[hackerspaces] Cost sharing for lasers and 3D printers?

Arclight arclight at gmail.com
Sat Jan 19 01:51:31 CET 2013

Sorry to post off topic, but I have a hacker space related question.

We just acquired a new 3D printer (used commercial-grade machine) and
of course lots of people have already lined up to use it.

How do other spaces do cost recovery/sharing for machines like laser
cutters and 3D printers? We know we need to record what people use and
get them to pay for materials and money towards upkeep, but what's a
good system?

My experience in the past has been that some hackers either think
everything should be "at cost" (meaning materials+0.0% markup of any
type) and that "the collective" will chip in and pay for stuff when it
breaks. My experience with this is that someone is always left holding
the bag when some $300 expense pops up and passing the hat yields $38
and change.

Other folks (like me) feel that the space should charge members for
materials, plus money to bank for repairs and hidden costs, leaving
anything left over as profit/money towards a later replacement

What system does everyone use? Money jar next to the machine? RFID
accounting by user?

23b Shop

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