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Pumping Station: One


PS1 Name & Logo Origins
Type Hackerspace
Location 3519 N. Elston Ave
Open HouseTuesdays, 8pm
ClassificationNon-profit 501(c)(3)

Pumping Station: One is Chicago's Oldest Maker/Hackerspace (est. 2009). It is located in Avodale at 3519 N. Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618-5617. It is a volunteer-run, community-based organization that is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for members and guests to make and hack. There are a variety of resources and tools maintained by the community toward these ends.

Facilities & Equipment
The organization has evolved throughout it's history, first starting in a coffee shop and now occupying a ## square foot workshop with 2 floors that have have a variety of tools and equipment for machining, metalworking, woodworking, 3D printing, laser cutting, sewing, paper crafts, electronics to name a few. While having the equipment and facilities of a tool shop, Pumping Station: One is a community organization. This distinguishes it from a tool shop in a few key ways: Pumping Station: One does not sell it's services or the services of it's members. Members are welcome to use the space for their own entrepreneurial endeavors, but PS1 does not provide the infrastructure for this. Pumping Station: One does not rent tools for similar reasons. And as everything is run by members in their free time, processes tend to occur slowly with some inconsistency, though the organization is continually improving in this regard.

Community Philosophy
We have 2 primary rules: Be excellent to each other, and JFDI, which stands for "Just Fucking Do It." Being a member-run space, we are all responsible for what PS1 ultimately is as an organization. The general rule of thumb is, a member can do anything they want to the space without asking provided it can be undone within 4 hours if it turns of there an issue with that action. For example, there is plenty of art drawn on the walls and doors around PS1 that no one needed to ask permission to do. For larger decisions or decisions that involve spending money, we vote as an organization to decide on what to do. As of January 2019, every member has the right to vote. There is a member-elected Board of Directors that also assists with the oversight of Pumping Station: One as a legally recognized non-profit organization. In many ways, PS1 is an experiment in controlled chaos and so the best way to understand it is to learn about how each member interacts with PS1 differently.

Joining PS1

a. (Optional) Attend Open House
1. Sign-up via Wild Apricot (and pay membership fee)
2. ID Check
3. Receive Door Code
You are now ready for authorization.

Equipment Areas

Our tools are categorized into 8 different areas of our facility. These areas are managed by volunteers titled "Area Hosts." In the case of CNC, machines are distributed around the facility based on it primary material usage.
1st Floor
1. General Area(s)
2. CNC Area
3. Small Metals
4. Cold Metals
5. Hot Metals
6. Wood Shop
2nd Floor
7. Electronics
8. Graphic Arts & Textiles

Using Equipment: Authorization

The process to be able to use equipment at PS1. Some tools require extensive authorization, others don't require any. It depends on the type of tool/equipment.


There are many ways to keep in contact at PS1. Probably too many. (We are working on it.)

Quitting PS1

We are sorry to see you go. We understand if PS1 wasn't what you were expecting or isn't a good fit right now, but if there is something we can do to help make PS1 work for you, please let us know before deciding to go!

About Pumping Station: One