Rules and Guidelines

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The Standing Rules

These are the policies that we operate under. Guests must follow by these guidelines, even if they are unknown - they will be made aware of any mistakes, and if they refuse to abide by them they will be asked to leave. Members agree to follow these rules at all times upon signing the Membership Form. These policies may be modified by the Board of Directors or Operations Committee at any point through due process.


It is the responsibility of the members to come to amicable agreements of disputes over tools, space or other shop resources.

No sleeping / living in the space. (Brief naps are okay if done safely in an appropriate place.)

Members must be at least 13 years of age.

  • Members under the age of 18 are considered "Youth Members" and must have a liability waiver form signed by a parent on file, and must have a member (which may be their parent) present whenever they are at the MakerSpace facility.
  • Members under the age of 16 must have a parent and a member present. (Again, the parent may be that member.)

Open photography and audio/video recording may occur at the space. These photos and recordings may be used to promote Rockford MakerSpace or for other purposes without requiring explicit approval of, or compensation to, members, guests or visitors. Surreptitious photography and/or audio/video recording of individuals without their consent is forbidden.

IT Equipment (computers, servers, networking equipment and infrastructure, access control systems, security systems, etc) falls under the jurisdiction of the IT Area lead by the Area Captains. Tampering with, modifying, or unauthorized use of these systems will result in disciplinary action as determined by the Operations Committee.

Members are encouraged to help us improve the space. With that in mind, any changes to the building infrastructure (such as electrical, networking, plumbing, etc.) must be approved by the Operations Committee prior to work beginning.


Rockford MakerSpace is a not-for-profit organization. Accordingly, we have established the following guidelines regarding advertising at the space itself, on our social media sites, at Rockford MakerSpace events or events in which Rockford MakerSpace is a participant, or any other situation in which such advertising could be associated with Rockford MakerSpace:

  • Outright (blatant) advertising of commercial products or services is prohibited. The only exceptions to this are corporate or other sponsors of Rockford MakerSpace itself.
  • Advertising of commercial products or services which is incidental to other, more appropriate content (such as how-to videos) is acceptable so long as it is not the sole purpose of the content. An example of this might be a YouTube how-to video posted on our Facebook group that includes a brief mention of a corporate sponsor of the YouTube channel.
  • Advertising availability of member-created merchandise available free is permitted so long as the member exercises reasonable restraint in such advertising. An example of this might be mentioning that a member's creation is available for free download from Thingiverse.
  • Advertising availability of member-provided services is permitted -- on a very limited basis -- so long as the service is posted under the member's personal account. An example of this might be a member mentioning that they are available to provide maintenance/repair service on 3d printers, in response to a query or pertinent to a discussion.
  • Advertising member-created merchandise is strongly discouraged, but may be acceptable on a limited basis so long as the advertising is restricted to merely referring the public to the member's physical store, other online site, etc. Examples of this might include a small card describing a 3d-printed object displayed at a maker faire and including the member's name and business contact info, or photos of custom wood crafts with a mention of the member's name and business contact info. Generally, these advertisements should be approved in advance by the Operations Committee.

Code of Conduct

In order to keep things civil and respectful, the Board of Directors and Operations Committee have adopted the following guidelines for conduct in the facility, and for discussions on the message boards and other social media:

  • Treat others as you would like to be treated.
  • Keep criticism constructive.
  • Refrain from name-calling or derogatory statements.
  • Do not discriminate based on gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, profession, etc.
  • Do not harass:
    • Harassment includes offensive verbal comments or actions related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, unwanted photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.
    • People asked to stop any harassing behavior must comply immediately.
  • Any conduct that the Board or Operations Committee determines to be offensive will be addressed and acted upon as needed.
    • On a first offense, the Board or Operations Committee will issue a warning.
    • Subsequent offenses may be cause for further disciplinary action per the By-Laws.


Safety is the top responsibility of every member and guest.

  • All members and guests are required to use appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • It is the responsibility of every member and guest to understand the safe use of any tool or equipment before using it.
  •  Red-tag  tools are for member-use only, and require a class or personal instruction by the Area Captain before use.
  •  Yellow-tag  tools require a proficiency checkout from the Area Captain before use.
  • Members or guests in an affected work area should be made aware of safety rules if they are not following them (a request to put on safety equipment or relocate to avoid breathing fumes, etc).
  • Members must not allow unsafe practices by any guest or other member - it is their responsibility to speak up.
  • Access to the roof is restricted to authorized personnel, and only on an as-needed basis.


Any guest must be hosted by a member, whether this is a personal guest or random visitor. If the hosting member needs to leave, they must pass off their responsibility as host to another member, or ask the guest(s) to leave. No member is under obligation to host guests. In all cases, the member(s) hosting one or more guests are responsible for:

  • Verifying that each guest has a signed waiver on file as they enter
  • Verifying that each guest has signed in
  • Making sure guests understand the guidelines under which we operate
  • Cleaning up after guests if they fail to do it themselves

If any of the following are true, the person is not allowed in the space and must leave:

  • The person is a minor and a parent/guardian of the guest is not present or is present but has not filled out the Minor Liability Waiver on his or her behalf
  • A member or guest behaving inappropriately (including but not limited to violation of these rules or the bylaws) may be asked to leave by another member. In case of a dispute in the matter, any Board member or Area Captain may mediate.


Each member is responsible for maintaining the security of his or her own key card or fob (access credentials). If your card or fob is lost or stolen, or you suspect that it has been copied, please see the Board of Directors or their authorized representative about replacing or changing it.

Access credentials may be temporarily entrusted to another person (trustee) for limited purposes, such as picking up or dropping off items or people at the space.

  • Such trustees are not considered members and are not allowed to use tools, host guests, store their personal property at Rockford MakerSpace, or exercise other benefits of membership simply for possessing access. Sharing or loaning access outside these limits is grounds for revocation.
  • The member or other person or entity granting temporary access is responsible for the trustee, and agrees on behalf of the trustee to HOLD HARMLESS Rockford MakerSpace and its members.


If necessary, any member, though preferably with the assistance of a Board member, Operations Committee member or Area Captain, may temporarily eject a member from the space in order to resolve any immediate health, safety, or harassment issues.


The Board may vote to temporarily or permanently ban from Rockford MakerSpace's premises and mailing lists any person who:

  • harasses or threatens Rockford MakerSpace members,
  • is caught trespassing on Rockford MakerSpace's premises,
  • engages in criminal conduct while on Rockford MakerSpace‚Äôs premises,
  • is found in violation of Rockford MakerSpace policy two or more times, or
  • commits any offense determined to be valid by a 2/3rds majority vote of the Board.

The Board must define the term of the ban in its discussion and vote. The Board may ban any person regardless of membership status with a 2/3rds majority vote.

All banned people shall be listed on Rockford MakerSpace Wiki with their name, picture, reason for their ban, the date their ban went into effect, and the timeframe of their ban. This wiki page will also be printed and posted next to the membership board in Rockford MakerSpace shop. Any member that encounters a banned person should report it to Rockford MakerSpace Board immediately. The Board reserves the right to refer any banned persons on the premises to law enforcement.

This document was approved by the Rockford MakerSpace Operations Committee on 12 June 2017 with subsequent amendments.