MakerWorks Shop Policies

Last reviewed: Alisha Schor, 9/24/15

Revision: 2.3

Purpose: This document outlines the main policies of MakerWorks, including user and volunteer roles, procedures, safety, access, storage, budget, and web presence.

  1. Users

All users must acknowledge that they have fully read and understood the MakerWorks User Agreement and Safety Policy. All users are to be MIT Mechanical Engineering or Martin Trust Center affiliates (i.e. students, staff or alumni on advisory board) that are covered by MIT insurance.

MakerWorks Users are divided into shop members and non-members based on the training they have completed. All Users must check in with a Mentor upon entry to the shop to assess at a minimum supervision is required and to verify use of all machines for that session (Class 3 machines especially). This section contains descriptions of users and required training.

  1. Maker Monday
    The purpose of Maker Monday is to provide a general shop orientation, build a maker community, convey expectations, policies, rules, and provide a gateway to basic shop use. These sessions are held on Monday evenings weekly (excepting holidays). Maker Mondays start in a lecture hall to describe the purpose and motivation for the space, including a code of conduct review and a Mentor introduction, then it moves to the shop for a short run-through of shop layout and rules/procedures. There will also be a basic hand tools safety training for new members.

  1. Levels of Access
    Users will be categorized as non-members until they attend Maker Mondays.

  1. Non-Member: Has not attended Maker Monday yet  

  1. Member: Attended Maker Mondays AND have completed shop-specific safety training

  1. Tool and Machine-Specific Training
    Training is required for all machines and tools. This requirement may be fulfilled by demonstrating competence with the machine and passing the test for operating the machine. Training records are kept on file and indicated on your badge. Machine-specific training is conducted by the mentors that have received training approval by the machine master.

  1. “Personalized Supervision” and “Permission” Definitions

These definitions are important for safety purposes.

  1. Personalized Supervision:
    The Mentor must be within a few steps of the machine, and
    actively overseeing all operations.
  2. With permission:
    Machine access without personalized supervision is granted, but only after checking in with the Mentor and receiving permission. This status applies to shop members that have been
    appropriately trained on a given machine.

  1. Volunteers
    MakerWorks volunteers consist of three roles that are not mutually exclusive (i.e. a volunteer may take on multiple roles): Mentor, Machine Master, and Executive Committee member.

  1. Mentors
    A Mentor is a shop manager that is in charge of safety and knowledge transfer in the MakerWorks shop. Mentors are responsible for machine specific training and all other duties listed in the Mentor Responsibilities document. Two references from existing Mentors and permission from the Maker Czar are required. An applicant may reapply to the Mentor position if not initially selected.

Generally, the selection, training, and scheduling of Mentors occurs every semester. Mentors are required to sign up for a weekly time slot during which they staff the MakerWorks with other Mentors. These time slots are scheduled so that there is a 15 minute overlap (30 minutes total per shift) between one Mentor arriving and one Mentor leaving. The Maker Czar (or someone of equivalent shop experience) will explain how to manage a shop full of students during the training. Each mentor will be assigned to machine teams and serve that team.

Being a Mentor allows off-hours access to the shop. No one is to ever work alone; at least one other person must be in close proximity. If class 2 or 3 equipment is to be used, at least one of the other persons must have been trained upon the equipment. At least one other person must be trained on the machine that is being used. More information on machine classes and off-hours access is available here (access policies) and here (machine classes).

  1. Machine/Process Masters
    The machine Master is responsible for being the resident expert on maintenance, repair, best practices/use and extensive knowledge of a particular machine and process. There will typically be two Masters for a given machine. Anyone who is a machine Master must be a Mentor first. Machine Masters are responsible for developing/maintaining the training program for their machine. The Masters are responsible for proposing the monthly/annual budget for the operation of their processes and machines.

    New machine Masters should overlap with the previous machine Master by at least one semester (whenever possible) to prevent information loss. One person may be the Master of more than one machine on a temporary basis until a suitable Master is found. The status of machine Master is achieved through a voting/approval process conducted by the existing Masters/executive committee and Maker Czar. He/she will then receive training from a previous machine Master and when training is complete, review this with the Maker Czar. The Masters are also the points of contact for their given processes within the MakerWorks system.

  1. Safety
    MakerWorks will comply to standard rules (e.g. OSHA, MIT EHS) for governing a machine shop (as outlined in the Safety Policy document). All shop volunteers will have read and be familiar with the MakerWorks / MIT Environmental Health & Safety standard operating procedure.
  2. Access
    This section includes shop hours and machine reservations. Access may be revoked for violating shop policies, at the discretion of the shop volunteers and/or the Maker Czar. Reinstatement of access requires approval of the Maker Czar. Members may appeal their revoked access directly to the Maker Czar who will then consult with appropriate Mentors.

  1. Shop hours
    Shop hours are set on a semester-semester basis.

  1. Machine reservations
    We currently do not have a machine reservation system. The following system was proposed in June 2015 and is preserved below as a reference if necessary in the future.

  1. Storage
    Projects may be stored on a short-term basis (e.g. a setup on the mill may be left overnight to be finished the following morning, or an assembly that needs glue may set overnight). Always leave a note. A machine or workstation must either be in use or vacated and cleaned, unless given explicit permission from a Mentor. The User must obtain permission from a Mentor and must fill out a note with his/her full name, email address, name / signature of approving Mentor, and removal time/date. The stored project may be disposed of at the discretion of the Mentor (e.g. if there is no note, or if it is not removed in a timely manner).

  1. Payment

Payment may be made using cash or TechCASH for available stock or machine usage.

  1. Stock

Everyone should bring their own stock, but on a case-by-case basis we may provide stock. There may be some stock (e.g. aluminum, acrylic, etc.) in the shop that is sold. There may also be some stock that is free in reasonable quantities (e.g. fasteners, small electronics components, etc). Materials will be sold at market price. Stock for the laser cutter is handled differently and is covered in the tool-specific training.

  1. Machines 

Use of machines (e.g. the Waterjet) may be paid for with cash or TechCASH. The Mentor may provide a receipt for research reimbursements.

  1. Web

The MakerWorks website contains more information about available machines, upcoming events, etc. The wiki is a repository for files and information provided by members of the MakerWorks community.

  1. Wiki 

The current contact person to grant wiki access is Michael Buchman.

  1. Website 

The current contact person to grant website access is Dan Dorsch.