Frequently Asked Questions
TOURS AND OPEN HOUSE
Q. Do I need to register for an Open House Tour or can I just show up?
A. You can absolutely just show up! We encourage you though to join our Meet-up group. It is free! That way you are notified of any special events. Also we know ahead of time how many people to expect on a tour. Please join us and RSVP. http://www.meetup.com/assentworks/
Q. Where are you located?
A. 3rd Floor, 125 Adelaine St. Exchange District. Winnipeg.
Q. What should I do if the door is locked?
A. Ring the doorbell and wait for someone to open the door.
Q. How can I contact someone with additional questions?
A. Email us at email@example.com
Q. I would like a tour but I can not make it out on a Tuesday night.
A. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for special arrangements.
Q. I want to bring my group for a tour. What should I do?
A. Contact email@example.com and propose a date and time. Be sure to specify the size of your group and any special requirements you may have.
Q. I have been working on a product for a couple years and I have been at a stand still not knowing the road to take to get this off the ground. How should I proceed?
A. Come to one of our Tuesday evening open house to see the facility, ask questions and meet other makers. Any time after 6 any Tuesday. 3rd Floor, 125 Adelaide St.
MATERIAL AND CONSUMABLES
Q. Do I need to bring all my own material.
A. Yes. We charge a small fee for specialized materials you may not be able to procure yourself (e.g. uPrint 3D printer plastic, etc.) You will receive a monthly invoice if used. We also have a table of general use material that is free to use.
Q. Can I purchase drill bits and other supplies?
A. Yes. We have various commonly used Shopbot bits for sale in one of the vending machine, along with other shop related basic accessories such as:
- Engraving tools;
- Double Edge Lettering Bits;
- Single Edge Upcut Spiral O Flute;
- Double Edge Upcut Bottom Surfacing;
- Sandpaper, tape, gloves, etc.;
- Electronics components;
- Raspberry Pi, etc.
Q. How do I become a member?
A. Register online here:
Q. The membership seems expensive.
A. Actually our membership fee is relatively low. For roughly $150 a month you get access to about $1.2M in advanced manufacturing equipment in Canada’s largest makerspace (we are currently 4x the size of the next biggest). Membership is actually negligible, as many members make small products on the side to sell for profit. It is trivially easy to make a year’s membership in a couple of afternoons if you are creative. We strongly recommend you come by on a Tuesday night open house and you’ll see what it’s all about and can ask questions.
A. Do you take credit cards?
Q. Yes. We accept VISA or MasterCard, PayPal, cash or cheques.
Q. What benefits do I receive for being a member?
A. You will have access to all members and equipment. Through a discussion board, you can ask for informal training. If you feel stuck on your project, need advice or have expert advice for someone else, reach out to members. Tuesday nights seem to be a night when members come out to socialize. You can also send an email to all members at discuss. When you are a member you will be invited to the discussion board.There is also a Members Only Website. You will have access to the Member’s only Wiki. The “FrontPage” will take you to the main page to access information including: equipment use, equipment maintenance reports, safety, task list for volunteering, meeting notes, etc.
Q. I am not sure that I have the necessary skills?
A. No worry. Connect with our members through a Tuesday night and our discussion board. Our members have a varied amount of complimentary skills. We help each other succeed.
Q. How do I get trained on <my favorite machine>?
A. No formal training courses are scheduled; all training is informal. The process involves an interested member requesting help via the email discussion list. Inevitably, someone will answer and suggest you join them operating the equipment and learn how it works.
Q. I don’t know how to operate ANY machines! I can’t become a member, can I?
A. Yes, you can become a member. Most members do not know how to operate a single machine when they join. Over time they learn how to successfully operate machines one by one. Some members learn ALL the machines; others just learn the ones they need for their project. The more machines you learn, the easier it gets. Many machines are no more complicated than a photocopier, even though they look intimidating.
Q. Can a member be under 18 year old?
A. Our insurance requires members to be 18 years old and over. They can help a parent that is a member with design preparation and assembly. They just can’t operate machines.
Q. Do I need any special insurance?
A. Members only need a home owner or renters insurance policy.
Q. What software do you recommend for creating designs to print on the BFB 3000 or uPrint?
A. We recommend trying 123D Design (http://123dapp.com/design/), which is easy to use, designed for creating solid, 3D printable models and is also free.
Q. What 3D modeling software should I use?
A. It depends on your project’s needs, your budget and the time you have available to commit to learning a tool. There are dozens of 3D modeling packages, some of which are free and some are $10,000 per license. Some are good for designing mechanical parts (Geomagic, Solidworks, etc.), some are good for more artistic designs (Z-Brush, Maya, etc.), and some are capable of producing mathematically generated 3D models (OpenSCAD, Rhino3D, etc.) We strongly recommend avoiding SketchUp and especially Blender. SketchUp does not produce printable 3D models and is very different from other tools, while Blender is essentially impossible to learn.
Q. Do you have scanners and software?
A. Yes. We have a high-end scanner and a low-end scanner. The Creaform Handyscan VIUScan is capable of sub-millimeter resolution and comes with Rapidform/XOR reverse-engineering CAD software. The low-end scanner is a Microsoft Kinect with Skanect software, very suitable for scanning people and larger objects.