Since its soft-launch in late August, TechShop St. Louis has attracted hundreds of early adopter DIYers eager to see everything this massive new community-workshop and prototype studio has to offer. Now it’s everyone’s turn to see TechShop in action as the 18,000-square-foot workspace hosts its official grand-opening celebration this Saturday (October 22) from 2-5 p.m.
On tap for the afternoon will be tours, equipment demonstrations, membership specials, food and a ribbon-cutting ceremony in true TechShip fashion: Instead of a typical fabric-and-scissors affair, TechShop employees will cut through a steel “ribbon” using a handheld plasma cutter. [Insert the grunts of Tim “The Toolman” Taylor.]
“It’s going to be a fun event,” says Mike Hill, general manager of TechShop St. Louis. “The initial response to TechShop St. Louis has been great, and I’m looking forward to showing off all the innovative things are members are creating.”
TechShop, located at 4260 Forest Park Avenue in the Cortex Innovation District, prides itself on offering its members three core benefits that innovators are unlikely to find elsewhere under one roof:
- Equipment: Each TechShop has more than $1 million worth of machinery — including milling machines and lathes, laser cutters, an electronics bay, welding equipment, a wood shop, sewing machines, 3D printers and more — that can complete most any project.
- Education: TechShop offers dozens of classes each week that teach innovators as young as eight years old how to design their projects and operate the workshop’s high-tech machinery and software. (And if anyone needs additional assistance, one of TechShop’s coaches is never more than a few feet away.)
- Community: TechShop is more than just a workspace, it’s also a creative lab where members share ideas, expertise and enthusiasm.
That community aspect of TechShop St. Louis is already well underway. During a walk-thru last week, Hill stopped to chat with several members who’ve already become regulars. They include people like Craig Caesar, owner of St. Charles-based MakerMakers, who’s been using TechShop’s laser cutters to create M.C. Escher-inspired tessellations. And Ian McIntyre, another TechShop member, who was using a 3D printer to create a custom goalie mask for his hockey team.
“We have so many members who are doing interesting things,” says Hill, who recalled how two members recently made $2,500 in one weekend selling keychains they designed using TechShop’s laser cutters. “Each day I come across something new and exciting, and I know that’s only going to ramp up over the next few months.”
For more on TechShop’s grand opening, follow TechShop St. Louis on Facebook. TechShop St. Louis offers monthly and annual memberships and school and corporate discounted memberships. For more on that, check out www.techshop.ws/stl.html.