Some tools in the Asmbly shop aren't actually owned by Asmbly. When somebody loans a tool to Asmbly for members to use, we call it a "hosted" tool.
The Hosting Process
If you have a tool you think would benefit Asmbly but you'd prefer to retain ownership, start by reaching out to the area steward(s) where the tool would best fit, either privately or on Discourse.
If the steward(s) are interested in bringing the tool into the shop, the Director of Facilities will send the owner a Hosting Agreement to sign. The Director of Facilities has final authority over hosting terms.
Once the hosting agreement is signed by all parties, the tool may be brought to Asmbly. Next steps may include maintenance plan development with stewards, curriculum development, or member training.
What Can Be Hosted
Typically, Asmbly is interested in hosting "enrichment" tools (things that would be of benefit to Asmbly membership but not crippling to the shop if they disappeared) or temporary/trial tools that we're not sure will have the member interest to justify purchasing outright. If the need arises to host a more critical tool, a hosting agreement may specify a duration of hosting (eg to provide time for Asmbly to purchase a replacement) and/or an option to purchase (ie Asmbly may provide cash in lieu of returning the property upon termination of the hosting agreement). Due to the administrative overhead of hosting, we generally won't bother hosting anything we could purchase out of petty cash if there's sufficient member interest.
In particular, if you have a tool on our Wish List we'd definitely like to hear from you!
For all hosted property, Asmbly agrees to provide insurance against loss or damage. In most cases, Asmbly also covers the expense of all routine maintenance. In this way, a hosting agreement is much like a lease -- the owner of hosted property is assured the return of their property in good working order on termination of the hosting agreement.
For any tool requiring specific training (which would include most any interesting tool) the tool owner typically agrees to provide an initial training curriculum (ie class outline, syllabus, etc) and/or teach classes in proper use of the tool unless the tool will be covered in an existing class. Details would need to be worked out with the Director of Education.
The owner also must provide routine maintenance protocols and any relevant use or service documentation if Asmbly will be performing maintenance.
After a hosting agreement is terminated (for whatever reason) the property owner has 30 days to retrieve the property from Asmbly premises. After 30 days have elapsed, any remaining property is deemed abandoned and may be disposed of as Asmbly sees fit. Donations of previously-hosted property will always be welcomed.
The Hosting Agreement
Like a lease, the hosting agreement is fairly dense. When agreement in principle is reached to host any property, the Director of Facilities will send the property owner a SignNow invitation to complete the hosting agreement. Here are some things to consider when filling out the agreement:
The "Terms" clause of the agreement is probably more accurately titled "Term" -- it describes the duration of the hosting agreement. A fixed term is preferable for important tools; indefinite/30-days-notice allows the owner to take back their property or Asmbly request the property be removed at any time (subject to notice). Special agreements may be described in detail on the "Exhibit B" page.
If the tool isn't "Working" it's extremely unlikely a hosting agreement will be accepted. Again, special agreements may be described in detail on the "Exhibit C" page.
It's unlikely that a hosted tool will require no training at all, but entirely possible that a tool is covered by an existing class. If the owner indicates no required training, then Asmbly will use its best judgement in requirements for operation and training curriculum. It's not possible for an owner to require Asmbly offer a tool to all users with no training.
This section covers minimum maintenance standards, who performs said maintenance, and who pays for it. If Asmbly is performing and funding the maintenance, we will use our best judgement in how to best maintain the tool (subject to any specified minimum standards).
If the owner is performing Asmbly-paid maintenance, or the owner funding Asmbly-performed maintenance, maintenance must be agreed by both parties.
If the owner is performing and paying for maintenance, then the tool must be maintained in good working order for the hosting agreement to remain in effect.
Owner-paid maintenance or repairs of a hosted tool constitutes a donation to Asmbly Makerspace. A hosting agreement specifying owner-paid maintenance is therefore also a pledge of future donations.
Upgrades or modifications must always be agreed between the owner and Asmbly.
The Property ("Exhibit A")
This table is a list of property covered by this hosting agreement. Though there are many lines in the table, a single hosting agreement should cover only closely related items (eg a machine and its accessories). Listing unrelated property together makes it administratively annoying to return/replace one tool while keeping others.
The "Value" column of the property table is a critical component of the hosting agreement. It's the amount Asmbly is obligated to pay out if the property is lost, stolen, or irreparably damaged. It's also the unilateral buy-out amount if that option is elected under "Transfer of Property".
The value should be at most the current fair-market value of the property considering its current state, not what it cost originally or the current retail price new. The valuation of hosted property is a liability on Asmbly's books, so this amount has a real impact on our financial health. If the owner is willing to accept some risk of loss, it's possible (indeed, welcome!) to declare a hosted value lower than the current fair-market valuation of the property.
Asmbly will decline to host property it cannot afford to replace.