FAQ

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[GENERAL QUESTIONS]

What's a hackerspace?

A Hackerspace is typically a facility that combines workshop spaces and open community lab, where like-minded individuals come together to share ideas, tools and expertise.

How does South Side Hackerspace work?

South Side Hackerspace is located in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. As a local center for maker culture, we promote DIY projects ranging from traditional (metalworking, woodworking, arts and crafts) to technological (software development, electronics, 3D printing, robotics). Our dynamic membership includes working professionals, students, artists, entrepreneurs, and unique self-starters. While our location and name serve to anchor us in the south side, we are not exclusive - everyone is welcome!

Is it cool if I drop by and check things out?

Absolutely! We'd love to give you a tour and have a chat! Given the open nature of the space, we're not always around, so make sure to set up an appointment by emailing [pr.director@sshchicago.org] or [ssh@sshchicago.org] OR join us for our open body meetings: every Wednesday night @ 7:30 PM.

[Address: 1048 West 37th St | Unit 105 | Chicago, IL 60609]

What tools y'all got?

This list is in a constant state of flux.

  • 3D Printers Galore
A Reprap
a more different rep-rap
a Makerbot Cupcake
  • A full electronics bench with:
a solder station
a hot air rework gun
oodles of components
a multimeter
two oscilloscopes
a signal generator
  • Hand tools
hammers
screwdrivers
power drills
  • Woodworking tools
two band saws
two table saws
a drill press
a joiner
a planer
a miter saw
  • Metalworking tools
a chop saw

...and more to come!

Can I build a battlebot by next week?

Unless you're a battlebot expert or we happen to have a member who is a battlebot expert, prolly not? We do foster research, education, and intense brainstorming sessions, but your project is your own! So long as you treat the facilities and others with respect, you are welcome to build to your heart's content!

Can you build me a battlebot by next week?

Yes, but we bill at $7000/hour for emergency last minute battlebot service. Seriously though, we're not contractors. We're glad to provide help and expertise for free, but we're not going to do it for you.

[MEMBERSHIP]

Do I need to be a member to participate?

You do not necessarily have to be a member of ssh:chicago to participate. We have open house hours during our weekly Wednesday night meetings and regularly host workshops and events that are open to the public. Our members are welcome to bring in their friends into the space. We are open to collaborations and partnerships with other organizations.

What does it take to become a member?

CAN YOU DEFEAT THE GRIFFIN AND TAKE YOUR PLACE ON THE HACKERSPACE THRONE? No? That's cool. Pretty much, all you have to do is show up, show us that you're willing to hack, pony up a little bit of scratch / in kind donations, and don't be a tremendous jerk all of the time. Also you gotta sign some forms, but we'll let you borrow a pen. You have to bring a photo ID though, you know, just in case.

How old do you have to be?

Anyone 18+ is welcome to apply for membership. Anyone between the ages of 16-18 years will be allowed to apply on a case-by-case basis so long as a parent/guardian visits the space and signs paperwork in person (in which case we need the adult's photo ID). The minor goes through a probationary period of two months before he/she receives a key to the space.

What are your membership levels?

We offer three Membership Tiers

  • Southside Sidekick: $10/mo
Show up and don’t feel like a stranger!
Feel like you’re making a contribution.
  • Starving Hacker: $35/mo
Get a key to the space!
Eligibility for parking permits and a’la carte options
  • Full Membership: $60/mo
Vote all you want!
Use a locker to store your belongings!
Right to run for a position on the Board!
Monthly blog spot!

As a member, you can utilize the space and shared resources whenever you wish (while being respectful to your fellow Makers, of course). You can bring in your own projects to work on, bounce ideas off other members, seek and offer help, work on improving the hackerspace itself, or just hang out.

[WHAT ABOUT...]

...hot work? Can I weld?

Yes ... with some provisions. The first is that machines require certification. The second is that safety procedures must be followed. This includes safe use of the machine, safe use of the space, and safe post-work behaviors. Ask for exact policy & procedure.

...hosting events? Can I host a class or event using your space?

Our events are member-run. If you want to host an event (a cryptoparty, office hours for a programming language, a group class, etc) you just need to either be a member or find a member to host it. Make sure there aren't any other things scheduled by checking our Calendar first!

...my start-up company? Can I use your facilities for prototyping?

Yeah, I guess, to an extent. Be respectful. If you're hogging the 3D printer to print up prototypes to send to VCs, you might be asked to leave. Plus, Chicago has better resources for your use case! http://www.catalyzechicago.org/

...all this equipment I’d like to donate!?

Typically, check with a board member and we'll help arrange transportation for the equipment. That doesn't mean we're a dumping ground for crap, though. If any more broken inkjet printers come in, I'm going to start throwing them out the window.

[UNCOMFORTABLE QUESTIONS]

Is this a good place to show up and hit on girlzzzzzzz?

No. Treat others with respect. Part of that means not making advances on people. We're a hackerspace, not a singles bar.

When is the bikeshed painting meeting?

As soon as we determine a safe level of VOCs for the paint.

proc bikeshed {} {print "    / \\\n   /   \\\n  /_____\\\n |       |\n [randcolor]| bieks |"}