Do-it-yourself nventors' workshop opens in SF

February 18, 2011 11:41:16 AM PST
Ever had an idea but not the tools to make it a reality?

Dreamers, inventors and hobbyists alike will have a workshop to call home in San Francisco when TechShop, the first membership-based, do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio, opens its doors in the city on Saturday.

Founded in October 2006, TechShop styles itself on a model similar to a fitness club by granting members access to tools and high-end machinery for a monthly fee.

Everyone is welcome to become a member, regardless of skill level, and TechShop founder Jim Newton said he is excited to see what creative projects take form in the space.

"The opportunity to engage, enable and empower San Francisco's community of highly creative people is really exciting for us," Newton said in a statement. "I can't wait to see what comes out of this location."

The wide variety of machinery on-hand at TechShop's South of Market studio includes milling machines, welding stations, drill presses, industrial sewing machines, plastics equipment and laser cutters.

To master use of the tools, TechShop also offers instruction, with more than 75 classes that are open to non-members.

Based in Menlo Park, TechShop has locations in San Francisco and Raleigh, N.C., and plans to open locations in San Jose, New York and Detroit.

The Bay Area has a reputation for inventiveness, and it's not just Silicon Valley's technological dominance that contributes to the region's creative appeal.

The Discovery Channel show "MythBusters," which tests the validity of rumors, adages, and other common assumptions, is based in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood.

"MythBusters" co-host and sculptor Adam Savage will make an appearance at Saturday's festivities and provide a keynote address at the event, which will be held from noon until 5 p.m. at 926 Howard St.

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