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How our Tools are Organized

All of our tools are organized into different areas. Each area is overseen by Tool Stewards. The Stewards are responsible for training members on whichever tools require it and for general tool maintenance and upkeep of their area. Please note that stewards are NOT responsible for cleaning up messes. Cleaning any mess is the responsibility of the member who made it.

You have to be a member in order to use any of our tools. Once you become a member, then you can request training to become certified on the tools you want. Once you've been certified on a tool, you can use it any time day or night. Certifications last for 1 year, and then must be renewed with a Tool Steward.

Using space tools for commercial purposes is allowed with some caveats: Tools at the space are maintained by volunteers. The members maintaining tools will do their best to ensure that they are available for use but there are no guarantees that a given tool will be working or that when maintenance is needed how long that maintenance will take. It is therefore unwise to make promises to potential customers based on speculation of a given tool's availability. We will try to ensure a reasonable uptime, but it may be broken and the people that know how to fix it may be busy for awhile.

Tool Areas at Area 515 Des Moines Maker Space

  Tools marked with a Train.png require certification to use.

Metal Shop

Wood Shop

3D Printers

CNC Machines



Laser Cutters




Front Room/Lounge/Classroom Equipment

How/Where to Get Training for Tools

To get training for tools, you can either come in and get assistance and training from members or you can email

Tool Use Etiquette

Except for the automotive lift, right now all tools are basically first come, first served. For most tools this isn't a problem. Occasionally some of the more popular tools can get more than one person trying to use them, but in that case both members usually discuss their projects and can work out how best to share.

If you'll be using a tool for a long time, like say laser cutting a piece for several hours. It's good etiquette to post on the Google Group letting people know what you'll be using and for how long. This lets other members plan around you and avoid frustrations.

Broken Tools

Stuff happens, even when you're careful. We get it. If a tool is broken, post a message on the | Google Groups letting everyone know.

If you broke it, please own up to it. People may not be happy, but they'll respect you for admitting it. People will be way more upset if they come in and discover something is broken on their own. Besides, the Tool Stewards can't fix it until they know about it.

If it's something people aren't likely to realize is broken, print and post this on the tool so no one tries to use it: Tool Broken Flyer

Use of Products/Materials

Use of Products/Materials


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Pages in category "Equipment"

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