Karen looped back to the idea of vision-boarding or diagraming concepts for the future/vision of the Maker Space. We agreed to start and collect some more media and concepts from other maker spaces that we wanted to see in ours (or to influence our future).

ACTION: The board will spend the next month capturing their concepts about what the future of the maker space looks like to them.

E-mail handling

We've received a number of unusual requests over the last month from folks who aren't members and Karen would like us to figure out a way to spread the responsibility for returning e-mails and doing things like editing the resource page.

Ben volunteered to assist more with this, requesting that others occasionally feel comfortable to nudge him when there are tasks he can help with.

Piotr will set up a Github org that we can use for a ticket system.

ACTION: Piotr will will set up a Github org for us to use a ticket system.

ACTION: Karen will will set up a Github account.

ACTION: Beata will will set up a Github account.


Motion: Ben moved that the Eugene Makerspace Board of Directors adjourn.

The motion was seconded by Beata.

Motion passes, the vote was {{{4}}}.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:06PM.