Frequently asked questions

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Revision as of 20:56, 21 November 2015 by Boomalator (talk | contribs) (Updated to reflect current practices.)
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What are the facilities?

We have a bay, usually called 'The Space', at #108 1530 27 Ave NE Calgary

Equipment and materials

Well, we maintain a list of Tools We Have as well as a handy look up for places to source 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?

The best way to find out how Protospace works is drop by one of our open house nights -- held every Tuesday, beginning at 10. You can meet people, have a tour, see things in action, find out how it works, and get your questions answered.

After you know about Protospace, fill in a Membership Application and sign the Waiver and Release form. You can fill out the form online, but we need a printed, signed copy given over in person. Once you've submitted an application, and paid your first dues, you can enjoy a probationary or trial membership. During this trial period, meet more people, try stuff out, and take care the other details (like attending a New Member orientation), so that you can become a vetted keyholder. You can find out all of the details about signing up at an open house!

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?

Protospace offers a number of member-to-member courses, classes, seminars and workshops, generally led by volunteers. Most of these are either about our tools, or about the skills need to make things with our tools. You can see the list of current classes at

What are the membership options?

A Keyholder is a vetted member, sometimes called a "full" member with 24x7 access to the space. A subsidized rate is available for students and other with limited income.

For those people who never come on their own, but want to come with their "friend" who is a member, a "Friend Membership" is available. Friend Members do not get an access card or storage shelf, and must be accompanied by a keyholder at all times.

Is there a minimum membership term?

No, there is no minimum time or "contract". However, we do not offer "drop in" or "single month" memberships -- if you chose to stop being a member, you must go through the one month Probationary period again, to rejoin. (We allow a "vacation period" annually if requested).

Schedule of events/training/regular meet up times/etc

The calendar on the main web site is kept fairly up-to-date. Dates of training events are also on the "school" section of Other than that, monitoring the "protospace-discuss" Google group is probably the best way to hear what's going on.

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 to you after you complete the New Member Orientation and General Safety seminar. Larger, more dangerous or more specialized equipment require training. Generally, these machines are labelled, as well as noted 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?

Once you become a vetted keyholder, you can use the space anytime you like, 24x7. For the first month, you will be a Probationary Member and can use the space when accompanied or supervised by a vetted keyholder.

How much does it cost?

Our membership rate is $50 per month. A subsidized rate of $30 is available to students and those in need. You can join as a friend of a keyholder (without your own key or shelf), or as a supporter (donor) for $10 per month or more.

When you first sign up, if you pay for your first two months together, we'll give you a third month free. At any time, if you pay for a full year, you get a free month (12 for the price of 11).

How can I pay?

  1. Paypal to or
  2. Interac Email Transfer to
  3. Credit card payments through Paypal or Square
  4. Cash or cheque in person (get a receipt).
  5. Need another arrangement? Speak to a director.
  6. Sorry, we cannot accept debit.

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.