Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 14.

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We just opened the first hackerspace in Tampa and we need tools and equipment to do even cooler things.

Who We Are

Tampa Hackerspace was established to create a sustainable space for learning and collaboration. We provide space, equipment, and classes to enable members and the surrounding community to explore both their creativity and curiosity. Our mission is educational. We are currently a state-level non-profit and putting together the application for Federal non-profit status as a 501c(3).

History

DATELINE March 2013. With lots of interest, local enthusiasts pile into a recently formed Facebook group. There are about 120 members. Bill Shaw, a local IT guy who also runs kid-friendly robotics programs, volunteers to take the reins. A non-profit is formed and plans are made.

Our Home March 2013
Our Home March 2013

DATELINE August 2013. The Facebook community grows to over 200. Bylaws are written. Plans are made. A new team is recruited and placed into position as the board of directors. Thanks to a growing team of volunteers and a revitalized community, Tampa Hackerspace is born. A core group pledges enough in membership dues to make the rent and with the support of CoWork Tampa, we move into a great 1,600 square foot space in a historic cigar building in Tampa. We immediately start booking basic classes and holding weekly meetings.

Our Home September 2013
Our Home September 2013

DATELINE Today. The Facebook community is over 780 members. Our paid membership is now 25 individuals and families. We routinely have 20-40 people attending our weekly Open Make Nights. We are paying the rent and looking forward to how we can do more for the community. We have already done some great and fun things. We built Extreme Fencing for the 2013 RedBull Creation. We won the 2013 RadioShack Hackerspace Challenge by building a full scale TARDIS and embedded an EEG controlled video game. We built Superhoops and took them to the Orlando Mini Maker Faire. And then we open sourced everything on GitHub. November 9th, we hosted our first Restart Party where things were fixed and stuff was recycled - LOTS of stuff. In November we also participated in Make's Robot Hacks and built a robotic Minecraft chicken.

Our Home December 2013
Our Home December 2013

This is where you can help. We want to do more and make Tampa Hackerspace a resource for all of Tampa Bay. We are about more than fun projects and building community. We also want to establish a significant community outreach program for people who don’t yet know they are makers or don’t have the resources to express their skills and creativity. We want to teach kids that there are no limits to what they can accomplish. We will teach by doing and helping others build. Our slogan, “Build With Us,” idealizes what we are about.

To make this happen, we need better tools. Our membership is sustaining our operating costs but it will take years to self-fund the tools we need to do this right. We have identified a number of labs and workshops we plan to make available through our hackerspace. We also want to finish our Federal non-profit application so that we can attract resources from local tech and manufacturing companies. Finally, we plan to promote the maker movement through partnerships and by example. We want to empower everyone in our community to build with us.

Where Do The Proceeds Go?

About 20% of the money goes to paying the basic fees to Kickstarter and Amazon and reward fulfillment. We need better access control than we have with the simple locks on our doors. We plan to acquire a delta 3D printer, a laser cutter, soldering stations, bench power supplies, and a tabletop CNC mill.

  • Kickstarter + Rewards: $1,800

  • Seating: $960

  • Space Upgrades: $500

  • Equipment: $6,740 

We want every additional dollar we receive to go towards providing the best tools and equipment for our members and the Tampa Bay community. We’ve really worked to firm up our equipment list but it honestly still depends on how much money we raise. Here is where we'd like to be:

We realize that some of our backers will not know what some of these are.

While we do have a small 3D printer already, we want to get a larger model along the lines of the $2000 DeltaMaker. This will allow us to print larger objects than our current Solidoodle 2 can handle. Since 3D prints can take hours to complete, having two printers in the space will add additional capacity as well.

The laser cutter / engraver can take a flat sheet of material like paper, card stock, thin wood, chocolate, leather, some plastics, etc. and uses a powerful laser to cut very accurate 2-dimensional shapes out of the material. The machine can also use lower laser power to engrave designs into materials as well. Besides making flat products, a laser cutter is very useful to cut 2D shapes that can be assembled into 3D structures. The cost of a laser cutter can grow quite high. At a minimum, the Full Spectrum 40 watt model runs about $3,000 installed. A higher-end but still “starter” model like the Zing 24 runs nearly $11,000 before additional accessories and installation costs.

Cut and etched on a Zing Cut and etched on a Zing A CNC mill uses high-speed cutting tools to cut precise 3D shapes out of blocks of metal and some other materials. It’s a little like the inverse of a 3D printer which builds up shapes by adding layers of plastic until the desired shape is formed. The CNC machine builds shapes by removing layers of material until the desired shape is all that remains. More importantly, the shape it constructs can be of very sturdy materials like steel or aluminum rather than thermoplastic. The cost of a smaller CNC machine can range from a $3,000 do-it-yourself conversion kit of a Chinese-built manual mill to a $7,000 Tormach Personal CNC 770 Mill. Given the choice, we will likely hold off purchasing a CNC machine until we can afford a machine like the Tormach (or until we can find a great deal on an older used machine).

You could make a Stirling Engine with a CNC Mill and some seriously badass skillz! You could make a Stirling Engine with a CNC Mill and some seriously badass skillz! A CNC router is somewhat similar to a CNC mill but it is designed to cut shapes from large pieces of wood, MDF, and some plastics. It’s a fantastic machine for cutting signs, cabinets and enclosures, furniture shapes, arcade game cabinets, etc. The cost of a CNC router is usually not as limiting as the amount of space that the machine requires. We want to get a large machine but we need to consider where it can be installed. Even the larger Zenbot machines run $2000.

DATELINE April, 2014 (use your own time machine or our TARDIS). The Facebook community is over 1,000 members. Most of the new equipment funded through your generosity is installed and working. We have started a regular schedule of free safety and usage training for our tools. Classes are full! We are at 50 paid members and the weekly Open Make Nights are packed with people interested in making cool stuff. We have broken ground on our community agricultural initiative (currently in planning). We just wrapped up our second Restart Tampa event. Lots of interesting people are doing interesting things. The space is bustling with community groups, projects, and classes. People from all walks of life are engaged and here to build with us.

Stretch Goals

$15,000 Stretch Goal

CoWorkTampa has generously offered to significantly discount their $57 coworking membership to $20 per month for six months to EVERY backer of our Kickstarter plus every member of Tampa Hackerspace when we reach our $15,000 stretch goal. 

$20,000 and $25,000 Stretch Goals

We will offer an extra two months of membership for everyone who pledges an annual membership at either the regular or keyholder level ($500 to $1100 memberships). This includes those who have already pledged. If we get to $20,000, we’ll extend these memberships by two free months. If we get to $25,000, we’ll extend the bonus to three months (for fifteen months total).

Community Partnerships

We’re working on a number of community partnerships. Right now, we have a handshake agreement with Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry makerspace to use their fabrication facilities but we can only get in there by appointment and the space is often in use by student groups preventing access to the gear.

Press mentions/endorsements

"Tampa Hackerspace is a place where the best and the brightest want to be." - Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Tampa, FL

CoWork Tampa Has New Neighbor with Hackerspace

Hackerspace Plans Restart Party For Tech Repair

2013 Hackerspace Challenge Winner

Credits

This video features the songs “Dennis beat” by Jonas, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. © 2012, Richard Jonas and "A Way To The Top” by Soundroll.

TARDIS is a registered trademark of the BBC.

Build With Us!

Your contribution helps make us a better place faster. We're motivated, skilled, and extremely civic minded. As a group, we plan and execute big ideas to benefit our local area and demystify technology. The tools we'll be able to access thanks to this Kickstarter campaign will let us do this faster and better. Thank you for being a part of this. We hope you'll come by and "Build With Us!"

The Rewards

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Our hackerspace is currently sustainable based on membership alone with enough revenue to pay the bills. But there is always the chance that our membership could disappear, cash flow could flatline and we could close our doors. If that happens, our non-profit charter requires us to donate all assets to a like-minded, non-profit organization.

Some of our rewards have risks associated with the use of third parties to manufacture items or source parts. We’ve lined up backup fabrication facilities and tried to stick with widely available components.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    Gratitude. You get us. We’ll show our undying gratitude by putting your name on our wall and a thank you page on our website.

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    Hackerspace Stickers. You get us and want a token of our appreciation. We hear you loud and clear! Not only will we show our undying gratitude as represented above, we’ll be sending you a couple of our handsome Tampa Hackerspace logo stickers. Wear it proudly or place it on your laptop so the world can appreciate your selfless generosity. You can give the extras to your minions or hoard them to signal your superior social status.

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    Digitally Crafted Tampa Hackerspace Token. You get us like a kitten gets a ball of yarn! You understand hacker culture and you probably have a soldering station on your desk right now. We’re going to break out the laser cutter and send you a digitally crafted token with our logo embossed on it. These acrylic disks will be marvels of engineering yet artistically refined. They will be truly commemorative collectibles and we’re breaking the mold after our initial run. You will be the center of attention as you stroll down the boulevard skillfully flipping your token into the air as you enjoy the warmth of our affection and appreciation. Members of the opposite sex will immediately recognize your goodness and desire you. We'll also throw in a couple of our Hackerspace stickers so that you can have one to keep and one to give to an adoring fan.

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    Custom Tampa Hackerspace Blinkenlights Project. Wow! You really get us! We’re pulling out all the stops! Our industrious minions have designed a custom blinkenlights circuit board in the image of our most excellent hackerspace logo. Your friends will watch in admiration and amazement as you skillfully solder your way to the blinking goodness that is your rightful reward for demonstrating your most generous nature. We’ll include the circuit board, all necessary components and instructions. This reward can be fulfilled with either SMD or through hole electronics - you choose! We'll also throw in a couple of our Hackerspace stickers so that you can have one to keep and one to give to an adoring fan.

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    Work stool naming rights. We will affix a naming plate or engrave the name(s) of your choice on one of our work stools.

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    Four Pack of Class Tuition Certificates and Logo T-shirt. My esteemed colleague, your generosity is only exceeded by your pleasant demeanor and exceptional intelligence! We would be honored to see you around our hackerspace so that you may regale us with pearls of wisdom! This reward includes a four pack of class certificates to use or bestow upon persons of your choosing. Not sure if you can use them? We can bank them for use by those less fortunate and gift them on your behalf. We'll also throw in a handful of our Hackerspace stickers for you and your adoring fans. And just so you don't go away empty handed, we're going to send you a locally designed Tampa Hackerspace T-shirt!

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    Six Pack of Day Passes and Logo T-shirt. You, my friend, are cut from the finest cloth. We would be honored to see you around our hackerspace so that you may regale us with stories of your dashing exploits! This reward includes a six pack of day passes to use or bestow upon persons of your choosing. Not sure if you can use them? We can bank them for use by those less fortunate and gift them on your behalf. We'll also throw in a handful of our Hackerspace stickers for you and your adoring fans. And just so you don't go away empty handed, we're going to send you a locally designed Tampa Hackerspace T-shirt!

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    Sponsor a work table and get a logo shirt. We acquired ten magnificent specimens for use in our workshops and for classes. These amazing structures will be bastions of productivity and invention. Amazing projects will be created here. They feature sturdy surfaces, ample storage, and will soon glide effortlessly around the space on heavy duty casters donated by a mysterious benefactor who dwells far to the north. As a sponsor for this reward, you understand at a deep and profound level how a well designed tool helps unleash your inner hacker. Other hackers will worship your name when they see it emblazoned upon the table. Plus, we’ll send you a fabulous shirt and a handwritten thank you card. We'll also throw in a handful of our Hackerspace stickers for you and your adoring fans. And just so you don't go away empty handed, we're going to send you a locally designed Tampa Hackerspace T-shirt!

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    Major Hackerspace Event Naming Rights and a cCommemorative Shirt. We’re gobstopped by your generosity! We wanted to name the first-born^H^H^H^H hatched^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hspawned after you but the biohacking contingent hasn’t worked their way up to higher order primates quite yet. Instead, we’re going to name a significant hackerspace event after you. Forget the mundane sound of, “Hackable Bits Art Exhibit.” Wouldn’t you rather attend the “Jeremiah Finkelstein Commemorative Hackable Bits Art Extravaganza!?” Oh, and we’ll send you a fabulous shirt commemorating the event as soon as it’s over. We'll also throw in a handful of our Hackerspace stickers so that you can have one to keep and one to give to an adoring fan.

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    Delta 3D printer naming rights. We will purchase a DeltaMaker or equivalent 3D printer and affix a sponsorship plaque with the name(s) of your choice. We will also send you a similar thank-you plaque for display - in your choice of materials: 3D printed plastic, laser-cut acrylic, or CNC routed wood / MDF.

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    Quadcopter “drone” video shoot. A great reward for business backers. We will come out to the location of your choice (within Hillsborough or surrounding counties) and shoot stabilized high-definition video footage and/or still photos from a quadcopter “drone”. You can see a couple sample shots in our original Kickstarter video. Use the footage as a marketing tool for a local business or jazz up your website. There is nothing like a vertigo-inducing shot of your business from an unmanned UAV to instill confidence and a sense of wonder in your employees and valued customers. There are some locations that we may not be able to shoot such as restricted airspace, anywhere where there are crowds of people below, and over water. If you’re not sure about your location, ask before you pledge.

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    Early Bird Annual Membership and a Logo Messenger Bag. We love you and you love us. I won't say we're needy but this kind of validation makes us SOOOO happy! We're going to include a locker for your first three months of membership and pass on $100 in savings on membership when paid monthly. And just so you don't go away empty handed, we're going to send you a Tampa Hackerspace messenger bag!

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    Annual Membership and a messenger bag. We love you and you love us. I won't say we're needy but this kind of validation makes us SOOOO happy! At this price, it's like getting one month free! And just so you don't go away empty handed, we're going to send you a Tampa Hackerspace messenger bag!

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    Early Bird Annual Keyholder Membership and a logo backpack. This just turned into a 24x7 relationship! We're handing you the keys so you can come and go as you please (see how we rhymed that?) We're going to include a locker for your first three months of membership and you'll get $200 off membership for the year compared to the monthly membership plan. And just so you don't go away empty handed, we're going to send you a Tampa Hackerspace backpack!

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    Annual Keyholder Membership and a logo backpack. This just turned into a 24x7 relationship! We're handing you the keys so you can come and go as you please (see how we rhymed that?) At this price, it's like getting one month free! And just so you don't go away empty handed, we're going to send you a Tampa Hackerspace backpack!

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    Full-sized TARDIS-style Police Call Box. This is the Police Call Box that we built to win the Radio Shack Hackerspace Challenge. It is a full-scale replica of the call box used for the 1976 Doctor Who TARDIS. It measures 4 ft x 4 ft and is nearly 8 ft tall. The structure was built by a professional carpenter. The exterior is fully painted except for the roof (which nobody under 7’ tall can see). The inside sadly isn’t any bigger than the outside but it is finished with a small angled shelf and interior lighting. None of the Police Box Lander electronics or LED lighting are included but the light fixture on the roof is. This is a great reward for the exceptional Doctor Who fan with space for the box. We will work with the backer on delivery of the call box within a reasonable distance of the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) where the box is on display. Moving the box safely will likely require an enclosed truck and multiple people. We can help provide the people to load (and unload within the Tampa Bay area - Hillsborough and surrounding counties) but the backer must provide the truck.

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    We will execute a high altitude balloon launch and take a picture of your name (or whatever you’d like to see dangling from 100,000 feet) from space. You'll receive the photo in an artisinal frame handcrafted by elves (or interns using that new CNC mill if the elves are too busy filming in New Zealand). We'll also throw in a handful of our Hackerspace stickers for you and your adoring fans.

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    CNC router naming rights. We will purchase a Zenbot or equivalent CNC router for subtractive manufacturing of wood, plastic, and aluminum and affix a sponsorship plaque with the name(s) of your choice. We will also send you a similar thank-you plaque for display - in your choice of materials: 3D printed plastic, laser-cut acrylic, or routed wood / MDF.

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    Training Center Naming Rights. We wanted to proclaim you Master of the Universe but our current theories on multi-dimensional space and string theory prevent us from acknowledging that the universe does indeed exist. Suffice it to say that if one is willing to accept the illusion of physical space, your mastery would be supreme. For this level, you will be the master of our space for at least a year. We will grant you naming rights for our training center for a one year period. When we have our grand opening to dedicate the space, you will be accorded all the rights and privileges of a VIP and will occupy a place of honor for the duration of the festivities. We'll also throw in a handful of our Hackerspace stickers for you and your adoring fans.

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Funding period

- (28 days)