TechShop – A maker’s dream

by Scott Loftesness on September 9, 2009

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Chris and I visited Menlo Park’s TechShop last evening – a giant workshop for grown folks like us!

IMG_2440Instructor/Tour Guide Mike Catterlin gave us a very nice tour of TechShop’s sprawling plant.

TechShop offers a ‘health club’ model – members pay a monthly fee to access the amazing array of industrial and electronic manufacturing gear.

Assembly stations, pictured on first stage of this post, feature power, networking and compressed air.

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TechShop’s plasma-arc cutter will cut up to 3/8ths-inch sheet steel in precision patterns controlled by a computer. Users have to take a mandatory safety instruction class before operating this high-energy cutting machine as well as some of the other more powerful equipment. Other classes cover technique with machines as diverse as industrial sewing machines, metal working tools and circuit-board fabrication machines.

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A lobby photo collage uses a system invented by a TechShop member, with components made using TechShop gear, including a numerically-controlled laser.

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