We are a community of makers, hackers, tinkerers, and creators who share a physical space, tools, and thoughts.
Our members pay monthly dues that go towards paying rent and maintaining the machines, in return they get access to the makerspace, its tools, and its resources whenever they need it. Tool availability is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Members also get access to our very active, private chat community, where the majority of our ideation and discussions take place. We also host several events throughout the year, our biggest being Midwest Makerfest, part of Ignite Peoria.
No one at River City Labs gets paid. It functions completely off of our members' and officers' volunteered time and effort. We wouldn't be here if it weren't for our volunteers' dedication.
The physical makerspace itself is currently closed to the public due to the lockdown.
If you need to contact RCL for any reason regarding covid-19 mitigation, please reach out to our President, Aaron, at:
aaron.peterson (atsign) rivercitylabs.space
The biggest challenge at the moment is knowing what the actual needs are in our community. If you or someone you know are in the healthcare field and need something (face masks, face shields, intubation shields, or something else you can't purchase anymore), we at River City Labs want to help you find a solution.
Too many online efforts are focused on what they *think* the community needs. We'd rather focus our efforts on actual problems our systems are facing right now, or will be facing in the coming months.
Our rapid design, prototype, and iteration efforts cost money. So far that money is coming out of our members' own pockets as they care so much about the causes they're contributing to, but that can only take us so far.
If you like what we're doing and want to help out monetarily, here's a link to our paypal account. Please put "covid efforts" into the note field so we know to dedicate that money to our covid efforts.Be sure to send as a "friend" to avoid excessive paypal fees.
We're a 501c(3) registered non-profit with the state of Illinois and the federal US government. If you would like a receipt for your donation, please put that in the note as well and we'll send you a donation receipt!
We have several initiatives in the works. Some will require sewing, some will require 3d printing, and there is a potential for more we aren't aware of yet. If you'd like to assist us in a way not listed here, please contact us via the method listed above.
We anticipate a significant need for simple cloth masks in our community. Please see our Midwest Masks page on how you can help
We are working on a special design that is currently undergoing industry grade particle testing. If you want to help out with that, please visit our Printed Mask page
We have a design that is currently undergoing approvals with a local hospital, and have a small local manufacturer lined up. If you have the ability to scale manufacturing of this design (lasercut / routed and sheet braked acrylic), please email us using the address above.
While we certainly have the skills to make *just about* anything at our makerspace or our members' personal workshops, we aren't suited for any sort of large scale manufacturing. We're doing our best to use our skills and abilities to prototype and design scaleable solutions that can utilize existing, established manufacturing professionals in the area that could easily retool their shops to produce these solutions. This puts several local businesses back to work to support our local healthcare professionals.