Here is the email I sent to the i3Detroit mailing list:

We discussed this at the Board of Directors meeting this week. Our hacker space is experiencing a lot of growth, so not everyone knows everyone any more. We want i3Detroit to be a place where, if someone hassles you, steals from you, or walks all over you without consideration, they can't just vanish with impunity-- one more stranger in a crowd of strangers. Some conflicts can't be resolved unless the group itself takes action.

In a new social circle, sometimes it takes a while to know who you can go to. If you're new, and someone at this facility makes it clear they are not interested in respecting the boundaries you set, you should know exactly who to ask for help.

One of the biggest reasons I became a Board member was to advocate for our members and guests in cases of conflict. I have experience with this in several all-volunteer not-for-profit organizations. The Board has designated me as the point of contact. If I am no longer a Board member after this fall's election, they will choose another person.

An advocate is expected to do the following:

- Be aware of what is in our code of conduct.

- Either support our code of conduct, or campaign to change it.

- Never say "well, I just don't want to support our code of conduct."

- Handle private information with discretion on a need-to-know basis.

- Report to the Board and pursue the matter until it is resolved, keeping it consistently moving toward resolution.

- Provide a definite outcome one way or another, to each party who has a stake in the conflict.

- Take personal accountability when (not if) one or more parties to the conflict are not happy with the outcome.

- Maintain some means of reasonable notice to our members and guests, to let them know who they can go to for help.

In order to keep our social circle vibrant, and retain people from a variety of walks of life, there are some situations where this organization can't just leave you to fend for yourself. We must have your back regardless of who mistreated you-- a Board member, officer, warden, or cofounder; a very popular person; or a respected master builder. And our promise to you is no good unless you know about it, so we're telling you.

Laser cutting at i3Detroit, Feb 12, 2011 from Matt Arnold on Vimeo.

This laser plotter has finished engraving the pieces I designed, and is now cutting the perimeters of the pieces. This is 1/4" medium density fiberboard. This is at i3Detroit hacker space, in Ferndale, MI.

It took a couple of tries to scale it up (the advertised thickness of the wood was slightly incorrect), but here is the robot I showed you in the last post!

This robot, laser-cut from 3mm plywood, is a pawn I designed for an entire boardgame made with the laser cutter. I'm still waiting for laser cutter time, to see how it comes out, but I don't mind showing you the schematics now.

The key on the robot's back is just for decoration, but the gears on the board really turn. I used this gear template generator. The gearteeth form a track along which the pawns move, and you can change where everyone is on the track simply by turning the gears. Here are the schematics for the gears and board. Red is cut, black is engraved.

"GEARBOX GRAB" is a working title right now. I'm considering some other titles.

I think you can't really laser-cut cards, because it burns the edges as it cuts them. But you can laser-cut chips and draw them from a bag. So that's what this game uses.

I was asked to draw the artwork for this pendant as a demonstration of the laser cutter and engraver at i3Detroit. We made two of them-- I have the other one. For this one, Ross Smith painted an area of the wood red, then covered it with masking tape. The laser cut through the wood completely for the outline of the pendant, and burned away the tape while engraving the pattern. Ross then spray-painted the engraved area blue, and removed the remaining tape to reveal the red painted surface.
From i3Detroit mailing list:

The team at i3Detroit has entered a contest with to win an Epilog Laser Cutter and Etcher (model: Zing 16). WE NEED YOUR HELP. The build team lead by Dustin White & Bob Bedard made a fantastic entry to the contest by building a step-by-step guide to converting a military ammo box into a set of portable music speakers. It's a rugged and spiffy design that
is sure to win, if we have your votes. In order to win the prize, we need you to vote on our project.

To do this: Register for an Instructables account (free), then go to our project page and click "Vote". That's it. For 20 seconds of your time you will help i3Detroit win a $8,000 piece of equipment for the community to use at the shop. Please help. Full specs on the laser cutter below. Read more... )

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