What is a Maker Space? Maker spaces are exactly as the name implies, places where people make things. They take many forms, such as; Art Spaces (where artists rent studio space), Hacker Spaces (where coders and computer programmers create and modify applications and programs), etc. They can be both commercial/ for profit, or totally non-profit. The Foundry is a non-profit Maker Space dedicated to nurturing inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs in the Northeast Kingdom. It is set up on the health club model, where members join and pay a monthly fee to be trained on use of the equipment and get to use the equipment. Only instead of exercise equipment, The Foundry has woodworking and metalworking equipment as well as 3D printers and CAD/CAD design equipment.
Does The Foundry teach classes? Though The Foundry does not have a vocational program and does not consider itself a teaching institution, we do consider ourselves a place of learning and discovery. Members are instructed on safe operation of machinery, but after that it is up to the individual member to decide how to machine their own parts. Proctors are always available to gently offer their expertise to the budding makers. We also encourage members to collaborate on projects. The philosophy of The Foundry is that this collaboration helps build a solid and sustainable community of makers and builders.
How much does it cost to join The Foundry? The monthly fee for belonging to The Foundry is $35.00 USD, or one can pay for an entire year for $350.00 USD, a yearly savings of $70.00 USD.
Can I skip a month and still remain a member? Yes. The Foundry allows members to lapse in payment. Membership will continue, but access to the shop and it's equipment will not be allowed untless payment is made.
If I lapse in payment and then come back in, do I have to repay for the missed months? No. There is no penalty for skipping a few months. Just resume payments the month you come back.
I don't make a lot of money. Can I get a discounted membership? If a member or potential member demonstrates financial need, the board of directors can, at their discretion, award discounts or waive fees entirely. This is entirely at the discretion of the board and can be revoked at any time.
Can a non-member rent the machines on an hourly basis? No. The Foundry is a membership based organization. In order to use the machines, one must join and be trained on the use of the machinery.
Can I just drop off parts and ask for them to be machined? The Foundry is NOT a job shop. It is a place where members work on their own parts. That said, members do, on occasion, work on parts for friends, relatives and other members. If you know a member, you may ask them to work on your parts for you.
How old do I have to be to join The Foundry? One must be eighteen years of age or older to be a member of The Foundry.
Can a member bring guests? Absolutely! Guests are always welcome. They will however, not be allowed to use shop equipement and will be expected to adhere to all safety and general shop rules.
Can a member bring their children? The Foundry prides itself on being a family friendly organization. Members are allowed to bring their children along with them, however, it is the responsibility if the member to to supervise their own children and make sure that their children adhere to Foundry shop and safety rules. Nobody under 18 is allowed to operate powered equipment. That said, in keeping with The Foundry's goal of nurturing young innovators and entrepreneurs, parent/child teams are encouraged. By this arrangement, the member parent operates the equipment side by side with the child to build the child's project. Being makers, we at The Foundry understand just how exciting it is to see one of our designs take shape, and can see no greater way to build confidence and mechanical intuition into a child than to design and build their own creation.
When is The Foundry open? The Foundry has new, expanded hours. We are open Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5:00PM to 9:00PM, as well as all day Saturdays from 9:00AM to 4:00PM.
Is there safe storage for my tools and projects at The Foundry? Storage space is limited, but is provided. That said, in order to save space, projects left untouched for over six months will be assumed to be abandoned and may be disposed of or cannibalized. If you do need long term storage, let us know so we can mark the projects as such and save them.
Is The Foundry available for use by local businesses? Absolutely. The Foundry's main mission is to promote and nurture a strong local economy. To that end, we encourage local businesses to use our facility to augment their own capabilities. This does not mean that a business can monopolize the use of The Foundry's equipment to the detriment of other users. Be considerate is the watch word here.
Where is The Foundry? The Foundry is located on the Lyndon Institute Campus. Our Street address is 59 King Drive, Lyndon Center, Vermont. For reference, here is an overhead view.