Frequently asked questions
- 1 What are the facilities?
- 2 Equipment and materials
- 3 What are the open hours?
- 4 What is the sign up process?
- 5 Who is it suited to?
- 6 Who is it not suited to?
- 7 What training (safety, etc) do you need?
- 8 What are the membership options?
- 9 Is there a minimum membership term?
- 10 Schedule of events/training/regular meet up times/etc
- 11 How do you get involved? (and not feel like an outsider)
- 12 How to gain entry/security/keys
- 13 Can I use all of the equipment?
- 14 When can I visit?
- 15 If I join, when can I use the space?
- 16 How much does it cost?
- 17 How can I pay?
- 18 Can I store my stuff there or do I have to take it home each time?
- 19 Will you teach me to ...?
- 20 Are other people interested in the same things I am?
- 21 I have a great idea, but I don't know how to do it, will you help me?
- 22 Can I make things that I sell?
- 23 How can I get more information?
What are the facilities?
We have a bay, usually called 'The Space', at #108 1530 27 Ave NE Calgary
Equipment and materials
What are the open hours?
Open to the public? Well we host a "Meet & Geek" open house every Tuesday night (after 7pm), which is also the weekly social event for Members. Guests are welcome to show up then and see the space, bring their own projects, stop and ask anyone what they're working on, solicit some feedback or share ideas, or get a tour or sign up for their own membership.
Open, for Members to use? 24/7. There are no noise restrictions so you can run tools as late or early as you please. If you are a Probationary Member, then you can come whenever you can convince someone else to show up and sponsor you to be at the space.
What is the sign up process?
You pay at a least one month's dues and fill out a quick application form. Hang around with us a bit for your probationary month and if you can convince two Members to say they think you're a positive addition to the community (Not hard! Just be nice!), they sign on your behalf and if nobody else objects you are in. You'll get your own access card and storage shelf.
Who is it suited to?
Who is it not suited to?
People who are not excellent to others.
What training (safety, etc) do you need?
There is an official safety course for Protospace. This course is a first step in several other courses. Some of the equipment in the space requires training before you can use it, others you just need to be able to handle without hurting yourself or others. Equipment that requires training is usually detailed in the Tools We Have page and should be flagged in person with a card saying such.
What are the membership options?
Full Member and Friend Member. For Students/Fixed Income/Low Income/Senior/Etc we offer Full Membership at a reduced rate. Friend Members do not get an access card or storage shelf, but can come and use tools under any Full Member's supervision/sponsorship that will be accountable for them (good if you have a friend who's a member that you only ever show up with).
Is there a minimum membership term?
Membership is paid monthly, but there is no minimum number of months. We discourage toggling membership month to month, which is also inconvenient to the Member. When membership is terminated, Members must go through the one month Probationary period again, without an access card. (We allow a membership to be paused once a year at most, if announced).
Schedule of events/training/regular meet up times/etc
Nothing formal. The best way to keep track of this is to watch the mailing list or speak up about your interest.
How do you get involved? (and not feel like an outsider)
Lots of people often fish on the mailing list for help on projects. Often at times you can come to a Tuesday Meet & Geek and people will be spitballing ideas and they turn into projects. Be a spitballer.
How to gain entry/security/keys
You need to be a Full Member
Can I use all of the equipment?
Anything that doesn't require training is available right off the hop. Some of the larger (and more dangerous) machines require training. These are labelled in person and on the Tools We Have page.
When can I visit?
Tuesday evenings are the best time to meet the most people. It is the only scheduled time for public to attend. If this does not work for you, inquire and someone may be willing to give you a tour some other day.
If I join, when can I use the space?
24/7 when you are a Full Member. For the first month, you will be a Probationary Member and can use the space but your access to the space must be sponsored and supervised (loosely) by a Full Member.
How much does it cost?
For a Full Member, $50/month. For a Full Member who is a Student/Low Income/Fixed Income/Senior, pay what you can afford and make the rest up in volunteering, as low as $30/month. For a Friend Member, $10/month.
If you pay for your first two months together, you get 3 months for the price of 2.
Because it's easier on our volunteer accountants, if you pay for a full year at a time (any year), you get a free month.
How can I pay?
- Paypal is easiest for everyone.
- Cash (get a receipt).
- Cheque, payable to "Calgary Protospace Ltd."
Can I store my stuff there or do I have to take it home each time?
Full members get a shelf.
If the space you need is larger than can be fit on the shelf you need to pitch it to the membership as [Large Project Storage]
Will you teach me to ...?
Depends on who I am. Depends on what ... is. Most Protopians will help out if they can. If they can't they will usually point you at someone who will. Keep in mind that everyone is there on their own time, do not expect them to drop everything to train or show you something.
We tend to be a helpful community that is willing to share, teach, and learn. It's reasonable to ask.
Are other people interested in the same things I am?
Odds are good. Probably frighteningly good.
I have a great idea, but I don't know how to do it, will you help me?
Maybe not me, but someone will. Throw up a question on the discussion list and watch the ensuing madness of ideas rushing through the internet towards your email client.
Can I make things that I sell?
Sure. If you make use of a machine and it requires consumables or you push it through more than enough wear to cause damage, you will be expected to monetarily compensate the space. Also, we are not a production shop. You can't reasonably turn Protospace into an assembly facility. If your production stands in the way of others wanting to reasonably use the space, you may have to answer some hard questions.
How can I get more information?
The [FAQ] is a good start :)
The discussion list on Google Groups is a great way to communicate with members.
Coming out to a Meet & Geek will get you introduced to lots of folks.