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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

TechShop

Cool Tools: TechShop is a tool shop with a gym style membership. It costs $125 a month, but they have a special right now for $1000 for the year. Their price went up recently, but I am paying $100 a month.

9 comments:

Camille Rohrlich said...

This is a concept I've never heard of, or even ever thought of. The idea makes a lot of sense; as the article pointed out, most people can't afford to buy most of these tools, or store them in a way that makes them efficient and safe for use. One negative aspect is that if you're using the shop to work on a large-scale project, getting your project to and from the shop seems like a pretty big hassle. It makes me wonder what kind of work people use this shop for. All in all though, I find this TechShop to be a pretty cool idea.

Will Gossett said...

This is a pretty lucrative business venture, especially if we continue the upward trend of the maker mindset for people interested in going beyond just having ideas about something new. Having access to a shop such as this one can allow people to prototype and begin making something that they are either just making once, or perfecting in a trial shop before going on to purchase their own tools. I agree with Camille about getting materials in and projects out of the shop, but I assume there are plenty of access points to load in or out of the shop. The success of this venture also depends on general honor system rules, such as cleaning up your tools when you are done, continuing to practice the safety measures instructed by the shop, and using the tools in a smart way.

Matt said...

I visited a TechShop last year over winter break in San Jose and for the first time in a very long time felt like a kid in a candy shop. The tooling they supply to their members was quite impressive. Waterjet, CNC mills, lathes, CNC embroidery machines, a woodworking shop, spray booth, and 3d printers were all available for use. Sometimes I was suspicious of their usage policy, "Wait I can just walk in here and use the waterjet machine?" What added to my excitement was the training and classes that are available to you as a member. Classes were available on specific tools or processes (take an ongoing welding class covering different types of welding for example) as well as classes taught Autodesk officials on almost any Autodesk project. TechShop is a great resource to makers, tinkers, students, small business owners, and craftsmen. There's a rumor TechShop has been casing out Pittsburgh for a location. That would be great. Especially to students at CMU who won't have such each access to all the cool toys on campus after graduation.

Robert said...

I wonder is this going to grow and come to all major cities or just stay where they are and other people will copy off of this and make their own. It is an extreme great idea for people that like to do hobby things with tools to join this because they are able to use expensive tools with others buying them and in the time that they work their the amount of money that they spend on classes and the annual fee is a lot less than if they were to buy all of the tools and have to maintain them. It would be very cool to see these go as a franchisees because them any one that likes this type of thing can just join and work with a lot of different things.

april said...

This is such an interesting concept! I too have never heard of anything like this. I thinks this is a brilliant idea, especially with them also giving classes and having such a serious variety of tools to use. I do wonder what type of people would go there that would need access to so many different types of tools, since it seems like most people would not be doing projects requiring more than three or four different tools. But Will does make a good point that it would be a great place to try out doing your projects on the tools before you commit to buying one. I just feel that it would only make sense to have a membership for a year or two because once youve taken the classes and gotten some hands on experience it seems like it would be economical to purchase your own tools if you plan to continue similar projects for a very extended period of time.

Joseph Tolle said...

This takes communal artist studios to an interesting new level. I've talked to a number of people involved with communal wood/metalworking and paint studios but one that is geared towards much specific detailing and production is really neat. I agree that it would certainly be advantageous to an individual that can't afford or doesn't have the space to tool their own shop. At the same time though it may be incredibly frustrating for someone who is already familiar with/trained on/works with the types of tools that require classes with a price-tag when they have to pay to undergo training again. I mean sure a refresher is never a bad thing, especially when it's free.

Dale said...

I have worked for a small theatre for the last few years. It there was one of these in Pittsburgh I would be a member for sure. I discovered the power of a great shop while I have been at CMU. It is so nice to walk in there and weld something up and return to the theatre. I hope this place has late hours. For a small theatre the cost of these tools and space is prohibited. IF I could go in to place a rent a CNC machine for a couple hours would be a dream come true when I no longer have access to CMU resources. It would really open up a realm of possibility for a small time operation. I would look for a reason to use a water jet on every show. And if there are guys around like the venerable Ben Carter to instruct you, that is a sweet deal.

Tiffany said...

I remember reading an article about these TechShops on the greenpage last year when a few started really popping up. I would be super excited to see one of these and be able to have access to it. This is a fantastic opportunity for hobbyists, as well as professionals that can't afford these tools for themselves. I think it could also be a really awesome learning opportunity for students, and a real way to get them involved and interested in engineering, theatre, architecture, and lots more. I can't wait until they become more popular and have more locations.

Hunter said...

I've heard of places like this before. I've also been in many situations before where a place like this is exactly what i needed. I either didn't have the space or the resources or the tools i needed to complete some of the ideas and projects i had started on. As the article talks about many people, even if they had the money for all these complicated and expensive tools, wouldn't have anywhere close to the room necessary for such machines or the environment to safely operate them.

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