Maker Faire 2008 Was Amazing!
Posted by Jim Newton, Monday, May 05, 2008   

Wow, we had a great time during the week of Maker Faire. Thank you to all the volunteers that helped it go so well. TechShop had 8 stations set up with various machines and tools, and we were again giving faire attendees hands-on looks at why TechShop can enable them to build their dreams. We added over 100 members in the two weeks after the faire, and a huge volume of people are buying memberships every day. We got a ton of great PR too...check us out on bOING bOING TV, and San Francisco television stations KPIX Channel 5 and KRON Channel 4. We also had a nice prop from Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools blog site, Guy Kawasaki's site, and Core77's site.

 
TechShop Adds a CNC ShopBot 4' x 8' Wood Router for Member Use
Posted by Jim Newton, Sunday, May 04, 2008   

Today we added a full-sized ShopBot to the huge list of tools and equipment that TechShop members can use. We brought it back from the Maker Faire where it had been used all weekend in the ShopBot booth across the isle from TechShop's area. If you don't know what a ShopBot is, you are in for a real treat. It is a large format computer-controlled router that can cut 2D shapes out of sheet wood and plastic, and can also do 3D carving in various materials. You can put a whole sheet of plywood on the bed at once. The software is very easy to use and you will be up and running quickly making furniture, boats, boxes, carvings and trim, and anything else you can dream up! TechShop is very pleased to provide our members with a ShopBot unit.

 
TechShop Offers Second Epilog Laser Cutter to Members
Posted by Jim Newton, Tuesday, April 08, 2008   

Due to overwhelming popularity of our first Epilog Helix 45-watt 18 x 24 laser cutter, we have purchased a second identical unit and it is now online and available for member use. Epilog laser engravers and cutters are considered by most makers to be the finest and easiest laser cutter to use. TechShop is very pleased to provide our members with Epilog laser cutters.

 
Guy Kawasaki Visits TechShop
Posted by Jim Newton, Friday, August 03, 2007   

Last week I invited Guy Kawasaki to visit TechShop, and today he was nice enough to come by for a tour of TechShop and to discuss with me how I should move forward with TechShop's expansion into other markets across the country.

Guy took a lot of photographs of TechShop for his blog, which you might see there soon.

Guy will return to TechShop in the next few weeks to use TechShop's CNC plasma cutter and make a steel sign of the Truemors logo for his Truemors web site and company. His other company, the one for which he is best known, is Garage Technology Ventures.

 
TechShop Featured in Cover Article in Inc. Magazine
Posted by Jim Newton, Sunday, July 01, 2007   

TechShop is featured in the cover article in the July 2007 Inc. Magazine.

The cover article is entitled "How To Launch a Cool, Profitable, Kick-Ass Start-Up (And Live To Brag About It)" and features four start up companies including TechShop.

In each company's section, a well-known successful business person comments on the company. We were lucky to have Paul Orfalea, the founder of Kinkos, comment on TechShop with some very good observations.

There's even a couple of pictures of me in the magazine!



Here is a link to the online version of the article.

 
New Discovery Channel Show Series Pilot Shot at TechShop
Posted by Jim Newton, Friday, December 01, 2006   

The pilot episode for the Discovery Channel's new series "Prototype This!" was shot at TechShop in Menlo Park in December of 2006. Prototype This is an upcoming TV series that will "look into the viability of gadgets and technology seen in science-fiction movies.

Three sets were constructed in TechShop's large conference room, and the machine shop and sheet metal shop were painted in color schemes that would look good on camera. Many parts of the TechShop facilities were used in the show pilot, including the main workshop, welding shop, and laser cutter room.

The series stars Andrew "Zoz" Brooks, Joe Grand, Kevin Binkert, Michael North, and Terry Sandin. The series is scheduled to air in the Fall of 2007 on the Discovery Channel.

 
TechShop Grand Opening!
Posted by Jim Newton, Saturday, September 23, 2006   

TechShop Grand Opening
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Sunday, October 1, 2006
11:00 AM -- 3:00 PM Both Days
120 Independence Dr, Menlo Park, CA

TechShop is finally opening!

For information, please see the Events page.

 
Thank You TechShop Lenders, Presale Pass Customers, and Work Volunteers!
Posted by Jim Newton, Wednesday, September 20, 2006   

All of us TechShop want to thank all the hundreds of people who have helped build TechShop.

Our fantastic lenders took a risk and put up their hard-earned money to help fund the TechShop dream and make it a reality.

Lots of eager future members people took advantage of the presale of TechShop access passes.

And the volunteers! Whether it was at the Demolition Party, building servers, putting together business policy and operational documentation, or working their hearts out during all the many build-out sessions, or during the week before the Grand Opening, we want to say that we could never have gotten TechShop open without your generous help.

Now it is up to us to enrich all your lives with access to all the tools and equipment and community that you expect from TechShop.

Thank you!

 
Volunteers Needed for the TechShop Demolition Party
Posted by Jim Newton, Monday, August 28, 2006   

TechShop has the green light to do some demolition!

The TechShop building has 8 small offices that need to be removed to open up the large room for the main workshop area where the workbenches and "The Hub" will go. Many of you have asked to help with demolition and build-out, so here is your chance!

If you want to help tear down some sheetrock, pull out studs, remove drop ceiling elements, carry debris, then wow, do we have a party for you!

The TechShop Demolition Party will be Saturday, September 2, 2006 from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM.

The location is, of course, the TechShop Building.

Please RSVP to us at demoparty@techshop.ws.

Please bring your favorite safety equipment and tools, including gloves, safety glasses or goggles, dust mask, hammer, pry bar, and anything else you think would be useful. We will provide food and drinks.

 
TechShop Preview and Membership Drive Party
Posted by Jim Newton, Monday, August 28, 2006   

TechShop Preview Party
Saturday, September 9, 2006
11:00 AM -- 3:00 PM
120 Independence Dr, Menlo Park, CA

TechShop will open at the end of September, but on Saturday we are having a Preview Party to let everyone come by and see our progress and check out our 15,200 square foot building and facility.

You can also meet our partners including Make Magazine and the new Craft Magazine, Halted Electronics, HdB Electronics, Hobby Engineering, TAP Plastics, Metal Supermarket, Etheric Networks, and Barracuda Networks, and get information about their products and services.

There will be lots of cool activities for the kids, and they'll get to see and drive Sumo robots, build and race Lego race cars, make "Balls of Goop", build a "Creepy Crawlers", make Kaleidoscopes, and design Robot Art, and lots more!

We will have reasonably-priced food and drinks.

Admission is free, but you will have the opportunity to buy a TechShop Monthly Access Pass for $100, a TechShop Annual Access Pass for $1,000, or a TechShop Gift Certificate in any amount good for classes, access passes, or merchandise from our retail store. We will also have a raffle for a class in printing 3D objects on the Dimensions 3D Printer. You can also make a donation to TechShop in any amount.

If you plan to attend, please email to previewparty@techshop.ws and let us know how many kids and adults will be in your party. And be sure to tell your friends and family about this event!

We look forward to seeing you here!

 
Etheric Networks Becomes the Official Internet Connectivity Supplier for TechShop
Posted by Jim Newton, Thursday, August 17, 2006   

Today, Etheric Networks completed the installation of a twin-antenna high-speed microwave link at the TechShop building that provides 10 MBPS of of bandwidth for Internet access.

This 5.8 GHz microwave link connects the TechShop building to a tower on the Etheric backbone chain which is fed directly from large fiber links.

TechShop members who use the TechShop workshop and people who take classes at TechShop will be able to use this connection through WiFi anywhere in the TechShop building, and people will even be able to get hardwired access to the Internet with Ethernet jacks in each room if their laptop is WiFi challenged.

"I have enjoyed the 4 MBPS Etheric service at my home office for about three years. Etheric is perfect for TechShop because we need a ton of bandwidth for our members to meet their expectations, but we could never afford to go out and get six T1 lines! I also like Etheric because they provide a cool and high-tech way to get ultra fast connectivity," said Jim Newton, TechShop's co-founder.

If you have always wanted a great alternative to cable modem service or DSL service, be sure to check Etheric Networks at www.etheric.net and see the products they offer for residential, small business and large business.

 
TechShop Secures Spacious Building in Menlo Park, California
Posted by Jim Newton, Monday, August 07, 2006   

Today, TechShop received the keys to its 15,200 square foot building at 120 Independence Drive in Menlo Park, California.



The climate-controlled building features a large open workshop area with ten separated rooms for specialized processes, eleven classrooms, a 30' x 70' presentation hall, and an ample parking.

You can view the map on Google Maps at www.techshop.ws/map.html.

TechShop staff and volunteers will begin build-out and tools and equipment set up immediately.

The dates for the TechShop Early Preview Party and the TechShop Grand Opening will be announced soon, but are planned to be in September 2006.

 
TechShop LLC Formed as California Limited Liability Company
Posted by Jim Newton, Friday, July 14, 2006   

Today, TechShop was officially organized as "TechShop LLC", a California Limited Liability Company, registered as LLC number 200619810027.

TechShop is owned and managed by Jim Newton.

Lloyd Stafford, formerly in charge of operations at Hewlett Packard, has been named as Director of Safety and Operations for TechShop.

 
Full Steam Ahead! TechShop Project Update for July 13, 2006
Posted by Jim Newton, Thursday, July 13, 2006   

TechShop Co-Founder Jim Newton
Since we have been so busy working on TechShop for the last few weeks, I wanted to give everyone an update on our progress on the TechShop project.

Membership and TechShop Monthly Access Pass Pre-Sales
In the last 30 days, TechShop mailing list members have asked us to let them buy 55 TechShop Monthly Access Passes! We are blown away by the response! You might want to reserve your slot at TechShop now by buying a TechShop Monthly Access Pass. Remember that with each TechShop Monthly Access Pass you buy, you get 1 day of advance reservation on machines and equipment. You can buy your TechShop Monthly Access Passes now at http://www.techshop.ws/Join_Now.html.

TechShop Special Annual Access Passes Available for a Few More Weeks
Since we opened sales of TechShop Special Annual Access Passes, 5 people have taken advantage of the offer.

The TechShop Special Annual Access Pass provides you the following benefits:
  • Free Membership Initiation Including Your TechShop RFID Card Key
  • Unlimited Access to the TechShop Facility
  • Special Discount with Two Months Free (Regular Price will be $1200)
  • Reserve Machines and Equipment Up To 14 Days In Advance
  • Early Access to Facility Before Grand Opening
  • Your One-Year Time Does Not Start Until Grand Opening Day.
Show your support for TechShop, and take advantage of this special offer. You can use your credit card to purchase your TechShop Special Annual Access Pass right now at http://www.techshop.ws/Join_Now.html.

TechShop Start-Up and Operation Costs Fund Raising
TechShop is being funded entirely through private loans from the very people who want to use TechShop and see it succeed. Our fund raising campaign has been very successful, but we still need a few more private lenders to meet our goal.

If you are interested in making a loan of $25,000 or more to help launch TechShop, please call me at 1-(800)-640-1975 or email me at jim.newton@techshop.ws so we can talk or meet and discuss your involvement. You'll receive 10% annual interest on your 5-year loan, plus you will be issued a TechShop VIP Lifetime Access Pass, available only to our lenders.

The TechShop Building
As I mentioned in my last update, we have located a great building for TechShop, and we are on track to sign the lease by the end of July. The building is 15,000 square feet, has 75 parking spaces, and is located at Marsh Road at 101 in Menlo Park, CA. If you'd like to see the proposed floor plan, we have posted it for your review at http://www.techshop.ws/Floor_Plan.html.

Grand Opening
TechShop is on track to hold its Grand Opening late this summer. We want to be up to full capability when we open the doors so you can get right to work and start building your stuff.

So that's about it for now. I'll be sending more frequent updates as we close in on Opening Day. Be sure to check the web site for updates, and please tell your friends about TechShop!

 
Do You Like Giant Scary Loud Flaming Robots? Survival Research Labs Show in San Jose, Aug 11 2006
Posted by Jim Newton, Monday, July 10, 2006   


Mark Pauline's group Survival Research Labs (SRL) is having a show in San Jose on August 11, 2006.

Tickets will sell out fast, so if you like watching gigantic ear-splitting robots shoot flames and go on destructive rampages at night, buy your ticket now.

I've never had the chance to observe and experience a live SRL show, but this time I have my ticket, and I will be there!

There is a Survival Research Labs DVD called "Survival Research Laboratories: Ten Years of Robotic Mayhem", and it is very cool...you can rent it from NetFlix. There's also a virtual video tour of the SRL facilities on the Make Magazine blog here.