The “ultimate workshop” is one of those rooms that frequently crop up in a man’s dream home ramblings, right between mentions of the Holodeck and a putting green. Even for those who’ve never lifted a tool in their life, the allure of escaping to an oasis of tinkering, away from the rest of the house (and its other inhabitants) is undeniable. Since most don’t inherit Doc Brown-type fortunes, TechShop is a growing startup that provides creators with unlimited access to 15,000+ square feet of shared workshop space, stocked with $750,000 of advanced machines, tools, worktables, sophisticated 2D and 3D design software, and other professional equipment — all for as low as $99 a month. Just in case you’re a little rusty on using things like the large rotary punch, TechShop offers training on every tool on the floor, as well as more advanced classes on honing those skills you haven’t touched since metal shop. So-called “Dream Coaches” can also provide direct advice on your individual project, and there’s a good chance other members might lend a hand or wrench too.
For those nurturing small businesses, TechShop offers free Wifi, a retail store for purchasing supplies, conference rooms, coffee, computer workstations, and even access to private workshops and storage for an extra fee, just in case you were worried about leaving your October Sky and This Old House DVDs at home. As of now, TechShop has locations in Menlo Park, San Francisco, San Jose, Detroit, and Raleigh, with new shops in Portland, OR, Brooklyn, and LA coming soon. Have fun, and try not to blow anything up.
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