While in Michigan I had the opportunity to visit and tour a local TechShop. If you haven’t heard of TechShop before, it is a membership-based workshop that provides members with access to shop tools and equipment, instruction, and a community of creative and supportive people so they can build the things they have always wanted to make. Seriously such a fabulous idea! TechShop has five different locations throughout the United States, and is rapidly growing.
In Detroit, Ford and TechShop came together in a collaborative effort to open a brand new TechShop located in the Detroit area. All innovators are welcome – from backyard tinkerers to software engineers – to use the available resources and bring an idea to life, or invent the next big thing in automotive technology.
TechShop is designed for everyone, regardless of skill level. TechShop is perfect for inventors, makers, hackers, tinkerers, artists, roboteers, families, entrepreneurs, youth groups, FIRST robotic teams, arts and crafts enthusiasts, and anyone else who wants to be able to make things that they dream up but don’t have the tools, space or skills. TechShop provides access to a wide variety of machinery and tools including milling machines and lathes, welding stations and a CNC plasma cutter, sheet metal working equipment, drill presses and band saws, industrial sewing machines, hand tools, plastic and wood working equipment including a 4′ x 8′ ShopBot CNC router, electronics design and fabrication facilities, Epilog laser cutters, tubing and metal bending machines, a Dimension SST 3-D printer, electrical supplies and tools, and pretty much everything you’d ever need to make just about anything. And most importantly… TechShop is for EVERYONE!
If you already know how to use all the stuff at TechShop, that’s great. If you want to learn about the equipment and tools you have never used before, you can take a SBU (Safety and Basic Use) class and get up to speed on that tool or machine in just a few hours. Students are encouraged to not be afraid to try new things, whether it is welding, using a milling machine, working with fabrics and leather or plastics, or cutting keyways in a gear. The whole point of TechShop is to empower you with a wide variety of new capabilities so you can start to see the pathway that lets you make new and exciting things. TechShop is ready to help you build your dreams.
As a guest of Go Further With Ford, we were honored to have Ford CEO Alan Mulally introduce us to TechShop, and invite us to actually try out many of the tools and crafts available in the Detroit location. I have to admit, it was seriously so much fun!
As a group we were able to try out screen printing, glass etching, make pewter jewelry, learn basics about electricity, and more! Check just a few of the many cool stations below, and be sure to go HERE to learn more about TechShop.
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Natalie Wright is a contributing writer at Organized Mom and Tech4Moms. You can also find her DIY blog online at natalme.com.