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Twin Cities Maker (TC Maker, TCM) is a community group based in the Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota metropolitan area. Our mission is to make, share, and learn. TC Maker operates a cooperative community “maker shop” (or “maker space”) for members to build projects using various media and technologies, from wood and metal working to electronics to fabrics and beyond. Our shop is located in Minneapolis and called The Hack Factory .
Phone: 612-293-MAKE (612-293-6253) is our current phone number for the Board of Directors.
Email: info at tcmaker dot org contacts the Board of Directors.
We are a 501©3 Non-profit organization registered with the federal government. To see our status, check out IRS.gov.
Paul Sobczak founded Twin Cities Maker as a website on January 6, 2009. A blog post on Makezine.com and a pickup by C-Net announced the creation of Twin Cities Maker as a forum online. As a result, in January of 2009 membership on the forum exploded.
Paul was on a nationwide tour of hackerspaces, and not back in the Twin Cities until late spring. With an explosion of forum activity, members metis and juelding pushed for an in person meeting to keep the momentum rolling, and in February of 2009 metis, judeling and pyrodogg attended the first meeting of what would become Twin Cities Maker at Anodyne coffee shop in south Minneapolis. With creative reporting (omitting the number of attendees) of a productive meeting (which it was) on the forums, the next meeting at Common Roots Cafe was attended by more than 20 people (including obibob, danbackslide, and nicklee, amongst others) who chatted about a variety of things.
In June of 2009 we formed an informal club, elected officers, and started collecting minimal dues to save up for a security deposit on a “club house” small space.
In December of 2009, our membership voted to merge with another group, Hack Factory of Minnesota. Hack Factory approached Twin Cities Maker to co-operate as they were about to sign a lease on a small private workshop space. Together, we signed a lease that month. As Hack Factory had legal incorporation, and Twin Cities Maker had branding and organization, in the merger, we decided that the space would be called the Hack Factory, and that the community and business would be referred to as Twin Cities Maker, as the intention was to keep the groups community maker/hacker focus broader than just a workshop. We merged our two boards of directors into one board of seven (7) members with the officers of Twin Cities Maker becoming the officers, and the officers of Hack Factory becoming “At-Large” members of the Board of Directors.
We officially opened our nascent workshop in January 2010. Within a month, we had to option our right of refusal on expanding into more space, and with a membership drive, filled out into our current home. Over the following few months, we hosted the first Minne-Maker fair, and gained fiscal sponsorship through Springborad for the Arts which allowed us to receive tax deductible donations.
Since then, we have fleshed out our tools and now offer our members a reasonably stocked wood shop, a nice welding shop, and a very solid electronics bench. Several CNC devices, a still experimental MakerBot, several sewing machines, a sound system, art supplies, and a plethora of hand tools fill out highlights of our equipment inventory.