The Makerspace at West Houston Institute

Usage Guidelines

The success of our programs depends on a commitment to the following guiding principles that should inform all activities in the makerspace:

  • Respect for one another and each other’s work
  • Stewardship of our facilities and equipment
  • Safety for all users and visitors in our spaces

The following are general guidelines that have been put into place to ensure that the makerspace provides a safe and positive experience for all users. Note that additional safety and usage rules may be in place for individual spaces and tools.

Access to IDEAStudio

IDEAStudio is not a public facility. All visitors should check in at the front desk when entering the facility. Access will depend on the category of the visit.

Members will need to present a valid college ID and sign-in each time they use the makerspace. Access to specific spaces will be determined by the tool training and testing the member has successfully completed.

Minors are required to be supervised by an authorized adult who will be present with them for the duration of their visit. Authorized adults may include parents, guardians, teachers or school staff members.

Students who are attending a workshop, speaker, club meeting or other scheduled activity in the makerspace will have access to the area designated for the activity.

Events are often open to the community, including non-members, and are usually held outside normal operating hours when tools will not be used. During these times, the makerspace will have looser rules around access to the space. This will be determined per event.

During normal operating hours, all other visitors will need to be accompanied by a staff member for the duration of their visit.

The makerspace is intended to be accessible to all members of our college community. If you are unable to access any of the tools or equipment, please talk to a staff member. We will work with you to make any reasonable accommodations that will help you to work more freely in the space, while complying with our safety and stewardship guidelines.

Individual Membership

Current HCC credit students, faculty and staff are eligible to become members of the makerspace. Membership provides access and the use of tools and equipment during operating hours.

New users will be required to attend an orientation and pass a safety quiz before gaining membership. Check with a staff member or our website for more information.

Members are expected to adhere at all times to the guidelines laid out in this document. Those who do not comply with these guidelines may be asked to leave. Multiple infractions will result in loss of privileges.

Equipment & Tools

Members are required to complete training and testing for all tools and equipment in the makerspace. Do not attempt to check out or reserve tools you are not cleared to use.

Hand tools are available to all members upon successful completion of the new member orientation and safety quiz.

Power tools can be checked out from a staff member. All power tools MUST be checked back in before the user leaves the space.

Tools check out to you should not be used by anyone else. For example, if you have checked out a power drill, it should not be shared with anyone else.

Reservations are required to use some equipment. Members will be informed during training if a particular piece of equipment requires previous sign-up for use.

You should never attempt to access or allow others access to work areas where it has not been earned through successful completion of training or is restricted to makerspace staff.

Leave ample time in your work schedule to clean-up after tool use. Follow the clean-up process expected for each tool and work area.

Although personal use of the makerspace is permitted for members, academic assignments and projects take priority. Access may be limited to certain tools during the semester to accommodate instructional needs.


All members are expected to participate in the upkeep of the makerspace. Work areas should be organized and pathways clear, tools should be returned when not in use, and waste should be properly disposed of before leaving.

Users will be asked to cease work and assist with clean-up of the space 15 minutes before closing time.

Light food and drink are allowed in the kitchen area. Make sure you pick up after yourself and dispose of all containers and trash when you are done.

The kitchen area, including the refrigerator, microwave, and sink area are all available to be used by members. Please clean up after yourself remove any personal items before leaving the makerspace. Any leftovers or other items will be disposed of at the end of each day.

Report any spills that you find or are unable to clean up on your own. If you are not sure what it is, leave it and get a staff member.

Project Storage

Members, including individuals and groups, may be able to use the storage area to keep materials and projects. Ask a staff member for more information.

Storage is limited and is based on availability. Always ask before assuming that storage can be provided for a particular project.

Limitations may exist for storage of certain kinds of materials based on the need for specialized containers and or safety concerns.


Members will need to provide their own materials for any projects created in the makerspace.

Use only approved materials as defined for each tool in the makerspace. This will be covered in the tool training and posted online and in work areas.

Scraps donated by members or by the makerspace can be found in designated areas. These are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is no guarantee as to the quantity or quality of any of these materials.


Use of the facilities, tools, or equipment to make, replicate, or alter objects, whether physical or digital, that violate copyright, patent, or trademark law is not allowed.

Likewise, it is prohibited to make weapons, drug paraphernalia, or other items using our facilities, tools, or equipment.

IDEAStudio reserves the rights of its staff to stop any project that is deemed unsafe for any reason or violates college policies or any local, state, or federal laws.

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Contact Us


West Houston Institute

Suite 110 2811 Hayes Rd., Houston, TX 77082

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm