Pittsburgh’s creative community has been buzzing with excitement and delight over the arrival of TechShop, a model that enhances and encourages the flourishing creativity of local artists, builders and crafters. This “playground for creativity” touts itself as a “vibrant, creative community that provides access to tools, software and space”. Members have access to an assortment of equipment and tools, including laser cutters, plastics and electronics labs, a machine shop, a wood shop, a metal working shop, a textiles department, welding stations and a waterjet cutter. They also offer design software and large project areas to spread out and DO WORK SON.
After signing up, members are required to pay a monthly or annual fee and complete equipment-specific Safety and Basic Use classes. Tours from TechShop’s “Dream Consultants” are provided for interested parties. Currently, there are only TechShops in a limited number of cities in California, Texas and one in Michigan, with locations in Brooklyn, DC and Arizona soon to follow.
This exciting endeavor is only as good as the community utilizing its services, which is why they’re hosting their first ever summer exhibition – an opportunity for anyone who is curious about what TechShop has to offer. The event is free, open to the public, and a great way to become acquainted with the space. There will be food, music, demos, workshops, contests, giveaways and a series of “Make-it, Take-it workshops”, which are low-cost projects that take little time to complete and are easy to take home. Workshops include: Laser Etched Beer Mugs, Vacuum-Formed Chocolate Molds, Plasma Cut Metal Flowers, Learn to Solder (session 1 and 2), Japanese Tool Box and Custom Branding Irons. Each of these short workshops are open to members and non-members.
Visit here to register for one of the workshops. If you want to keep your visit more casual, TechShop’s open house runs from 10-5 this Saturday, June 22. Location and directions can be found here.