Orientation and Responsibilities

From Fat Cat Fab Lab

Welcome to Fat Cat Fab Lab! We’re glad you’re with us!

Please read this page carefully and complete the checkbox items to finish onboarding at FCFL. It contains useful information to help get you started in the lab and community!

What tools do we use? We’re glad you asked!

You’ve just been invited to our:


Sign up at civicrm.fatcatfablab.org. This is our member portal. It’s used for making membership payments, registering for classes, and reservations on machines like the laser and CNC.

Slack Workspace

Our Slack Workspace is our central hangout for general chat, asking questions, getting help, and important announcements. Accept the Slack invite in your email. Add yourself to channels you find interesting, for example #laser or #electronics Introduce yourself to the main channel: #members and tell us about yourself! What are you working on? #members is for general chat.

Trello Board

Our Trello Board helps us track projects and improvements happening at the lab with To-Do, On Deck, In Progress, and Complete sections. Accept the Trello invite in your email. (optional): Add a lab improvement project card to the “To-Do” column. Start working on it and move the card to ‘In Progress’.


This is where the info is! Our very own wiki serves as our source of truth and information. What materials can you use on the laser cutter? What was said three Board meetings ago? The wiki has you covered. Take a look through the wiki. We encourage members to make edits and additions! Ask for editing privileges at info@fatcatfablab.org

Expectations for you as a member

FCFL is an awesome place, but it only works when everyone gives a little bit of their time back to the lab. We expect all members to commit a minimum 5% of their time spent in the lab to making the space better than you found it.

Some quick wins include:

Helping take the garbage and recycling out on Monday and Thursday evenings. Clean up after yourself when you’re done working on your project for the day. Leave your area better than you found it!

How do I ask for help with…

Asking for help on your project

Don’t be shy! Ask other members in the space while you’re there. This is the best way to spark interesting convo. If they don’t know the answer, often other members can direct you to the ‘expert’! Find the relevant channel on Slack and ask your question - typically other members will answer pretty quickly! If you can’t find a channel that fits your question, ask away in #members.

Asking for help if it’s lab logistics related (your membership, etc.)

For all membership help (payments, storage bins, canceling, etc.), please email info@fatcatfablab.org with your inquiry.

How is FCFL structured and run?

Glad you asked! Fat Cat Fab Lab is a not-for-profit organization officially started in 2015. We have a Board of Directors composed of active and former FCFL members. The Board handles legal and financial-related tasks for FCFL like paying the rent and collecting member dues, and it pretty much stops there. We’re a Makerspace! We are run by our members. Most operational initiatives are handled by you, our talented members.

What responsibilities do I have as a FCFL Member?

Taking care of the space and Community.

FCFL is run by a community of members who provide for the Lab. Even small actions go a long way. Remember that the lab is only taken care of and exists because everyone does a part. Members should leave the Lab better than they found it. Clean up after YOUR own projects, and take a few minutes to pitch in a little extra each time you’re at the lab.

Take ownership of the Lab. When we work together to keep the lab looking great, it shows respect for the Lab and each other.

Taking care of the Space Looks like:

  • Cleaning up after you're done working (putting away tools, vacuuming, etc). This is a minimum requirement!
  • Don’t leave your storage on the tables at any time. Remember to put them back on the shelf. Other Members have the right to put other’s bins on the shelves to make room on the tables.
  • Taking out garbage on garbage days, emptying trash cans
  • Turning off lights, closing windows, sweeping/vacuuming
  • Organizing tools/items
  • Maintaining or fixing equipment

Contributing to the community looks like:

  • Working on our website or wiki
  • Hosting meetups
  • Teaching classes
  • Helping with Open House

If you’re unsure of how to get started helping or have questions, reach out in the #members channel of Slack, and someone will be right with you!


We encourage Members to give tours of the Lab to friends and family and spread the word about Fat Cat Fab Lab! If your guest plans to stay for more than an hour and/or work with you on projects, please purchase a $10 Guest Day Pass on the member portal. See Guests and Events for more details.


Permanent improvements and beautification of FCFL by Members is encouraged. If your idea requires financial investment by FCFL, a permanent change to the Lab, or significant time to undo, check in with the board by emailing info@fatcatfablab.org before going ahead with YOUR improvement project.


Please receive prior approval before bringing in any donated materials, tools, or equipment by emailing info@fatcatfablab.org.

Turn off power

Please be mindful of electricity use in the Lab and turn off equipment before leaving. Turn off lights in spaces that are not being used and ensure that all non-security lights are off if you are the last one to leave the building. In the summer months, turn off the AC if you’re the last person in the Lab, and make sure the windows are closed when the AC is on. Please take care and switch off tools like soldering irons, the spot welder, and 3D printers when not in use.


Be respectful of all private and shared property in the Lab. Please read our Code of Conduct to familiarize yourself with our policies.