Manufacturing

TechShop: Democratizing Manufacturing and Creating Personal Industrial Revolutions

Mark Hatch photo“It took the U.S. and Europe 150 years to go through the Industrial Revolution. Now, you can go through your own personal industrial revolution in 90 days.”

At least that’s what TechShop CEO Mark Hatch told Yahoo! Small Business writer Adrienne Burke (also a regular contributor to Techonomy). TechShop is a membership-based DIY workshop with six locations around the country, each with about $1 million worth of advanced machinery and software. Members pay just $125 dollars for monthly access to a plethora of design, prototyping, and manufacturing tools. Most members come with no design or manufacturing experience, but that’s not a problem: TechShop is democratizing production by enabling anyone to design and build a product.

tech shop welding

Welding at TechShop

There are many success stories of personal industrial revolutions coming out of TechShop, ranging from the journalist who developed a DIY underwater robot kit to a copywriter-turned-jewelry-maker. And there will likely be many more in the future: on Monday TechShop announced a $60 million investment offering that will help expand existing facilities and build at least 11 new ones. As the maker movement expands, some say it will empower a resurgence of American manufacturing. This is especially promising for cities like Detroit, where a faltering manufacturing base has weakened the economy.

Do you think the maker movement has potential? For more insight, check out our coverage of the maker movement session at Techonomy Detroit 2013, and last year’s  DIY economy session, which featured Hatch as a panelist.

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