Xerocraft is Tucson's Hackerspace. Wikipedia describes a hackerspace as “a community-operated physical space where people with common interests, often in computers, technology, science, digital art or electronic art, can meet, socialize and/or collaborate. Hackerspaces can be viewed as open community labs incorporating elements of machine shops, workshops and/or studios where hackers can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make things.” That's us.
Xerocraft is a resource for the city of Tucson. We provide tools and equipment for welding, 3D printing, metalcasting, woodworking, soldering, milling, lathing, and more. We make anything and everything from soft crafts to robots. Our members offer decades worth of wisdom and skill that they give fore free to anyone who walks in. Xerocraft is the place to tinker, make, build, craft, destroy, repair, wonder, invent, reuse, fabricate, share, explore, create works of art and have fun. You can see what we're currently up to on our website, Xerocraft.org or on our Facebook page. You can check out our members' projects on our forum.
Xerocraft was founded in 2011 as a club by a small group of passionate hackers and makers. In January 2012 we incororated in order to become a 501c(3) tax-exempt charity. We filed our paperwork to the IRS and are awaiting their determination. Over the last two years we've grown to the point that our current space is overflowing with equipment and projects. It's getting hard to move around. On Saturdays there are dozens of people crammed into a <1000 square foot building.
We set out to find a larger space to move into and were very lucky to find an abandoned furniture warehouse a short distance north of our current location. The place is over four times the size of where we are now. It's a dream come true... almost. The building is over 100 years old and needs extensive renovation. There are no working bathrooms. Electricity was only recently restored to the building but it will need to be overhauled to meet the needs of a hackerspace with many high-power tools. Some walls need to be torn down and others put up. On top of all that, Xerocraft is taking part in a community effort to put on Tucson's first Maker Faire this Fall. Since our new space is so big we will probably be the hub for the event.
We expect to get access to the building in the next month or so but we will be unable to move in until we can get a Certificate of Occupancy from the state. The CO means that the building meets the proper safety requirements. Along with the renovations are the various fees and permits that must be paid along the way.
We know that there's a passion here for a hackerspace where people can share knowledge and get access to any tool they need to make their ideas a reality. We see it in the face of everyone who walks in and sees the resources we offer. But a hackerspace needs two things: hackers and space. We have plenty of the first. There is a large group of dues-paying members and kind donors to keep us sustainable. But the lack of room at our current space is such a bottleneck that it's throttling our potential.
This is our first attempt at an IndieGoGo fundraiser. We're not really sure what to expect. As we move forward with the paperwork it will become more clear to us exactly how much money we will need. Being a hackerspace, we have many tools and people who can work on the place for free, which will keep costs down. As a start we want to raise our current goal amount to go towards installing the bathrooms and electrical outlets since those are the most crucial necessities at this point. Once those are done we can get our Certificate of Occupancy and the place will really begin to flower.
For your contributions, we are offering perks in the form of items built by one of our members. Xerocrafter Eli has molded and hand-painted 24 original medallions and statuettes on behalf of Xerocraft. He documented the entire process of casting and painting them on our forum with pictures of each step.
For a donation of $50 we will ship a “Monk E. Rensch” statuette to you. It's based on a joke Eli's dad used to tell him about those moments of total blunder that each of us experience (especially, those of us who undertake creative projects):
A guy discovers he has a gold screw in his navel. He spends his entire life trying to understand why. After many fruitless searches for the answer, he climbs a mountain in Tibet to ask The Wise Old Guru. The Guru gives him an ancient, gold screwdriver--one that perfectly fits the screw head in his navel. With great anticipation, the man twists the screw… and his butt falls off.
The statuette is a funny little gag gift that would make a great addition to any builder's workbench.
For a donation of $30 you will receive a Xerocraft medallion. The weathered finish makes them look like treasure recovered from a sunken ship. The 15-step painting process gives these medallions a metallic “ghost sheen” that magically appears, gleams, twinkles, and disappears as the viewing angle changes. Each one is embossed with our logo and the latin phrase, "Facite Vestra Artificium". This roughly translates to Xerocraft's slogan, "Get your craft on". All proceeds go directly to our renovation fund.
Hackerspaces are becoming a worldwide phenomenon. They provide people with incredible tools in a safe environment that they would never have access to, let alone for free. Hackerspaces offer knowledge and wisdom that is recycled back into the community. Xerocraft has more potential than can be realized at our current space. Your donations will help us achieve greater things.
If you want to help but can't donate to this fundraiser there are other things you can do. You can like us on Facebook or spread word of our campaign to your friends. You can also share our fundraiser using the IndieGoGo share tools.
Thank you for your time!
The Xerocraft Team