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1st line contacts: berz_
Does: Organise the Flying Circus
Does not:
IRC: #sha2017-flyingcircus
Needed resources:
Vacancies: 0
Current project size / amount of ppl: 6
Contact at projectleiding: User:Berz


Artist's rendition of what the flying circus could be like

The Flying Circus is an area of the SHA2017 field dedicated to hardware hacking. In this area, we will organise open workshops for different areas of expertise such as metalworking, electronics and CNC machining. We will also provide infrastructure for people who want to give workshops or hardware-related talks.

The project was announced in a lightning talk at SHA2017 orga meeting 20160924: recording of the presentation, slides.


Project Team

At the moment the project team consists of:

  1. Gameoflife.png berz_ Nickname: berz_

    Team: Team:Flyingcircus

    HackerSpace: VoidWarranties

  2. Gameoflife.png Gori Nickname: Gori

    Team: Team:Flyingcircus

    HackerSpace: RevSpace

  3. User Yashiko Picture.jpg Yashiko Nickname: Yashiko

    Team: Team:Flyingcircus

    Role: Decoration / Design

    HackerSpace: Walking Robot

  4. link-3DUserFiremonkey Firemonkey Could not find information about Firemonkey .

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  5. Gameoflife.png Warddr Nickname: Warddr

    Team: Team:Flyingcircus

    Role: Electronics

    HackerSpace: Voidwarranties,HSBXL

  6. Gameoflife.png Tomvdz Nickname: Tomvdz

    Team: Team:Flyingcircus

    Role: Decoration / Design

    HackerSpace: VoidWarranties, Walking Robot

  7. Gameoflife.png lievenstandaert Nickname: lievenstandaert

    Team: Team:Flyingcircus

    Role: has broom

    HackerSpace: Fablab Brussels

  8. Gameoflife.png Mitch Nickname: Mitch

    Team: Team:Flyingcircus

    HackerSpace: Noisebridge

    Village: Village:Flyingcircus

    Dect: 2676

We could use some extra people on the project team, in particular people with hardware hacking experience.


Some hackers we are working with to realise this project have extensive knowledge of the hardware side of things but are relatively unexperienced in software-related matters. While most teams use irc and mailinglists for internal communication, in our case this would exclude some talented people from contributing to our project. Because usability is more important to us than to some of the other teams, our communication choices might diverge somewhat from the standard.

  • wiki: Information for public consumption will be published on the project's wiki page and the pages it links to.
  • irc: #sha2017-flyingcircus on freenode
  • etherpad: Information meant for consumption by the project team only is stored on the etherpad.
  • Slack: used for communication within the project team:
  • email: we would like to set up an email address for contacting the project team. e.g., mails to which would get forwarded to certain people on the team (i.e.: not a mailing list). To do: contact team:sysadmin.


At the moment we are organising our workshops by discipline, as we don't know yet in which of the tents exactly they will be held. We want to provide workshops in these disciplines:

  • metalworking
  • smithing
  • woodworking
  • textiles and leather
  • digital and analog electronics
  • fablab: 3D printers, laser cutters ...

A list of tools and materials required for every workshop can be found here: Projects:Flyingcircus/Tools and materials.

We would love to organise workshops in other disciplines (jewellery making, fashion design,... so much stuff to learn about). But for this to become a reality we will need the help of quite a number of people knowledgeable in each of the disciplines who want to help set up and staff each workshop.

Teams per discipline

Feel free to add yourself to a discipline you have some experience with!

These are the people we will contact if we have questions related to their discipline, like how to set up their workshop or which machines are needed in order to do so.

Discipline team members will also be asked to supervise workshops during the camp. We need at least one supervisor in every workshop at all times who can ensure the proper usage of tools and to assist people. This is necessary to prevent damage to both people and equipment. Only if this condition is met, we will be able to provide dangerous tools and borrow expensive machines that can break if used incorrectly. We are going to need a lot of supervisors.

Use of workshops during build-up

The workshops can be used by other teams during build-up. For example team decoration can use the woodshop to build signage. We do need to know who will use which area at what time in advance though, so we can plan our build-up schedule accordingly.

Team Necesarry equipment By when
decoration  ?  ?


We will provide a space for people to organise workshops for up to 50 people at a time, and a space for hardware-related talks (max 200 people).

We are actively looking for people who might be interested in giving a talk or setting up a workshop. All content will be added to the camp's program by creating a self-organised session in frab.

We see a number of opportunities for collaboration with team content; some examples:

  • If we attract a well-known speaker who could generate a turnout that would exceed our talk tent's capacity, we will send her/him through to team content
  • team content can forward speakers to us if their subject matter is hardware-related and of interest to a relatively small audience
  • It would be fantastic if speakers who are giving a hardware-related talk in one of the main tents were encouraged to also set up a hands-on workshop afterwards.


Consumable materials are needed to build physical projects. Laser cutters need sheet goods, chips and resistors are needed for electronic projects and the woodshop needs wood. It doesn't make sense to provide a large array of tools if the assorted building materials are not present on site. Therefore we will set up a marketplace where people can buy what they require.

If possible we prefer goods to be sold by independent vendors since this means we don't have to go through the effort of acquiring, managing and selling the stock. This also includes people selling project kits. Items and materials that are necessary but which are not sold by an independent vendor will be sold by us.

We will only be able to have a basic selection of items and materials on stock, a wider assortment is not possible due to a lack of storage space and the large upfront investment this would entail. However we could provide just-in-time deliveries during the camp. People would be able to order items which would then be fetched during daily(?) trips to the hardware store. We would also like to have daily Farnell deliveries, but this would mean convincing them to deliver on weekends. "Sorry, we don't have that chip in stock, but if you pay in advance we can have it here by tomorrow at noon." would be nice.

The emphasis of the marketplace should be to make things available, not to make money. We will sell items for about their purchasing price and kick out vendors that are overly commercial.


We know from experience - organising hardware hacking areas at OHM2013 and CCC camp 2015 - that decoration has a significant impact on atmosphere. The Flying Circus will have its own theme containing circus, steampunk, industrial and Monty Python design elements. Creating this experience would be easier if we have some tents which - at least vaguely - resemble circus tents, as a cluster of sterile white tents doesn't come across as a welcoming place for creativity, building and learning.

Risk management

We are aware that there are quite a number of risks associated with the Flying Circus: the woodworking area could catch fire, the spray booth could explode, dangerous chemicals will be present to etch pcb's and circular saws will kill you if used incorrectly. We are working pro-actively to mitigate these risks: some people on the project team have had safety and security training and we will coordinate our efforts with team Permit and team Safety and Security once more details are known.