September 6, 2011 Minutes - Operations Committee

Champaign Urbana Community Fab Lab
1301 South Goodwin Avenue Urbana, IL 61801

Business/Operation Committee Meeting
Tuesday September 6, 2011 @ 5:30 PM

I. Attendance
K Heller, M Mane, G Ray, D Rose, L Scharf, G Watson

II. New Fall Hours Beginning September 6, 2011

    TUESDAY     5 - 9 PM
    THURSDAY     5 - 9 PM
    SUNDAY         12 - 6 PM
These hours are posted on the door of the lab, and on the website at:

Note: Student assistant lab managers continue to open, close and staff the lab during these posted times, but await formalization of their positions.

III. Fab Off

Betty Barrett of the friends committee approached the operations committee at our last meeting on July 31, requesting background support for "Fab Off", to be held on October 22, 2011.  Volonteers to help with the logistics will be needed!

Note: K Heller, D Rose and G Watson volunteered to help with the feeding and caring of the "Fab Off" attendees.  Watson will bring in a gas grill.  Rose will assess the cost of renting a tent/awning and additional tables/chairs (if needed). Heller will be acting concierge.

L Scharf volunteered to equip the lab with more cameras in time for this event, such that we may broadcast live to the broader fab lab network as it unfolds.

IV. Blue Platter Saturday Workshops (Work Session)

Blue Platter Saturdays are events that CUCFL puts together as workshops for experimenting with new processes or materials. The first one will be October 8th form 9 am to 12 pm.(Mercedes).  More information on our website at:

Note: M Mane is the lead on this work session.  Unlike previous workshops, there will not be any formal instruction.  There will be as many as 4 sewing machines, and a selection of high tech wearables, which participants may explore and assembled in creative ways.

V. Online Events of Note

2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival, (April 27-29, 2012) (Betty)

Digital Media & Learning Competition 4 (online Thursday September 15) (Jonathan)

Note: Both of these links point to projects which promote education of youth by making use of digital technologies, which is also a goal of the CUCFL.

VI.  Fab 7, Lima, Peru

Fab 7 was held in Lima Peru last August, and the CUCFL was represented by 5 conference attendees.  In addition, this survey team made a presentation of preliminary results of an NSF sponsored study of the US fab lab network.  Many thanks to the conference organizers, and the warm welcome we received from the people of Peru!

The CUCFL also participated in the "ambulante" competition, where labs from each country created a street vendors cart, and prepared and served a dish from their country at the Square in Lima, Peru.  See Mercedes earlier post on the website for pictures!

VII. Fab Academy

The 2011 Fab Academy ran from January through July, resulting in 4 newly minted gurus for the CUCFL!  Congratulations to Betty Barrett, Mercedes Mane, Dean Rose, and Mary K Watson.

VIII. Fab Lab Scales and Inventory

The CUCFL is approximately a $100,000 fab lab, (10^5), which has the capability of making smaller labs, which can be released into the broader community.  The inventory of this lab historically has been maintained by Professor Neil Gershenfeld of MIT since the inception of the fab lab concept.  At Fab 7, the decision was made to broaden the scope, and to describe fab labs at orders of magnitude (as measured in dollars). Thus, inventories for a $100 lab (10^2), $1,000 lab (10^3), all the way up to a $100,000,000 (10^8) are under construction. Rose volunteered to maintain a list for the 10^2 lab, and Mane volunteered to maintain the 10^3 inventory.  MIT students will maintain the 10^4 and 10^5 inventories, and professor Gershenfeld will assemble the 10^X lists, where X{6,7,8}.  Suggestions for what should be in the inventory are encouraged!

IX. Adjourn
Note: On time and ended in about an hour!