The brainchild of Jim Newton, TechShop is a membership-based workshop where your ideas can become a reality. Think of it as a gym-membership for your mind, with the tools and equipment for the tech savvy and the tech-savvy-in-need-of-assistance. Its perfect place for inventors, crafters, youth groups, robotic teams and anyone else with a creative itch to scratch, hobbyist and seasoned professional are all welcome.
Newton, TechShop founder and CEO, and a combat robotics class instructor, explains how TechShop came to be. “I live and work in California and had been working on the popular TV show “MythBusters” and had access to all sorts of great tools and resources. When that gig ended, the most painful part was the loss of access to those tools and resources.” That was back in 2005, the first TechShop opened in Menlo Park, California, in 2006.
Bill Coughlin, CEO of Ford Global Technologies Licensing, first learned about Jim Newton and TechShop in 2010. To him, TechShop seemed a natural fit for Detroit; the Allen Park store actually opened last December, and over 600 members have signed up in less than six months.
So what will you find at the Allen Park location? The tools and technology to create almost anything! There are machining tools, woodworking equipment, CNC plasma cutters, sheet metal welding equipment, tubing and metal bending machines, 2D and 3D laser etching tools, heavy duty textiles sewing machines, plastic molding machines, high-tech painting equipment and a myriad of electronics.
Not a rocket scientist or a robotics specialist? Don’t know how to use all the tools and equipment at the Allen Park TechShop location? That’s all part of the fun at TechShop Detroit. Beginners can take a Safety and Basic Use class; it’s just like taking a Zumba class at the gym – you’ll be up and running in a few hours. Best of all, you’ll meet other people that share your passion to build and create.
There will be plenty to do at this grand opening May 5-6, 2012: Food trucks, a People Mover design challenge, a trebuchet building workshop, Epilog Laser and Flow Waterjet demonstrations, and presentations by Ford Global Technologies, The Henry Ford Museum and Etsy. Visit techshop.ws for more information.