Ford, TechShop Build Center to Spur DIY Creativity

Aug. 2, 2010
Workshop will provide users with high-level equipment for sparking auto innovation.

Tech nerds, engineers and do-it-yourself entrepreneurs near Detroit, the automotive industrys future is in your hands.

TechShop, a chain of do-it-yourself specialty shops, is launching one of its open-access facilities in Detroit this winter, providing creative minds with machinery they might otherwise not have access to, such as mills, lathes, CNC plasma cutters and three-dimensional printers.

What is unusual in this case is Ford is the first automaker to collaborate with TechShop, aiding the project by stimulating local investment for the project and creating a showroom for displaying new technologies developed.

The talent pool and level of skills and knowledge in and around Detroit is incredible, said Bill Coughlin, president and CEO of Ford Global Technologies. TechShop can provide a physical hub for this inventive community, allowing us to connect with them in a way never done before.

To date, TechShop has locations in California and North Carolina, with more than 800 total members.

A number of start-ups have grown out of the TechShop location in Silicon Valley. The hope is something similar might occur in Detroit.

Making things is core to who we are as Americans, says Mark Hatch, co-founder of TechShop. Once you give people access to the tools, there will be a resurgence of creativity and innovation.

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