ASU, TechShop partnership gives community its own DIY Workshop

A MakerBot 3-D printer with a TIE Interceptor™ from Star Wars inside. TechShop members have access to MakerBot 3-D printers that can print anything from pinecones to the TIE Interceptor™ from Star Wars. (Photo by Andrew Nicla) A MakerBot 3-D printer with a TIE Interceptor™ from Star Wars inside. TechShop members have access to MakerBot 3-D printers that can print anything from pinecones to the TIE Interceptor™ from Star Wars. (Photo by Andrew Nicla)

Thousands of square feet of workspace and millions of dollars worth of technology are currently available free of charge to any full-time ASU student at the TechShop Chandler.

TechShop, a community-based workshop and prototyping studio, opened a new location in Chandler in January in a partnership with ASU’s Chandler Innovation Lab.

This partnership was made possible by the outreach of ASU's entrepreneurship and innovation program. ASU is the first university in the country to partner with the open-access public workshop, Mitzi Montoya, vice president and university dean of entrepreneurship and innovation at ASU, said.

“This new opportunity provides any ASU student with the state-of-the-art equipment and prototyping tools that traditionally are only available to engineering or design students,” Montoya said.

The package includes a free membership that will last for the remainder of September until Jan. 16, and a $100 voucher to cover workshop fees. Students can sign up for a membership by visiting the facility located in Chandler and showing a valid student ID.

“Through this exciting partnership with TechShop, our students, regardless of their major, will have access to the tools, training and community that they need to make their ideas happen," said Montoya.

When the complimentary membership ends, students are able to purchase a membership at a discounted rate. Membership fees for students are $76 per month and $796 a year.

The do it yourself workshop harbors over $1 million worth of state-of-the-art equipment including laser cutters, 3-D printers, a woodworking shop, welding tables and much more.

TechShop provides an environment where people can work on just about any project, General Manger Jon Barbara said.

“People can work on projects of any size at TechShop,” Barbara said. “We actually have a group of guys working on building a production-sized pizza oven.”

The amount of technology that TechShop provides to its members can be overwhelming.

That is why TechShop also offers workshops that teach everything from basic safety in the workshop, how to operate equipment properly and how to apply skills learned in workshops to projects.

Biomedical engineering junior Swetha Swaminathan has been a member at TechShop Chandler since spring of this year after she won a free membership in a contest at Barrett, the Honors College.

Swaminathan participated in a few different workshops taught by TechShop staff. In one of the workshops, Swaminathan was given the project of making a rose out of steel.

“The instructors were very nice. They were there to help, but they also allowed us to work independently,” said Swaminathan. “(TechShop) is a creative outlet to express yourself. It is a place where art and engineering come together.”

Students have the option of utilizing free transportation from campus to the facility provided by Ruby Ride, a Phoenix-based car-sharing startup company.

There are pickup locations at both the Tempe campus and the Polytechnic campus that will drop students off at TechShop Chandler.

Students who are interested in claiming their complimentary subscription or who are curious about TechShop Chandler are encouraged to attend either of their open house sessions on Sept. 19 at 3 p.m. or Sept. 25 at 6 p.m.

Reach the reporter at anicla@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @andrewniclaASU


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