What’s a hackerspace?
Hackerspaces are for people passionate about teaching, learning, and working on projects in technology, engineering, art, and science. We have everything from a classroom to host tech meetups to fabrication areas for prototyping with 3d printers, laser cutters, woodshop, welders, CNC, electronics, and more. While some would interchangeably call us Denver’s makerspace, we proudly uphold our identity as Denver’s hackerspace out of respect for our history. Founded in 2008, we’re the third oldest running hackerspace in the USA and were around before the word makerspace existed!
In contrast to for-profit makerspaces, our hackerspace operates like a cooperative. denhac is a 100% volunteer based nonprofit run by all members. Affordable monthly dues keep the lights on, but what powers denhac is every member contributing. Our mission is to sustain a community driven shared space for education through DIY spirit. That’s accomplished entirely by members volunteering their time hosting classes, events, maintaining computer environments, maker equipment, and teaching other members how to use it. Rather than charging money for our classes we instead ask you to pay it forward with your time. Contribute back to our mission and the space: teach a skill, become a trainer, organize something, help fix things, and more.
Interested? Want to join?
- This hackerspace belongs to YOU. Improvements, participation, and community projects are welcome and encouraged. denhac is 100% run by the members. Everyone pitches in to keep the space going. Always leave denhac better and cleaner than you found it. Put back tools and help organize. Take out the trash.
- Don’t set the space on fire.
- Don’t take tools home with you.
- denhac is alcohol and drug free.
- Our hackerspace is open 24/7. You’re welcome to come and go at all hours, but no living/sleeping at the space or in the parking lot.
- Put your name on your stuff, no exceptions! Unlabeled materials and equipment are fair game. If you want to claim an item for a project, put your name on it and store in a plastic bin in member storage. If your name isn’t on it, it will become quickly repurposed. We’ve got plenty of tape, markers, label makers, etc., so please ask if you can’t find what you need.
- Some tools require sign off before you’re allowed to use them. See their respective wiki page for details. Always ask if you’re not sure how to properly use any tool. Wear the appropriate protective gear for the task you are performing.
- Guests are allowed to hang out at denhac anytime you’re in the space with them and must sign the waiver before entering denhac. You’re responsible for your guests. Guests are not allowed to use tools without first becoming a member. Please see our verbose Pet Policy and think before bringing your off leash hamster or dog.
- Don’t run a business out of denhac. Prototyping is ok, making things for friends is ok. It’s not ok to monopolize our community funded and maintained tools to run your Etsy empire.
- Members have access to denhac’s slack after signing up and being issued a building key after their id check. All areas have a slack channel prefixed with “#help-”. Use these channels to ask questions, post when a consumable is running low, and always report all safety incidents and equipment issues.
Before you leave the space
- Tidy your workspace, stow ongoing projects, and put tools back where they belong.
- Turn off/unplug things that could burn down the space
- Trash full or stinky? Take it out
- Turn off the lights
- Lock up! (make sure all doors are fully closed)
For now, use the following link to access our events calendar. Events on meetup are mostly our public facing events. Tool safety trainings are for members only and typically posted in their respective “#help-” area slack channel. Members at denhac are encouraged to teach and host events out of the space! For example teach a class on a raspberry pi project, how to rebuild a bike, or host a weekly coding meetup. Make a post in #events coordinate scheduling and we can help get the word out.
Resources & Equipment
Browse the wiki for a mostly up to date list of the tools and equipment available. Some tools require training before use.
A short list of major technical and physical resources are:
- CO2 Laser Cutters
- 3D Printers (Prusas)
- Electronics workstation
- Metal working including welding and forging
- Textiles, sewing, and embroidery
- Bicycle and Automotive area
- A ton of other stuff
There are tons of other devices and resources available to members which are not included in this list. Want a tool we don’t have? Talk to the community and propose we buy one with our collective funds at a board meeting.
Don’t use equipment for which you are not trained. If you want to learn, ask! Look for “training required” signs on tools which typically also include a link to the wiki page and the training requirements. Training requirements vary for each tool and range from “read some stuff and watch a quick video” to “schedule a time to meet up with another member who will teach and authorize you before you are allowed to use the tool”. denhac’s mission is education. All of our tool trainings are taught by other members who are volunteering their time with the hopes that you pay it forward. Help improve something at denhac, lend another member a hand on their project, hold a class and teach something you know. Remember that all our trainers are volunteers. It can sometimes take a while to get a training scheduled and we can always use more trainers. Talk to any other trainer on a tool once you get experienced if you want to help out with classes.
All members should remain aware of the following points at all times:
- Know where the fire extinguishers are located
- Do not stack anything so tall that it creates a falling hazard
- Do not create open flames indoors
- Keep all walkways and doorways clear at all times
- If another member is posing an immediate threat to physical safety such as using a tool improperly, please say something to them immediately.
- If a member’s behavior is making you uncomfortable, feel unsafe, harassing, or breaking rules please alert the board by sending an email to email@example.com. Preventing accidents, taking care of our space, and making sure everyone is included is a responsibility of all denhac members. Help us make denhac better by actively looking out for one another.
Don’t leave your stuff laying around denhac. See the member storage wiki page for full details and guidelines on where to put your stuff.
The Board of Directors meets monthly to discuss policy, set general direction for the space, and vote on budgets. Currently on the first Tuesday of every month. All members are encouraged to attend and give feedback during discussions, but only Board members get to vote. Members become eligible to run for Board seats after three months of membership in good standing.
The list of current board members, as well as an overview of the function of the Board of Directors, can be found on our wiki here.
denhac’s board appoints three managers who make the day-to-day decisions between board meetings. Depending on what you need, they are a great place to start:
- Director of External Affairs
- Bother for: pointy-haired-boss business stuff; legal-ese translation services; any interface with external organizations; general organization management
- Director of Internal Affairs
- Bother for: general space operations; tools and equipment; breaking nice things
- Director of The Money
- Bother for: paying dues, spending our $, reimbursements, tax donation letters
Alcohol and all illegal drugs are prohibited from being consumed on any of ours or our landlord’s property. Marijuana is prohibited from being consumed on the property, regardless of one’s medical card status or individual compliance with state/local law. Tobacco and electronic cigarettes are allowed outdoors, more than 20 feet away from all entrances/exits to the building.
Specific exceptions regarding alcohol may be made at the discretion of the Board. Exceptions will be clearly posted both in the space and on the member’s list, when applicable.
Lost & Found
Any personal or project items that are left unattended at a station may be moved to the Lost & Found box by the next member attempting to use that space. During a Hack DENHAC Day, all unlabeled/unclaimed items from around the space are moved to the Lost & Found.
At the beginning of the next Hack DENHAC Day, the Lost & Found is emptied, and the items are either thrown away or returned to the “to hack” shelves, as appropriate.
Donating to denhac
Equipment donations are great, but please ask us if we want it before hauling it in. If it’s old and useless to you, it’s likely old and useless to us. Please check with the Operations Manager before donating any item to the space to make sure we can use it before just dropping it off. We are able to assist in recycling certain items, but not all: please check with us first.
Cash and non-cash donations are tax-deductible. denhac is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.
Shared Space & Cleaning
It is everyone’s shared responsibility to keep our space clean and tidy. denhac has no permanent staff. We are entirely volunteer-run, and we do not pay for janitorial services to come in and clean up the space.
This means everyone needs to try to leave the space a little cleaner you found it. Before anyone leaves, check the trash cans – if they are full, empty them to the dumpster in the side alley. If trash is left out on the main work table, take a few seconds to pick up a few pieces on your way out.
We will periodically host Hack-the-Space days to turn a chore into a more tolerable and fun group effort. Usually with food.
The parking lot is shared with all tenants of the building. See the parking map. Don’t leave your car and no overnight parking is allowed.
THE SHORT VERSION
Don’t be a dick.
THE LONGER VERSION
Be excellent to each other and the space.
Any two members can ask another member to cease a task out of safety concerns. What is a “safety concern” (besides the easy cases, like setting fire to the space)? Anything that makes at least two other members feel unsafe.
Show respect for one another.
Really though, don’t set fire to the space.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T
denhac reserves the right to terminate any membership at any time for any reason, but we strive for the process to be as fair and open as privacy and discretion allow us to be. Upon breaching of the Rules, the following actions may be performed in any order:
- The member will get a verbal warning from a Director or a Manager.
- The member will be called before the Board to explain and/or discuss the behavior in question, usually within Executive Session.
- The member will receive a formal Warning, via letter or email, signed by a Director or Manager.
- The Member will be put on probation.
- Membership will be suspended for a length of time.
- Membership will be terminated.
Note that some offenses – such as non-payment of dues, or setting fire to the space – can trigger automatic membership suspension or termination, without a formal review by the Board.
Dues shall be paid via the denhac.org website by purchasing a Membership and saving a payment method to your account. Financial donations may be paid via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or via credit card (Stripe) at https://denhac.org/product/donate.
Member Dues (per month):
- Student (valid Student ID required)/Senior Citizen(60+) Membership – $22.50
- Standard Membership – $45
- Household (up to 4 people at the same address) – $67.50
Be excellent to each other. Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. In addition to the denhac Golden Rule, “Don’t be a dick,” all members are also bound by the building’s harassment policy.
Access & Security Policy
All members of denhac in good standing will receive a keycard allowing 24/7 access to our space. This does NOT grant the member access to the entire building which is shared with other tenants. After hours, we are only allowed to be in our own space, or through our landlord’s space to use the bathrooms. NO other access is allowed without explicit manager or board approval.
In addition, all members are bound by our landlord’s access policy.
Mail & Package Policy
No person is allowed to receive mail or packages at the space, unless it is equipment that is to be used by the space, for the space. Even then, it’s a bad idea and package delivery often can’t get in the building. If you are ordering something with denhac budget it’s still best to ship to your home and bring it in.
The denhac refrigerator is intended for the short-term storage of food only. Ideally food should be taken with you when you leave the space. Follow standard office fridge etiquette. Label your food with your name and the date. Food without a name on it is considered communal property. Old/gross food can/will be thrown out by others, but they shouldn’t have to do it.
The denhac network exists for the benefit of the space, not for individual members. Do not do anything on the denhac network that invites unwanted attention, or risks us losing our connection.
Prohibited activities include but are not limited to the following:
- Intrusions outside of practice zone / playground
- Open bit-torrenting of copyrighted material
- Causing any DMCA violation, really
Violation of the network policy is grounds for immediate loss of membership.