Maker Nexus Makerspace

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(Information about the Maker Nexus organization's makerspace will be provided here. If you register with this wiki you can click the star at the top right to "watch" this page. If you do this then you will get an email whenever this page is updated.)

New members go to the MN New Member page to get started.

The Takeaway

For those who need the quick summary:

  • Non-profit organization
  • Makerspace: 234 East Caribbean Drive, Sunnyvale, CA 94089 / 408.685.2500
  • Open Wednesday - Sunday 10 AM - 10PM
  • A few paid staff members for support & maintenance, but a very lean organization
  • Rely heavily on volunteers until membership reaches 200
  • $150/month membership
  • Everyone has to pitch in to make this work

We hope that you, the reader, will join us in growing a healthy makerspace for everyone.

Our Mission

We believe that everyone sees opportunities to improve their world but most people lack the tools and skills to make those improvements. For some people it's a better Halloween costume; for others it's a way to provide clean water to remote villages. Maker Nexus helps everyone to gain the skills and use the tools they need to realize their dreams.

Maker Nexus is a non-profit with a mission to provide education in woodworking, textiles, metalworking, and other vocational skills and hobby crafts, and promote the same in the community. We do this by providing a community makerspace and training that serves all experience levels from hobbyists to professionals. Our goal is to help each person improve their skills whether as STEAM/STEM teen, life enrichment, job skill acquisition, or new entrepreneur.

We also work to help other non-profit makerspaces. Our classes, project sheets, governance documents, tool research, etc are all available to others under a Creative Commons license Makernexuswiki:Copyrights.

It's our hope that through Maker Nexus a plethora of good things will happen to our world.

Sometimes government officials ask how a makerspace can help their community at large. In response, we have a list of businesses that have been developed in a makerspace.

The Organization

Become a member, pledge your support, and track our progress on our website:

We are a California non-profit and classified by the IRS as a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Read our by laws. We are classified by the IRS as a public charity. You can view our tax returns by asking one of our general managers.

Read our officers' biographies.

Position Plans for board members, volunteers, contractors, and employees.

Become part of the team

The Makerspace


234 East Caribbean Drive

Sunnyvale, CA 94089


Current Status

Regular hours of Wednesday - Sunday, 10am - 10pm.

We welcome everyone to stop by and tour the makerspace. See the machines, look at the media room, feel the carpet under your feet.

Need a place to hold your maker oriented meetup? Come see our facility and consider holding it here.

  • Other resources
    • large tables where you can work on your project
    • computers with design software (Adobe suite, Corel Draw end more) - our internet speed is very, very limited at this time
    • 10 person conference room
    • 12 person computer lab
    • 30 person event room

Members may reserve equipment.

In the clean area, projects are limited to things you can do over carpet. No sanding, no wet work, etc. Other work must be done in the cement floor areas. If you have a question about a project, ask any of our staff or volunteers.

Getting certified to use equipment

If you know how to use a piece of equipment, we offer a short checkoff test with a proctor. You may arrange for a test by talking with any staff members or by posting on the appropriate Slack channel (e.g. #lasercutters, #textiles, #3dprinters)

If you need to learn to use a piece of equipment, no problem - we'll teach you! We offer Basic Operation and Safety Standard (BOSS) classes for all our equipment. These short seminars will take you from a no-nothing to a user of the machine in just an hour or two. BOSS classes are posted on Activity Hero. You can also arrange an ad hoc BOSS class by posting on the appropriate Slack channel (e.g. #lasercutters, #textiles, #3dprinters). Just post "I'd like to arrange for a BOSS class on <<put the machine name here>>"

Next Steps

We are working to open the additional "dirty shop" build tables. Also the ShopBot Alpha CNC router is coming on line.

We have some metal machining tools, but they are not online yet. We have some planning and work to do before we can allow metal working. We do not allow welding.

Important Information

Maker Memberships

We offer Maker Memberships that give access to the shop. (Different than a non-profit "membership" where you are really just donating to support the mission.) Maker Memberships are not tax-deductible.

  • Age Limitations
    • Anyone aged 16 or older can hold a membership and use the shop.
    • Clean shop
      • Under the age of 10 may not be in the makerspace except on a tour or as part of a scheduled class.
      • Ages 10-16 may be in the clean shop if they are in the care of a parent. They may not operate machines alone.
      • Over age 16 may use the clean shop.
    • Woodshop
      • Under the age of 12 may be in the woodshop ONLY if they are accompanied by a Maker Nexus instructor.
      • Under the age of 12 may NOT accompany a parent in the woodshop.
      • Ages 12-16 may only be in the woodshop if they are under the constant supervision of a parent.
      • Over age 16 may use the woodshop.

Entry Level

  • $75 / month.
  • Access to workspace, textiles, computers
  • No machine reservation
  • No access to CNC machines or lasers
  • No storage


  • $150 / month
  • All of Entry Level
  • Access to all machines with some time limits per week
  • May rent storage as available
  • Most popular level


  • Requires one parent with a Hobbyist membership
  • Additional children between the ages of 10 and 21: $50 / month
  • Second parent: $50 / month

On a side note... When we talk about needing 200 members to become self sustaining, that is 200 members paying $150 a month each. The family membership is a real deal. If it is within your means, families might like to consider making a regular monthly tax deductible donation to Maker Nexus.


  • $100 / month
  • Requires proof of current full time enrollment
  • Largely the same as Hobbyist
  • Age restrictions on some equipment

Day Passes

At this time we do not offer day passes to the makerspace. We have considered this but our financial model would require a day pass to be so expensive that no one would actually buy them.

Other Levels

We have considered other Maker Membership levels that would cost more and give access to more equipment hours per week, or access to specialized equipment. We have called these levels "Pro" and "Start Up" but we have not come to any hard decisions. Your feedback will help us design these to suit the community best.

New Members

If you are new to Maker Nexus, welcome. All the communication tools can seem a bit overwhelming at first. Please visit our new member page.

Clubs and Groups

We have a number of groups running within our organization. Read about them on the MN Clubs and Groups page.

Event space & meet ups

We are making our Event room available for use to non-profit organisation - if you want to have a meet-up, conference, presentation - you can book it for free:

How to Help

We have a flier you can put up anywhere you think potential members will see it.

More Details


If you are into finance details, you can see our initial financial model. Now that we are open the model has changed a lot.

Basic Costs

People often want to know what it costs to run Maker Nexus. At the time of this writing we have two full time General Managers and one part time education / outreach manager. The monthly costs below are just approximate. Our financial plan requires memberships and revenue from classes and some donations/sponsorship to keep the door open.

  • Rent $14,000
  • Wages $13,000
  • Taxes $ 800
  • Insurance $2,500
  • Utilities $ 600

The History - Town Halls

The 6 member Maker Nexus (MN) board has been working on our plan since the day TechShop closed. We've had the help of several other people. We would be happy to have a board member speak to any group that is interested in our new shop.

To get the shop open we need a minimum of 150 members and $125,000 in donations. You can track our progress on the Maker Nexus web site.

  • March 28, 2018: We appreciate the Homebrew Robotics Club for letting us talk at their monthly members meeting. It's a spirited group of people, passionate about home built robots. The meeting was very interesting. The presentation is online.
  • March 11, 2018: We met at the Art Ventures Gallery in Menlo Park. A great location for a meetup like this (with some great maker-like photographic art on exhibit). About 35 people were there with 10 new people. You can view the slides online
  • February 25, 2018: We met again in the Palo Alto Riconada Library. We had about 50 people, more than half of whom were new. We updated the community with our progress in securing a location, including information on two sites we are pursuing. You can view the slides here.
  • February 15, 2018: We met in Palo Alto Riconada Library. We had about 40 people, many new faces. Eric's update included information on our site selection and equipment acquisition. You can view the slides online.
  • January 28, 2018: We held our second town hall. (Thanks to [ Alto International School). About 40 new faces showed up. It was a lively crowd with a lot of laughs and questions. This community is really amazing.
  • January 19, 2018: We held our first open town hall meeting. (Thanks to Hacker Dojo for hosting us.) About 80 people attended - the room was packed with some people sitting on the floor.