Tech Shop Grant

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We can ONLY use the TechShop for Orb Swarm activities with this grant. If you want to work on any other project, you MUST get your own membership.

A letter from Michael Prados about our Grant

I've mentioned in person to many of you that we have been offered use of the TechShop for the project in the form of a generous Grant Membership. The conditions of this, as laid out by Techshop founder Jim Newton are laid out below.

Check out for more info on their excellent facilities.

This is definitely a special privilege which they are offering us. So, although I definitely encourage everyone to be pimping out the TechShop, I think it would be best if we kept the details of our deal a bit quiet. They have not specifically requested any kind of confidentiality, so use your own discretion.

In order to use any major piece of TechShop equipment, you have to take a short course on that machine. The courses are 1-1.5 hours, cost around $30, and are pretty fun and educational. You're on your own for the cost of these (so far, I've done three at my own expense.)

In order to avoid overwhelming the TechShop, please send a note to the email list when you are about to go down to work on SWARM. This doesn't necessarily include the courses, which you take as individuals, although it may be fun and practical to get a couple people together to carpool to the courses.

Because they have been so generous, please go out of your way to be respectful and courteous when you are there. Also, it's crucial that if you want to do work aside from SWARM at the Techshop, that you purchase a membership for yourself. These are fairly reasonable at $30 for a day pass, or $100 for a whole month at a time.

TechShop is first and foremost a community of people who are very passionate about making things, and who have a lot in common with all of us who have been drawn to SWARM. They are some of our biggest fans, and I certainly count myself among their biggest fans. Hopefully this will be an incredible resource for technological art for years to come.

Corey, who is now on the SWARM list, has also offered to let BM projects use the Techshop after normal hours on the weekend. He is also an excellent resource to ask about TechShop capabilities, etiquette, etc.

Dan Sandberg has also been a Techshop member for some time, and negotiated the grant membership for us, so he deserves our thanks and can also be a resource for TechShop questions.


We would provide SWARM with an indefinite "TechShop Grant Membership" which includes the following:

1.) Access to TechShop for up to 5 people at a time, from an infinite list of names

2.) Each person must pay for and pass a TechShop SBU before using associated equipment

3.) Use of TechShop is limited to "Swarm" project work only

4.) We can cancel the Grant Membership for any reason

5.) All project members must observe safety rules and safe practices

In exchange, we would like SWARM to do the following:

1.) Display the Swarm project, in progress, at the Maker Faire at our building and talk about it

2.) Mention the TechShop Grant Membership on the web site

3.) Allow us to build a swarm shell at our expense for display at TechShop