An overview of membership changes…

i3Detroit has been adding members like crazy since the new rates went live! We’ve also had a lot of questions, so this post is to clarify some things. If anything is unclear, please post a comment.

New dues structure: The old one-size-fits-some $100/mo plan is gone, replaced with four new options:

  • Starving Hacker: Intended for students or the un[der]employed, this plan is for members in tight financial situations. $39/mo helps us keep the lights on, and gets you 24/7 keycard access to the space, full use of all tools, and free classes. This is a limited-access plan, available only to those who qualify.
  • Crafter/Coder: Inspired by feedback from programmers, artists, and a certain cross-stitch nut… If you want to be part of i3 but don’t think you’ll spend much time in the workshop, this plan is for you! Also $39/mo, this gets you 24/7 keycard access, and free classes, but not unlimited use of the big tools. You’re still encouraged to learn and use them a little, because once you get comfy in the shop, we bet you’ll step up to…
  • Core Member: Anyone who’s seen the rent and utility bills understands why dues were initially $100/mo, and why $89/mo is still the support we ask for, if you’re able. Gets you unlimited access to the space, plus a warm fuzzy feeling. Core members get voting rights at meetings, too.
  • Supporting Member: If you don’t need a keycard but want to support i3, name your own price! We’ll happily reserve you a seat in classes, if you’d like. Consider contributing to our Kickstarter! It’s an ambitious goal, and your enthusiastic support is what will help us reach it.

As you might have guessed, Crafter/Coder represents most of the recent influx. It’s a great way to get started as a member, and if you never feel the urge to upgrade, that’s fine! It still takes money to run a place like this, of course, but it’s fine (and better in the long run) if that support comes from a larger, more diverse group. Lower dues and a broader member base will help i3Detroit thrive as a vibrant, active part of the DIY community. Spread the word!

Easier membership: You no longer need to show up for a meeting or be voted in as a member. Tuesdays are still a great time to meet the group, but it’s now possible to do the paperwork, do the orientation, pay your first dues, and get your keycard in a single evening, any evening! Get in touch with any member to get started — or just drop in when we’re open.

Also, look forward to…

More Classes: As you may already know, we try to run a lot of events and classes. None of us (yet) are professional teachers, so this is a learning experience for everyone! With your help, we’re getting better at it, and we’re always adding tools and supplies to make more stuff possible. Look for our machining and electronics classes to continue, along with more craft make-and-takes, software workshops, et cetera. Non-members are welcome to teach classes too, so please get in touch if you have knowledge to share with the community!

New Space: The details aren’t finalized, but we’re moving. Moving into a much larger space. A much larger space with room for bigger tools. Bigger tools like a full-size Bridgeport mill. Also, a networking lab (think CCNA prep lab, but multi-vendor), expanded crafting space, probably a vehicle hoist…  This is big, look for the official announcement in a few days!

Busy weekend: Open Shop, Member Orientation, Open Source Class, Circuit Board Class [updated!]

Non-members and members alike have three great excuses to swing by the shop some time this weekend. Bring a friend!

Friday night is a party to celebrate the new membership structure. In addition to new dues options ($39 and $89, with special options for students, crafters and coders), we’ve improved the process so you can do the paperwork, get your orientation, and receive your key in one shot.  Plus, Friday means it’s Open Shop so we’ll be teaching tools, hanging out, and working on whatever project you want to bring along! Oh, did I mention the beer, wine, pizza, and snacks? Doors will be open by 7pm…

Saturday evening, we’re hosting an open source software workshop to introduce screen and ssh, two supremely handy tools in the linux admin’s arsenal, which the rest of us can find uses for too. Briefly: SSH is the secure replacement for Telnet plus some sneaky features that’ll help you circumvent restrictive work firewalls and stuff, Screen takes your SSH experience to the next level by adding persistence and multiple windows to name just a couple features. They’re both free, and Saturday’s intro won’t require advanced sysadmin knowledge. Bring a laptop! Talk starts at 7, but doors will be open by 6 or earlier, so come hang out!

Sunday will be an electronics design day, starting with a PCB class at 3pm.   You’ll learn how to lay out a circuit board in electronic design software, then how to transfer that layout and chemically etch a board with it. Materials permitting, each student may get their own board to play with, and when the etching is complete, we’ll stuff components into the boards and solder ’em up, leaving you with a completed LED flasher circuit to take home! This is a really simple circuit and no electronics experience is required to attend.  If you wish to get in on the hands-on fun, please reserve your seat.  This will just be part of a new, regularly scheduled series of electronics classes we will be offering.  Keep checking our site for updates on more classes!

Weekly Meeting: Tuesday September 1st @ 7:00pm

Just a Reminder that we will be holding our regular group meeting Tuesday September 1st @ 7:00 P.M. We will be meeting at The Coffee Beanery in Berkley off of Woodward Ave. Just a reminder for all current members that our monthly dues will be collected at this meeting. Our meeting is open to anyone that would like to come. If you are interested in finding out more about our group and would like to be apart of it please join us!


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Ann Arbor Maker Faire

The guys over at the Ann Arbor Go-Tech makers group are putting on the first Ann Arbor Makers Faire on Saturday August 29th 2009 at the Neutral Zone which is located at 310 E. Washington Ann Arbor, MI 48104. They are looking for people to register for exhibitors. If you would like to be apart of the making of Metro Detroit’s First Maker Faire head over to their site and register today!

i3 Detroit is already registered and planning to be there so we hope to see you all come out and visit us.