TechShop, a membership-based, do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio with locations nationwide, has reached agreement on terms that will bring TechShop to the ASU Chandler Innovation Center, giving Arizona State University students and Chandler-area makers, entrepreneurs and innovators access to a wide range of machinery, tools and software to turn their ideas into reality.
The ASU Chandler Innovation Center is an engineering and technology-based education and research hub located in downtown Chandler at the city’s former public works yard at 249 E. Chicago Street. It represents an alliance between the City of Chandler and ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation, which offers innovative learning models and interdisciplinary educational programs in engineering, applied sciences, management and entrepreneurship.
TechShop is the physical embodiment of the Maker Movement, providing inventors and hobbyists with workspace, community and tools – including welding stations, plasma cutters, hand tools and 3D printers – needed to make just about anything. The facilities operate on a membership model similar to health clubs, with monthly or annual fees covering unlimited access to equipment on a drop-in basis.
“The mission of the ASU Chandler Innovation Center is to support entrepreneurship and boost long-term economic growth by dedicating a space to teach, train and develop innovative individuals and companies in our community,” said Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. “The arrival of TechShop aligns perfectly with that goal and enriches our already substantial partnership with ASU at this facility.”
As part of the TechShop deal, the College of Technology & Innovation will offer free memberships to students who are taking classes at the Center, with discounted memberships available for other faculty and students. The arrangement will also increase the building’s space utilization by making classrooms available for TechShop programs when not in use by ASU.
“Integrating TechShop into the ASU Chandler Innovation Center democratizes access to tools for innovation and opens up tremendous new opportunities for our students to learn and create,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Our partnership with TechShop and the City of Chandler enables us to offer our students and the community more access to state-of-the-art technology and resources than any other educational setting nationwide.”
“TechShop’s agreement with ASU, our first academic partnership, pioneers a new model for integrating hands-on making into the teaching process,” said Mark Hatch, CEO of TechShop. “We welcome students at all our facilities and have found that great things happen when students, faculty, industry and individual makers collaborate in the same space.”
“ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation offers a state-of-the-art curriculum that blends theory and practice, with students applying new knowledge in team-based projects embedded across all four years of study,” said Mitzi Montoya, vice provost and dean of ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation. “Our students learn by making and doing, and we are incredibly excited to be able to offer our students access to more tools to design and build exciting solutions.”
TechShop Chandler will offer charter memberships beginning later this year. Interested parties can email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive alerts regarding becoming a member.
Every TechShop membership includes use of over $1 million worth of tools, equipment and design software, open workspaces, Internet access, and member-only meet-ups and special events. All TechShop locations are open from 9 a.m. until midnight, helping to attract more people into the downtown setting after hours.