Before you Buy

It is unlikely the Makers Committee will approve the purchase of new equipment going forward, unless:

  • the proposed equipment is expected to be used by a large number of members;

  • there is a clear plan for maintaining the machine; and

  • there is a commitment from those maintaining the machine to also create the required documentation.

As such, it is in your best interest to read this page and ensure you have every base covered if you are wanting the Makers community to invest in machinery or equipment you want access to. It may even be practical to start to create some of the required documents well in advance of making a proposal to the community to help show the above points will be met.

Understanding the Training Process

Therefore, it is important to know the general process for training members on equipment before you consider purchasing and setting up new equipment. Typically, a similar process is used for training members on each machine in the Makers Lab, which is as follows:

  1. A prospective equipment operator reads a new user guide regarding the use of a piece of equipment.

  2. That person then watches a video demonstrating the safe, correct use of the equipment.

  3. That person then completes a Google Quiz regarding the content of the new user guide and the video. They are required to achieve a certain mark in that quiz to progress to the in-person induction.

  4. That person completes an in-person induction with a registered inductor and is signed off using the access portal.

Understanding the Maintanence Requirements

Similarly, it is important to recognise that equipment purchased by the Makers must be maintained.

Pre-purchase Requirements

There are several things that need to be in place before a new piece of equipment is purchased. Briefly they are:

  1. A standard operating procedure (SOP). A SOP is a set of step-by-step instructions describing the correct use of a piece of equipment, more information on SOPs can be found on the SOP page. A UWA SOP template can be found here and an example of a complete SOP can be found here. UWA keeps a large bank of SOPs, so if you know UWA already has the equipment you are interested in setting up, send an email to the EMS faculty safety team and they can provide you with the current SOP. Contact details for the EMS safety team can be found here.

  2. A new user guide. This new user guide must include all practical and safety issues relevant to the operation of a piece of equipment and the space it is being operated in. This new user guide must include:

  • All safety risks in the area where the equipment will be operated (e.g. other equipment in the area that may present a hazard)

  • All safety equipment in the area where the equipment will be operated and instructions on when and how to use it.

  • All PPE that must be worn while the equipment is being used.

  • A quick start guide on how to use the equipment.

  • Any information that would be useful to a user (e.g. the 7 deadly sin printers have a 0.4mm wide nozzle, it would be advisable to make any walls of a print a multiple of 0.4).

An example of a new user guide can can be found here

Post-purchase Requirements

After the equipment is purchased the following things need to be in place before it can be used members:

  1. A maintenance schedule. A schedule of how often the equipment will need to be serviced, who is able to do the service, and what on the equipment requires servicing. An example of a maintenance schedule can be found here.

  2. A video. The video can be from any source provided that you have the rights to use it, or even better it can be filmed in the lab using the equipment you want to set up. Whatever method is chosen the video should clearly demonstrate the safe use of the equipment, including any pre-operational checks, basic technique and post-operational checks.

  3. A quiz. The quiz should address safety and operational issues that are covered in the new user guide and the video.

  4. A full operational manual. This manual should include full details on how to use the equipment and all the features of the equipment. This manual should also include an actively updated troubleshooting section, which lists known problems and how to solve them. An example of an operational manual can be found here.

  5. A training guide for inductors, outlining the information to provide to new users regarding the safe operation of the equipment. This training guide can include a description of a practical demonstration where applicable to the machinery. An example of a training guide can be found here.

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