We are currently working on membership rates, but I wanted to address machine use fees. Machine use fees will be for machines/processes with higher operating cost, acquisition cost, or specialty machines/jigs. I can see many members continuing to only see a membership fee without any additional use charges.
Another option every member will have is to have a DC make your part on the plasma, water jet, or large laser. Once you want to do enough work to justify the SBU you can take the course. There will be a small fee, but one I think you will find to be very fair.
Currently the water jet cost $3 per minute. At this point, I haven't seen any calculations for anything higher than the water jet. This makes sense to me, because waterjets have a high operating and maintenance cost.
I would like to see a 5x10 plasma or fiber laser (possibly both) in most shops. Both of these machines would have a significantly lower cost per hour than the waterjet.
The second part of Machine use time is how the calculation is done. Is it the total time on the machine or only when the machine is running.
One theory is to charge for total time. Second is only when the machine is running. Third is a hybrid.
Since only one person can be on a machine at a time, I believe total time or hybrid is the best going forward. I am strongly leaning towards a hybrid, with machine time charged in 30 minute increments and run time by the minute.
In my experience when someone knows they are getting charged by the minute they make better use of their time. This means being more prepared when they start, getting better trained, and organizing their project more effeciently. In my opinion the burden of training falls on the member and TechShop.
The goal is not to nickel and dime members, but set up processes to keep rates fair for all members and cover the true cost of running a machine the same way a Manufacturer does in their shop.
I understand you may say to yourself, I can justify this machine for this project, but I can't for this one. I hope you do. It will make you a better designer and the shop more sustainable.
We are also exploring equipment rentals to members for a dedicated machine. This may be for a day, week, month, or longer.
Please feel free to continue asking questions as we all work towards a better place to create.
I anticipate less than 10 machines in each shop having a use fee. (Multiple machines of the same thing count as 1 machine)
My email is Dan.email@example.com
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