For some, TechShop served as some kind of test to see if makerspaces could have a sustainable business model. This closure has been held up by some as proof that makerspaces can’t be profitable, or can’t exist at all. Frankly, after traveling around the world and seeing community spaces of all kinds, this is just another business closing out of the many business that will close this year. That’s how business works. We don’t see speculation of the restaurant industry going out of style when a chain dies. There are so many variations in how spaces are organized, physically structured, and paid for, that it would be silly to rely on a single entity as the litmus test for success.
However, the failure of TechShop presents a very real problem for the more than 9,000 members they boasted. What will they do now? Well, in many cases there are makerspaces that existed before TechShop arrived and are still there, going strong, or new spaces popping up to take in the displaced communities.
Below are listed the 10 locations of TechShop in the US. I’ve gathered some existing resources and local makerspaces, but since I’m not local, I don’t see it all! Please email me more items to add to this list that you know of in your local areas. The Nation of Makers is also compiling a map of spaces. Add your space here or check out the map as it grows.
Arlington, VA (DC area)
Arlington Parks and Rec – offers classes
Here’s a map of local groups, schools, and spaces in the Phoenix area
Round Rock, TX
San Francisco, CA | Redwood City, CA | San Jose, CA
Oh man, this list is getting long. Check out our Maker’s Guide to Oakland for a much more!
Allen Park, Mi
St Louis, MO
New space opening – Stl Today article (requires survey filled out to read)
One thing that really stands out to me about this collection (which I’m still adding to!) is the fact that these areas have vibrant and active communities full of spaces! While TechShop may not have lasted here, it is apparent that the community will survive and may very well still be growing.
Some businesses are even stepping up to offer special assistence to TechShop members. Glowforge, LittleBits, Inventables, and Formlabs are offering a very large discount on their products with proof of membership.
We’re saddened to hear that TechShop closed its doors on November 15th. TechShop was an incredible asset to its community, providing a place where makers, crafters, and creators could get access to the tools that would unlock their creativity. Their closure leaves thousands of people without access to the tools they need to create projects and share their innovations with the world.
As makers and entrepreneurs ourselves, it’s easy for us to imagine the pain and frustration of the TechShop members who have had their tools ripped away without warning. We got together to see if we could give TechShop members easier access to some of the tools they might need to continue their craft.
At Glowforge, we are making our desktop lasers available at an exclusive lower price for TechShop alum. We will refund $500 for the Glowforge Basic and $1,000 for the Glowforge Pro. To redeem after purchase, email proof of membership (current as of 11/15/17) to email@example.com and we’ll immediately credit the account. This offer is also good retroactively to any alum who purchased a Glowforge within the past 6 months. This offer is good through December 31st, 2017.
At Inventables, we’re offering a $100 discount on X-Carve, a $500 discount on Carvey, and free shipping. In addition, customers can pay monthly with 0% APR available. To redeem this offer, customers need to email proof of membership current as of 11/15/17 to firstname.lastname@example.org This offer is good through December 31st 2017.
littleBits supports makers, creators, and inventors around the globe, and wants to empower Techshop alum to continue their journeys. From now until the end of the year, use the code TECHSHOP20 to take 20% off anything in the littleBits online store here: http://littlebits.cc/146
Formlabs is offering $750 in free materials with the purchase of a Form 2. To redeem customers should contact email@example.com with proof of membership (current as of 11/15/17). This offer is good through December 31st, 2017.
We love seeing people have access to the amazing range of maker tools. The loss of Techshop makes this harder for everyone. We hope that this small effort on our part here can help keep these tools in the hands of people who can get the same joy from them that we do. The maker community we know is resilient and resourceful, and brings people together in challenging times. We can’t wait to see what you’ll make next.
Dan Shapiro, CEO, Glowforge
Zach Kaplan, CEO, Inventables
Ayah Bdeir, CEO, littleBits Electronics
Max Lobovsky, CEO, Formlabs