The other day some visitors to PADT asked if we wanted to tour their new facility. Some place called TechShop Chandler. I had heard some about them, a place where you can have access to tech tools and technology, but I didn’t know much more than that. Wow, was I pleasantly surprised when we stopped by for a tour.
Most Everything you Need
The tag line on their website reads: “TechShop is a vibrant, creative community that provides access to tools, software and space. You can make virtually anything at TechShop. Come and build your dreams!” I have to say, that tag line looks pretty dang accurate.
The facility is located in the ASU Chandler Innovation Center just east of downtown Chandler. A great location close to the 202, and some good food and drink (not that that matters much… but if you are working on a project and need a break… just saying). The building has been completely renovated and provides a great space.
Even in this new location (there are seven other location) in Chandler, they have fully functioning labs that contain the equipment and software one would need to truly build almost anything. That in itself is pretty useful, but what is more important is they offer training on all of the tools they make available, often the missing piece in other attempts we have seen to offer technology and tools to people.
The offering of equipment and tools that we saw was very comprehensive and included a computer lab with full CAD software tools, a full wood shop with CNC routers, a full sheet metal shop, welding, machining, injection molding, electronics, laser cutting, 3D printing, and even industrial sewing. They have lots of room for working and for meeting.
On top of all that, they host programs for schools as well as meetups for the community.
How it Works
TechShop describes their membership system like a gym. You pay a monthly membership fee and, once you have successfully completed the training, you have access to the equipment, computers, and software at the facility. As you would expect, they have discounts if you sign up for automatic renewal, a yearly membership, or if you add family members. They also offer students (18 and older) and Active Duty Military a significant discount. Corporations can negotiate memberships as well. Check out the costs for TechShop Chandler here. Just to give you an idea, the basic one month membership with no discounts is only $175/month. Pretty affordable once you get your head around how many resources you get access to.
What do YOU want to make?
That is the heading at the top of their website, and it fits. If you are a hobbyist, inventor, engineer, student, or fabricator, you should check out TechShop. Even if you have equipment at work or at home, it is a great resource to gain training and access to a wider variety of tools and equipment. All in a clean and positive environment working side by side with other like-minded members.
Check them out on the web:
Or give them a call and set up a visit: 480 327-0820.
For those of you reading this outside of the Phoenix area, there are locations in:
- San Carlos, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- San Jose, CA
- Allen Park, MI (Detroit)
- Round Rock, TX (Austin)
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Arlington, VA
With many more planned.