CRF Blog

TechShop: Paradise for Tinkerers

by Bill Hayes

In TechShop: Paradise for Tinkerers, Bloomberg Businessweek reports on the growing franchise.

The TechShop chain is a paradise for people who like to make things. The average facility runs about 17,000 square feet and has all manner of apparatus, from Industrial Age staples such as sewing machines, metal lathes, and mills to $200,000 computer-controlled contraptions that can cut precise patterns out of slabs of metal. For about $100 a month, you can become a TechShop member and use all this equipment. For a few bucks more, you can attend classes that vary from Welding 101 to drawing 3D models on a computer.

The Menlo Park TechShop opened in 2006, part of a boomlet in so-called hacker spaces. Lacking garage workshops, city dwellers created places where they can write software code or build robots, while socializing and sharing their expertise. They’re part of what’s known as the maker movement: DIY enthusiasts who argue that they’re fulfilling a fundamental human need to make things with our hands. [more]