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Founder Jim Newton and Ridge McGhee
Founded at Menlo Park, California
Legal status For-profit corporation
Purpose Open-Access Workshop
Headquarters San Jose, California
Services Classes, events, access to workshops equipped with tools and state-of-the-art equipment and design software
Dan Woods
Slogan Build your dreams here!

TechShop is a chain of membership-based, open-access, DIY workshops and fabrication studios that welcomes people of all skill levels to come in and use industrial tools and equipment to build their own projects. As of 2017 they have ten locations in the United States: three in California, one in Arizona, one in Arlington, Virginia (near DC), one in Michigan, one in Texas, and one in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as three international locations. In October 2016, the most recent location opened in St Louis. Plans for another location in Brooklyn, New York, were announced in late 2016.

TechShop offers safety and basic use training on all of its tools and equipment in addition to advanced and special interest classes and workshops. For most equipment, a safety and use class must be completed before it may be used. Membership is available yearly, monthly, or daily. Student, family, military, and corporate memberships are also available.

TechShop is affiliated with the maker culture and participates in annual Maker Faire events in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world.


TechShop was founded by Jim Newton and Ridge McGhee. Jim Newton originally wanted to establish a place with tools to work on his pet projects, like building a digital clock, which he has still not gotten around to building.[1] Newton, who'd been a science adviser to the TV show MythBusters and a College of San Mateo robotics teacher, was also motivated by his students' frustration with lack of access to equipment.[2] Ridge McGhee, a resident of Atherton, California, was upset by the loss of American manufacturing capability to other countries.[3] After a highly successful donation drive, the first TechShop officially opened to the public on October 1, 2006 in Menlo Park, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley.[3][4]

In October 2013, TechShop moved its original location from Menlo Park to San Carlos,[5] and later to Redwood City.


A location in Metro Detroit opened on May 4, 2012 in a 38,000-square-foot facility in the suburb of Allen Park. This facility was launched in a partnership between Ford and software company Autodesk, and is the largest TechShop facility to date.[6]

TechShop Austin-Round Rock, serving the metro Austin (Texas) area, opened on October 13, 2012. It is located adjacent to a Lowe's home improvement store and is partnering with the chain to host workshops, supply tools, and provide materials.[7]

TechShop opened a location in Chandler, Arizona, in partnership with Arizona State University on January 17, 2014. The first university-TechShop partnering is located at the ASU Chandler Innovation Center, an engineering and technology-based education and research hub located in downtown Chandler at the city’s former public works yard at 249 E. Chicago Street. [8]

Internationally, TechShop has partnership locations in Tokyo (with Fujitsu), the United Arab Emirates (with the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee [9]), and Ivry (next to Paris), France (with ADEO Leroy Merlin).[10]

Some additional partnerships include Samsung, Instructables, Cortex, FutureWorks NYC, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Instruments, and DARPA.

TechShop supports partnerships with global and local institutions, and actively seeks out manufacturing partnerships to encourage workforce development and aid local startups.

Typical tools and equipment offered[edit]

SawStop brand table saw used at TechShop in Redwood City California
  • Table saw
  • Power miter saw
  • Abrasive saw
  • Manual mills, Tormach 3 + 1 axis CNC mill, and metal lathes.
  • ShopBot 3 axis CNC router.
  • Welding equipment including MIG, TIG, gas, and arc welders.
  • Sheet metal fabrication equipment.
  • Oscilloscopes and other electronics equipment.
  • Equipment for working with plastics.
  • Laser cutter and engraver.
  • Entry-level 3D printers.
  • Textiles area with home and industrial sewing machines.
  • STEAM lab for youth.


  1. ^ Dickinson, Boonsri (July 5, 2011). "Tooling around San Francisco's TechShop". CNET. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Seeking a 'place to go build stuff'". The Examiner. April 24, 2006. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Boyce, David (October 4, 2006). "Atherton man unveils industrial workshop for public use in Menlo Park". The Almanac. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Rivlin, Gary (June 26, 2011). "Where Entrepreneurs Go Shopping". Newsweek (July 4 & 11, 2011): 18. 
  5. ^ "TechShop Mid-Peninsula (formerly Menlo Park)". TechShop. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  6. ^ "TechShop Detroit Opens in Allen Park". The Michigan Standard. May 4, 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "TechShop Announces Partnership and Co-location with Lowe’s in Austin Area". Informed Infrastructure. October 13, 2012. Retrieved 8 Nov 2012. 
  8. ^ "TechShop Inc., ASU Chandler Innovation Center gives city high-tech momentum". East Valley Tribune. January 17, 2014. Retrieved 17 Jan 2014. 
  9. ^ "Welcome to Abu Dhabi's AL Zeina innovation workshop, where your tech dreams take shape". The National. November 22, 2015. Retrieved 22 Nov 2015. 
  10. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°29′00″N 122°10′41″W / 37.48324°N 122.17798°W / 37.48324; -122.17798