Ford planning to unveil do-it-yourself fabrication studio this weekend

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 25, 2011

If car fabrication is one of your hobbies, then you’ll be glad to know that this fall, a shop will open at a former Ford training center in suburban Detroit that offers all the tools and machines that you will need for your vehicle.

This building is a former Ford training center owned by Ford Motor Land Development Corp. In 2006, TechShop Inc. was founded as a for-profit company in Menlo Park, Calif., in Silicon Valley.

Last December, a TechShop opened in San Francisco while another one opened in San Jose in June. More shops are expected to open in Boston; New York; Washington, D.C.; Cincinnati; Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle.

On Nov. 18, the Allen Park TechShop is slated to open. It is located in about 15,000 square feet of a 38,000-square-foot office building in Allen Park, Mich. CEO Mark Hatch said that the company describes itself as a do-it-yourself fabrication studio.

If you’re 18 or older, you could be a member as long as you pay monthly dues of $100. So far, TechShop has 750 members each in its Menlo Park and San Francisco operations. It aims to have 800 to 1,000 members in Allen Park after one year. Members will be able to access almost all large and small machines on the market for machine tooling, woodworking, plastics tooling, 3D prototyping, textile manufacturing and laser cutting.

The tools range from small hand tools to plasma torches, welders, laser-controlled metal lathes, mills and 15-ton presses. Beginners may take TechShop’s classes on how to use various tools and machines. TechShop also provides consulting services for would-be entrepreneurs.

Topics: ford

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