TechShop, “a fully-equipped open-access workshop and creative environment that lets you drop in any time and work on your own projects at your own pace” is opening 10 new locations in 2008, including an Austin shop! According to their site:
The TechShop workshop provides a wide variety of machinery and tools for the open and unlimited use of its members, including milling machines and lathes, welding stations and plasma cutters, sheet metal working equipment, drill presses and band saws, industrial sewing machines, hand tools, plastic working equipment, electronics design and fabrication facilities, tubing and metal bending machines, electrical supplies and tools, and pretty much everything you’d ever need to make just about anything all by yourself.
How cool is that?! They provide classes around how to use the various tools, which are open to the public as well as members who sign up for one of the gym-like plans (daily, monthly and yearly subscriptions). While Sarah and I would both love to have an amazing workshop, and will likely build one over time, it’s pretty unlikely we could afford, or for that matter, justify some of the tools they will make available.
Man, a laser cutter would be so much fun to play with! Oh, and tinkering with the 3d printer would be a great too.