Hvordan Bitraf fungerer:en

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This page is a guide to people who are new to Bitraf. Bitraf is different from many other organisations - we have lots of space, equipment and so on, but no employees. Quite a few people wonder how this works; we try to explain it on this page. Briefly, Bitraf is a kind of a cooperation between people where they pool their resources (both financial and physical / effort) and knowledge to create a good social environment.

What is Bitraf really?

Bitraf is a non-profit organisation registered at Brønnøysund. The purpose of this organisation (Foreningen) is to maintain a social environment and a meeting place for creative use of computers and electronics. There are no employees, but a board (consisting of members) that try to facilitate, so that different interest groups are able to make use of Bitraf.

Members are the sole source of any and all activity at Bitraf. Members work on their own projects or share knowledge with other members. Courses and workshops are arranged BY members FOR members. When you participate on a Bitraf workshop it means that one or more members donate their free time to create a good environment and share knowledge. One of the membership advantages is being able to host a workshop. Bitraf encourage all members to share things they know (knowledge or skills) with others. Either by arranging a workshop or by just helping others.

What Bitraf expects from its members

There is only one rule: "Don't be a jerk".

More specifically: if you have opinions that might hurt others, you should keep them to yourself. You should treat everybody the same, regardless of age, looks and heritage. Bitraf is a place where introverts and extroverts enjoy to stay. Respect the boundaries of other people. If someone is using headphones, it's normally a sign that they want to be alone or are trying to focus, so you shouldn't disturb them.

The rule also implies that everyone cleans up after her- or himself (including in the kitchen!). Leaving stuff for others to clean is being a jerk. Bitraf pays someone to clean floors and empty garbage ONCE a week. The rest we do ourselves. If you forget to clean up, another member will have to clean up after you. If a trashcan is full, change the garbage bag in it and bring the full bag into the backyard and dispose of it in one of the trashcans there. To open the gate to the backyard, press the extra switch next to the switch that opens the door to the street (ie. the one closest to the door).

The rule also means that it is totally ok to let someone know if he or she is misusing equipment, using it without the required safety equipment or similar - in a nice way. Often they don't know how to do it properly or where the safety equipment can be found. Explain and teach, in a polite way.

How does an organization without employees function?

Complaining is neither pleasant nor productive, so Bitraf practices Do-ocracy; the one who does something decides. When something doesn't work, it is up to each and everyone to do something about it. Our experience is that this works well. If you are unhappy with a solution or a proposed solution by someone else, try to cooperate to find a better solution.

If the task is too large for a single person, ask for access to our Meetup page and set up a "dugnad". The force is strong with members when it comes to "dugnad", and given a couple of weeks heads-up warning time it is easy to get many members to attend (making a "dugnad" with only 2 - 3 days warning time is not advised).

Things to be aware of

  • Bitraf can not provide insurance for members (we have tried) so all members must have their own insurance that covers accidents that could happen when using equipment at Bitraf.
  • When you damage equipment by not following the rules (example: not keeping an eye on the 3D printer, CNC mill or laser cutter while using it) you will have to pay for necessary repairs from your own pocket.
  • Bitraf covers damages on equipment during normal use, but it is important that you notify others about the damage, by
    • writing a note on the machine about the damage
    • and sending an email to post@bitraf.no, describing the damage

so someone can fix it. If you are able to fix it yourself, it's better if you fix it right away.

Project storage

Unfortunately, Bitraf doesn't have space enough for all members to store their on-going projects at the makerspace. Storage in the member storage area (located in the lab, in the room behind the kitchen) is limited to one box; the box must be labeled with your name and phone number. There is also a materials storage area for members (located in the workshop, one floor up from the lab); please be very picky with what you store, store only whole sheets of material (not plates that are more holes than material). To store something there, you must buy a material storage sticker in Bitmart (costs 40 kroner, is valid for one month when filled out and placed on your material).

If you're not finished with a project, and are going to work on it the following day, you can label the project with your name and telephone number and put it in the project storage area in the workshop (immediately to the right, on the top of the stairs, when walking up from the lab). If there will be more days until you can work on your project, you will have to take it with you and bring it back when you continue working on it. Unfortunately, limited space makes this necessary.

Membership advantages

Paying members have 24/7 access to the makerspace with their own "key", but this access must be configured and to do that a member must physically meet up at Bitraf. Just ask a Bitraf member when you arrive, and she or he can help you get it configured. Other advantages members enjoy:

  • the option to leave a project storage box in the member storage area
  • free use of: basic electronics components in the lab, donated metal (aluminium, steel, copper) in the metal workshop, donated plastic filament (ABS, PLA) in the 3D printer room
  • free use of some of the machines (CNC mill, lasercutter) for personal projects (Note: some machines require training at Bitraf before you are allowed to use them)

A complete list of membership advantages can be found at medlemsfordeler.