Slideshow: A TechShop Snapshot

Much inventive thinking takes place during a typical day at this community workshop

Photo: Timothy Archibald

FIREWORKS DISPLAY

People who like to make things don’t need to wait for the 4th of July to celebrate their creative independence. They can do it anytime at TechShop, a community workshop in Menlo Park, Calif., which offers an array of tools and instruction.

For more on TechShop, see The Innovators Club

Photo: Timothy Archibald

BLIND AMBITION

Much of the equipment at TechShop can be dangerous if operated improperly, as this warning sign humorously reminds those using the shop’s laser cutters.

For more on TechShop, see The Innovators Club

Photo: Timothy Archibald

BALANCING ACT

Daniel Fukuba, a first-year student of mechanical engineering at Foothill College, in Los Altos Hills, Calif., shows off a balancing scooter he built for himself after falling in love with the Segway. Further information about his work on the project is available at http://www.scooterlabs.org.

For more on TechShop, see The Innovators Club

Photo: Timothy Archibald

HEART OF PINE

Jim Madden holds the results of his first attempt at computer-numerically controlled carving: a simple heart, sculpted from particleboard using a ShopBot CNC router.

For more on TechShop, see The Innovators Club

Photo: Timothy Archibald

PATCHWORK JOB

TechShop’s industrial-grade sewing machines make it easy to embroider patches—for clothing, for hats, or (should the need arise) for decorating the interiors of space vehicles.

For more on TechShop, see The Innovators Club

Photo: Timothy Archibald

ELECTRO’MOTIVE FORCE

Sarah Cooley, an electric-vehicle enthusiast and student at Oregon State University, holds a sign she was making for the Silicon Valley chapter of the Electric Auto Association, which meets in Palo Alto, Calif.

For more on TechShop, see The Innovators Club

Photo: Timothy Archibald

TRACKING EXPENSES

Aaron Haldiman, custom-applications engineer for Telemetry Solutions of Concord, Calif., shows off components for GPS collars used to track wildlife. He says his company had been getting fabrication work done at ”big machine shops that take forever and charge a ton,” which is why he prefers to make parts like this himself at TechShop.

For more on TechShop, see The Innovators Club

Photo: Timothy Archibald

DOODLING WITH LIGHT

A decorated scrap of plywood demonstrates the ability of TechShop’s laser cutters to mark patterns of great complexity on a variety of materials.

For more on TechShop, see The Innovators Club

Photo: Timothy Archibald

FRAMING THE PROBLEM

Martin Azevedo contemplates how to modify the frame of a bicycle so that it can pull a homebrew rickshaw.

For more on TechShop, see The Innovators Club

Photo: Timothy Archibald

FOR FUN AND PROFIT

Jim Newton, the founder of TechShop, takes a moment to look up from his welding demonstration while a co-worker continues to produce special effects for the benefit of IEEE Spectrum’s photographer.

For more on TechShop, see The Innovators Club

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