Visual Arts Meeting – 8th February 2023 (new date)

Key details:

Date: Wednesday, 8th February 2023 at 19:30
Duration: We’ll aim for 1 hour
Location: Hackspace Manchester, Wellington House, M40 7FS

Hi all,

After the discussion of forming a Visual Arts team during the Members meeting - 11th January 2023 - 19:30, and earlier forum thread Visual Arts Team? Form yourselves here!, allow me to invite you all to the first Visual Arts meeting!

This is an open meeting for anybody to express thoughts and feedback on anything Visual Arts related. Ideally, we’ll take a number of actions from the meeting. At the very least, we’ll log outstanding thoughts & feedback to act upon in the future.

The purpose of a Visual Arts (VA) team

The Visual Arts corner of the Space is host to a wide variety of equipment, some of which has active maintenance and training teams (Laser, 3D, Sewing?) and some which does not (Sublimation & Heat Press, Large Format Printer, and some others). It also hosts a number of tools & consumables for general crafts and, well, visual art.

The VA team’s primary purpose is to look after the variety of equipment & tools that do not have active maintainers at the moment. That will involve general support & maintenance, as well as working with the Board on admin & documentation tasks to ensure safe operation of the Space overall.

Our secondary purpose will be managing the physical space, which we share with some of the specialist groups (Laser, 3D, sewing).

For those purposes, I’m hoping to have a diverse range of skillsets represented either within the VA team or within the VA meetings. For example, I don’t know much about painting, but it would be useful to have input from somebody who does – so we know what type of tools & equipment would be useful for that specialty.

Proposed agenda

  • VA admin
    • Purpose of VA team: Q & A / seeking feedback on the above
    • Scope of meetings
    • Meeting frequency
  • Equipment & tools audit
    • Following this, putting together usage & maintenance guides?
  • Arrival of Purchase Proposal Development - Laser Cutter Extreme!?
  • Commissioning the Singer 95K40 sewing machine
  • Large Format Printer reliability issues
  • Fumes & ventilation
    • Possible sources: Resin printer, heat press, screen printing, solvents / general chemical usage
    • Risk assessments to review / update?
    • Ventilation options?
  • Physical layout & organisation
    • There’s been chatter about 3D printers moving? Is that happening? Who is owning it (us or 3d?)
  • Any other business / open discussion

Feel free to propose any additional agenda items in the comments below, or – time permitting – bring them up when we get to “Any other business” in the meeting :slight_smile:


Looks good! See you there :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve been a bit poorly this week and not quite sure I’ll be recovered in time to run the meeting this coming Wednesday.

I suggest we push it back a week til Weds 8th February if that’s alright with everybody?

Hi all, write-up of my minutes / notes to follow :slight_smile:

Please do shout out if I’ve missed anything


VA Admin


  • Supportive function for equipment, tools, and space that does not currently have have maintainers / volunteers
  • Manage documentation, maintenance, training plans
  • Will be primary caretaker of “the stage”. Willing to adopt / take care of other physical areas as & when there is a need

Meeting frequency

  • Will organise as required.

Team members

  • Want to have a diverse range of skill sets represented to cover the breadth of “other” equipment in the space
  • Intend to be a low-commitment team. Primary ask is the willingness to be involved as time & life permits
  • All attendees are willing to volunteer as named members of the VA team

Coordination with other teams

  • For equipment that currently has maintenance teams, we will
    • coordinate as required re: physical layout, organisation, or other shared concerns.
    • not try to duplicate effort and/or step on toes re: documentation, maintenance, training. No need for us if that’s already in hand
  • Laser: Need to understand contacts and/or representative for VA meetings
  • 3D printing: Aaron is separately involved with the 3D team, and can serve as their representative within the VA team
  • Sewing: Historically a one-person team of Chris. Happy for VA team to share responsibility


  • Will use whiteboard on north-east wall as a public-facing team to-do / notes list

Equipment & tools audit

  • General agreement of need to complete an inventory, covering:
    • Equipment
    • Tools
    • Consumables
    • Materials (any items the hacksapce makes available for members to purchase)
    • Books
  • For equipment, we also want to note:
    • Owner (Hackspace, on-loan, other?)
    • Does it work? (Yes, no, unknown)
    • Members with relevant expertise? (for help maintaining / training?)
    • General equipment info (Manufacturer, model, serial numbers, instruction manuals)
    • Related consumables
    • Picture
    • Documentation (risk assessment, maintenance guides, training guides)
  • For consumables & materials:
    • What should be provided by the Hackspace? (either for free, or for purchase)
    • Common things that we won’t provide, and should thus recommend members prove themselves (high-value and/or project-specific?)
  • Books would be good to take an inventory of as well, and we can note relevant to tools / equipment
  • Action: Organise our own “hack-the-va day” to complete a basic inventory
    • List of items and basic data capture for equipment
    • Hack-the-space day might be too busy, and not all meeting attendees would be able to make those days
    • Propose scheduling on a Sunday after next hack-the-space day

Arrival of larger laser cutter

Relevant forum threads:


  • Agreement to dedicate south-eastern side of stage (nearest Snackspace) to laser cutting
    • Close to existing ventilation
    • Laser cutters, dedicated laser storage, keep Mac nearby
  • VA team sees value in keeping both laser cutters operational
    • Reduce congestion during busy periods, which is likely to increase as membership continues to grow
    • Offer redundancy, so maintenance / faults don’t entirely knock out our (high demand) laser capabilities
  • Action: Move non-Laser items from south-west side of Stage (:white_check_mark: completed Feb 16th)
    • Vacuum former: Move to large storage and consider out-of-action, pending wider stage reorganisation
    • Storage cabinet: Proposed moving downstairs just off-stage, but accessibility and storage-blockage concerns were raised after the meeting. Need for a slight reorganisation of stage to find somewhere for it to fit

Comissioning the Singer 95K40

Relevant forum thread: Commissioning the Singer 95K40

  • Paperwork remains outstanding (risk assessment, training plans)
  • Needs a dust cover
  • Want to move from centre of stage to reduce risk to / from other users of VA when in-use. Ideas for a corner of the stage to be dedicated to sewing briefly discussed.
  • No immediate actions planned

Large Format Printer reliability

  • Suffering error code relating to ink station electrical issues
  • Rob has previously put time in attempting to resolve (cleaning contacts on ink cartridges, in ink station, checking internal cabling and connections)
  • Possible solutions
    • Replacement ink (newer 3rd-party, or first-party)
    • Replacement ink station
    • Local repair businesses (call-out-fee, and quote for repairs?)
    • Cost-effectiveness of the above, versus replacing Large Format entirely?
  • AJ and Grayson have contacts with large-format experience. They’ll reach out for advice before we proceed further
  • Actions
    • Rob to get exact error code for AJ and Grayson (:white_check_mark: System error 22:10)
    • AJ and Grayson to reach out to contacts for advice

Fumes & Ventilation

  • Potential risks from: Solvents, paint, resin printer, heat press
  • Resin printer
    • Poses significant risks re use & handling of chemicals as well
    • Unsafe behaviour has been previously observed, potentially contaminating other areas of VA
    • Desire to physically isolate Resin printer. Ideally with washing facilities nearby.
  • Briefly discussed possible ventilation solutions
    • Movable trunking
    • Vented fume cupboards
    • Air-recycling fume cupboards (requires continual replacement of filters)
    • Dedicated space elsewhere in the building
  • Aware of risks / concerns in attempting to share Laser ventilation ducting with other equipment
  • Proposal
    • Reclaim “spider toilet” & “messy sink” and repurpose into “Smelly Zone”
    • Gives us an external wall in which to install ventilation, without having to run additional ducting
    • May need to reclaim a little space space from large-storage
    • Construction of simple framing & internal wall between large storage and “smelly zone”, to allow exhaust ventilation to maintain negative air pressure
  • Actions
    • Check board appetite for Smelly Zone idea
    • Research requirements and draft high-level proposal
    • Create forum post to gauge wider membership interest & support

Physical layout & organisation

  • Will wait for inventory, to inform requirements
  • 3D printing team is open to 3D printers moving off-stage (adjacent to stage unsuitable due to knock-risk from movement of people / materials)
  • Loose idea to dedicate West concern of stage (near Metalwork) to Sewing (Singer, work tables, storage)
  • Move / keep printers near Mac (sublimation, large format)
  • Desire for canvas storage (thin vertical storage)
  • Dedicate south-east side of stage for lasering (as mentioned above)
  • Specialised / expensive consumables should be stored hidden-from-view to prevent unknowing misuse
  • Value in measuring & drawing stage to use for planning
  • No immediate actions planned

Any other business


  • Need for training & maintenance plans

Skills map

  • Could help VA team, and wider membership, discover relevant contacts if we need help with certain pieces of equipment
  • Need to re-document purpose and write instructions (:white_check_mark: Completed Feb 16th)

Tools & Consumables migrating from stage


  • VA contains the Hackspace’s basic set of consumables.
  • Other Hackspace users grab and use items elsewhere in the space, without returning them to VA.
  • VA contains some high-value / specialised tools & consumables, that are (likely) not appropriate or cost-effective for general-purpose use elsewhere


  • Ongoing stock-keeping might help
  • Specialised / high-value tools and consumables to be kept hidden-from-view by default (mentioned previously)
  • Propose each area of the space gets a dedicated set of basic consumables
    • Screwdrivers, hex keys, wrenches, tape, cutting instruments, …)
  • Action: Create proposal for space-wide general-purpose tools & consumable stock

High demand for Mac

  • Mac is very useful for specialised equipment usage
    • Laser
    • Sublimation printing
    • Large format printing
  • Also gets a lot of general-purpose usage, potentially blocking equipment usage
  • Not everybody is familiar / comfortable using Macs
  • Proposal: Set up general-purpose computers elsewhere in the Space, asking membership for possible donations of old / unused computers

Foil press

  • AJ has a foil press that she is willing to donate to the space :slight_smile:

Fyi a plot plan drawn in CAD already exists and is on the hackspace member google drive:

I’d be happy to help make edits/draft plans for the team if needed

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Sorry, still learning how to use this place. Thanks for discussing fumes and ventilation!!!