After a childhood dependence on family, some people yearn to do things on their ownfrom crafting, to cooking, to cataract surgery. Become a self-supporting craftsperson with today's Groupon: for $95, you get a one-month membership and one select class at TechShop (up to a $190 value). This Groupon is good at the Menlo Park and San Francisco locations.
TechShop instructs aspiring craftspeople, nurtures a supportive community, and supplies a bevy of sophisticated equipment. Crafty persons can choose from the select class list, which includes lessons in everything from sewing to welding. Safety and Basic Use (SBU) courses teach the fundamentals of each machine, such as MIG welding equipment, a computer-controlled vinyl cutter, and a hydraulic BeDazzler.
Laser Cutting and Etching introduces glass-smiths to the Epilog Helix laser, which can etch designs in wood, plastic, leather, and more, in materials up to 3/8" thick. The one-month membership grants unlimited access to TechShop facilities, equipment (some machines require an SBU class to use), and community-sourced knowledge heretofore found exclusively in quilting circles.
TechShop was featured in xconomy.com, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and yojimg.net. Nine Yelpers give the Menlo Park location a four-star average rating, and eight Google Mappers award it a perfect five stars.
-   - TechShop puts more than $750,000 worth of tools and software at the disposal of experienced and amateur tinkerers eager to breathe life into a new wooden or metallic concoction or simply pull something apart to see how it ticks. Alejandro Martinez-Cabrera, San Francisco Chronicle
-   - If bending metal is your thing, great. The same goes for using a laser to cut fine designs into paper, creating custom silverware with the metal tools or making bespoke light fixtures with a 3-D printer. There are plenty of open workspaces, free popcorn and a communal kitchen, too all to foster discussion, of which there is plenty. Ashlee Vance, New York Times
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