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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does membership cost?

Milwaukee Makerspace currently offers the following options:

  1. Full-Time Membership - $40/mo. includes 24/7 access into the space and one shelf/locker of personal storage space.
  2. Spouse/Immediate Family Member - $10/mo. additional per person for a second key fob and matching membership status. No additional storage space.
  3. Full-Time Membership Yearly Discount - $450/12mo. You save $30 by paying for a whole year at once. Email to switch, or speak with a BOD member. Family Membership and Storage is still billed at the normal rate.

How do I become a member?

  • If you're interested, please visit us during our First (Lenox) and Third (Norwich) Tuesday meetings which are open to the public. The doors open at 6:45 pm and the meeting begins at 7pm. Please do not show up without having made arrangements in advance. Please note that because we are 100% volunteers, it may take a few weeks to a few months to get signed up, oriented, and trained in the areas you'd initially like to use.
  • At each of the meetings, we'll give you a tour and an introduction to some of our members and current happenings and then you will break out for a tour. Once you return from the tour, please hang out and get to know our members.
  • We ask that you visit us for a second meeting in the other facility to complete the sign up process. This ensures that you are introduced to both facilities as part of the onboarding process.
  • Bring a valid form of ID if you plan to sign up
  • All new members must be vetted and confirmed by two current members and one board member who will sign you up.
  • If you cannot make a Tuesday meeting, please contact the email account. Occasionally we can make special arrangements to meet prospective new members on days other than Tuesday, and we cannot guarantee certain days and times are available to meet with you. Please remember that we are a volunteer organization and our members have other commitments.
  • You must be present to turn in your completed membership application. Forms left with other members or placed in the Mail Drop Box will not be accepted. If you forget your application at home, feel free to fill another one out.
  • Starting in Summer of 2024, we will be starting a Member Orientation program which will involve a third meeting to get more in-depth knowledge, and a mentor to guide your first month in our community.

May I buy someone a gift membership?

We do not offer any pre-paid gift memberships. If you think a family member or friend would be an awesome new community member, encourage them to show up to a Tuesday meeting and go through our normal member sign-up procedure.

Can I apply online?

Short answer: No.
Longer answer: Meeting people face-to-face helps you get a feel for our group and helps us get a feel for you. Each new member is formally endorsed by a current member to ensure we've had a chance to answer any questions they may have and adequately review our policies.

Do I have to have an email address?

Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: An email address is needed for correspondence and invoices. Remember that we are a volunteer organization and we do not have any employees. At 550+ members, asking us to call by phone or send letters through the mail is something we simply don't have the time or resources to do. Thankfully, setting up a free email account online is relatively easy.

How can I pay my dues?

What if I don't want to become a member, but I still want to hangout?

That's cool! There are several people we consider “Friends of the Space” as well as regular guests. Some people have expressed guilt that they can't afford the dues or can't make the time to use a membership regularly or they live too far away. You can still participate on the public mailing list, and attend meetings and events, however for liability reasons you are considered a guest and will not be able to use any power tools or equipment.

I'm a new member and I don't know where to get started!

Where do your tools come from?

Members bring them in and let others use them!

  • That old band saw that gets used one week out of the year?
  • The lathe sitting in your basement untouched?
  • The jointer that you have in storage because you live in a small apartment building without a workshop?

Those are all perfect candidates to be brought in and shared! Nearly all of our tools are either property of members or donations. As a result, we ask that everyone take good care of them treat them as you would your own.

How do I get checked out or trained on equipment?

We recommend first contacting the tool's owner. Each machine has a number and an information sheet attached to it. That sheet indicates who owns it and who can train you on it. If you're unsure how to contact someone, post a message to the mailing list and ask to be trained on a particular machine. When all else fails, ask a fellow member.

How do I donate tools/money/stuff?

Milwaukee Makerspace is a 501(c )(3) non-profit educational charity.

Financial donations will be very gratefully accepted! They can be made here:

Equipment and materials donations: Unfortunately, due to limited volunteer resources, we must control any non-financial donations. See this page for info on what we might accept and how.

I want to bring some friends/family by to see the place!

Great! As you may know we have meetings open to the public on certain Tuesdays starting at 7 PM. Please check our calendar for details on the location of the next meeting. Members can bring two guests to the makerspace. All guests must sign the guest liability waiver. Copies of the waiver are available at the front desk in the lobby. Members must supervise their guests at all times. Guests must be at least 10 years of age.

Can my friend help me with my project, even if they're not a member?

Unfortunately, due to legal and safety concerns, guests cannot use any power tools or machinery. Your friend can certainly be in the Space and assist you with your project as well as use hand tools provided they fill out the Guest Liability Form.

Do you have any events for kids?

We occasionally host or participate in events that are open to children. Every event is different and interested parties should contact the member or members planning a specific event to determine if kids are welcome to attend. As stated elsewhere in our rules, guests must be at least 10 years of age and be supervised at all times. For other kid-friendly events and workshops, please consider the following groups:

What if I want to bring in tools for my own use only?

That's fine too, but we'll ask that you mark your property with your name or initials and keep those tools separate from the rest of the Makerspace/hack racks/project space. You'll need to keep them in your personal storage space.

I have this tool I want to bring in! Who do I talk to?

First, speak with the Area Champion of the shop where the proposed tool will be stored. For small items, their approval is sufficient. The Board of Directors will review any large equipment being proposed, if the Area Champion is in agreement. (i.e. anything that you need help to lift should be discussed before you bring it in) and decide if it's useful to the group. Your proposal may be turned down if we don't have space, don't have the money to install it, don't believe it would be used often, doesn't have the training or maintenance plan, or we already have a similar tool.

What is an "Area Champion"?

The space has many different areas, welding, forging, an electronics lab, a laser cutter lab, etc. For each area we try to have someone who takes responsibility for taking care of the area and training people on how to use the area. We call these people Area Champions. Interested in learning how to use a 3D printer? Talk to one of the 3D Printing Area Champions. But remember, like everyone else, they volunteer their time, so be kind and respect their contribution, process and efforts.

What if I need more space than a single shelf/pallet?

Whoa, I see something that doesn't look safe! What do I do??

Tell someone! Even if you're not certain it's a problem, it's better to err on the side of caution than let it go. Find a member or someone on the Board of Directors the moment you spot something and let them know. If you're a member and you aren't sure about something, you can post to the message board. Unplug that machine, wrap that sharp edge with tape or foam, or leave a note on that item to let people know what's going on and then tell someone. We also have red, hard plastic “lockout tags” on a peg board outside the Wood Shop that can be zip-tied to tools and machines. See our page here for more information:

Whoa, I see someone doing something that doesn't look safe! What do I do??

  • Talk to the person doing what you consider unsafe and let them know. Just say “Hey, I am not sure that is the safest way to do that.”
  • No one should be offended by this.
  • We all want to avoid damaging equipment and ourselves.
  • We're all here to learn, and if we can learn to be safer by watching out for each other, that's a good thing.
  • If someone dismisses your concerns, please confer with another member or members in the space at the time. Also consider contacting the Board of Directors
  • What sorts of things could be unsafe?
    • Failure to wear proper safety gear (personal protective equipment: goggles, gloves, earplugs, etc.)
    • Misuse of tools and equipment (get trained, know how to use a tool and its limits)
    • Heavy or large items (ask for help)
    • Rotating machinery
    • Open flames
    • High voltage
    • Dangerous chemicals
    • Unstable or poorly supported items (use clamps, jacks, lifts properly)
    • Ladders, lifts, and scaffolding
    • Sharp objects (knives, saws, blades, drill bits)
    • Ideas
    • And more…

What if there is an accident?

  • If there is an immediate danger to life, health or property: CALL 911
  • If necessary, pull a fire alarm station located at each exit door and evacuate the entire building.
  • Fire extinguishers and exit lights are located through out the building as required by building codes.
  • First Aid Kits are located by the West Room safety cabinet, by the Front Lobby Restrooms, and the Meeting Room.
  • After the situation is under control, please inform the Board of Directors via email at
  • A Board Member will need to fill out an accident report form as described here.

Can I hire you to build something?

Short Answer: No one ‘works’ at Milwaukee Makerspace we’re all just members, and we are not a business. If you want someone at Milwaukee Makerspace to make something for you, or help you make something yourself, your best bet is to come down to a Public Meeting at 7pm on a Tuesday and introduce yourself, talk about what you want, and see if anyone is interested in helping you out. Please check our calendar for details on the location of the next meeting. You never know, you might find someone up for a new challenge, or just as excited about your potential project as you are.

Alternately, you can post on our mailing list. If someone responds you can discuss the project with them:!forum/milwaukeemakerspace We have over 900 people on our mailing list, many are members, but not all of them are. Someone might want to help with your project.

Long Answer: Any agreement you make between a member and you or your organization is strictly between the two parties, and Milwaukee Makerspace claims no involvement. If you hire a member to create something for you, Milwaukee Makerspace has no jurisdiction over the agreement or the member. See Also:

Can I host my event at the Makerspace?

If you are a member you may host a club meeting once a month. Attendance of more than 10 people should be scheduled one month in advance. (Examples include the Milwaukee 3D Printing Meeting, The Milwaukee Electric Car Club, and the Milwaukee Energy Optimization Workshop. See a list of groups/clubs.)

If you are not a member, or your event includes the public, please see this:

Can I bring my pet into the space?

Pets at the space can be a touchy subject. We have already had several different animals at the space, ranging from kittens to Great Danes. In general they seem to be reasonably well accepted by the membership, but we do want to remind everyone that this is a community with over 300 members in it. Remember to be excellent to each other.

Our advice on how to be excellent to fellow makers:

1. If requested to remove your animal, for any reason, the excellent thing is to do so. Most places do not allow any animals beyond service animals.

2. Please give advanced notice before bringing your pet to the space. Our suggestion would be minimum 4 hours notice. Post it to the members only board.

3. Please clean up after your pet. If there is a mess, or even just hair left behind, it is your responsibility to clean it up.

4. Keep your pet controlled at all times.

5. Pets should not enter the shop areas. Keep in mind that there are dangerous things for pets throughout the space. Just like people, we would hate to see an animal injured

Remember, you are responsible for the actions and health of your animal while they are at the space.

Am I allowed to borrow tools and take them out of the building?

At times, members may need to borrow a tool for offsite use to complete a project. While MMS does not want to have tools unavailable constantly, the following guidelines are asked to be followed in the rare case that a member does need to borrow a tool:

  1. Tools can only be borrowed for member use only and should not be given to guests or non-members.
  2. Small tools and hand tools only are to be borrowed (examples: hand drill, saws, clamps, hand truck, etc.). If we only have one of a tool, it should not leave the building.
  3. The member must ask the Area Champion or a Board Member before borrowing the tool.
  4. Make a post on the members-only Google Group declaring which tool you are borrowing and the anticipated amount of time it will be in use. Then reply to your post upon its return
  5. It is suggested, but not required to post a photo of the tool along with your description.
  6. If the anticipated length of time the tool will be borrowed for increases, the member should update the members-only Google Group and the Area Champion.
  7. If the tool is returned damaged or the tool is not returned, the Board of Directors will have the discretion to hold the member accountable for the cost of repair/replacement.
  8. Tools should be returned to the space as soon as possible and the tool should not be borrowed for more than 7 days.
  9. Violation of the guidelines above could result in revocation of your membership.

If you have questions or concerns about borrowing a tool, please see an Area Champion or Board Member.

Can I manufacture a firearm or firearm parts at the Makerspace?


I still have more questions!

First, read through our Member Handbook here: If you still have more questions, email us! We can be contacted at

faq.txt · Last modified: 2024/06/05 16:52 by wildapricot-davitt_sarah