David Uhlman has a theory: all the sitting behind desks, staring at computers, and being cooped up inside has created a desperate longing to build something with our hands, to bring something to life.
It's with this sentiment, that the businessman and avid creator decided to round up a few crafty friends, and launch a collaborative space and retail spot in Tempe.
After its grand opening on June 11, Maker Bench will host workshops, seminars and creative nights for members that will make use of the space's 3D printer, 1909 Singer industrial sewing machine, a 220-watt laser cutting tool, woodworking and metalworking tools, and a full set of electronic equipment for building and testing whatever project you have on your list.
Looks like it's time to move out of the garage.
Members pay monthly subscriptions starting at $45 and are allowed to use the equipment (after some safety classes, of course) during shop hours, which will start at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Currently, there are reduced hours on the weekends, but Uhlman says he hopes to ramp up to 24-hour access.
"It's the perfect place for DIY," Uhlman says. "We have relatively advanced equipment and know-how. From local motorcycle shops looking to use equipment on the commercial side, to a hobbyist working on a home project, to the science community building an amateur satellite - we are open to anyone wanting to build something."For those wanting to simply dabble, there is an open access night for the public once a month. Maker Bench also offers a variety of lightweight projects for beginners, including couples nights, that involve kits and classes.
Maker Bench is also working with ASU and Desert Botanical Gardens on Project Antopolis, an experiment that tracks ant activity with electronics, which Uhlman says will be on on display at the Desert Botanical Gardens in September.
"We've reached this saturation point where people have that pent up desire to build," says Uhlman. "The things that were really expensive before are much cheaper. Something that was $5,000 10 years ago is now in that sort of $30 range. It's this Renaissance in personal science or citizen science. Because of the connectivity that we have, everyday people with all this collective knowledge want to do it themselves. Really, the possibilities are endless."
Maker Bench is located at 2010 E. University Dr. near the Loop 101 in Tempe. For more information on upcoming projects, events and information about Maker Bench visit: http://www.makerbench.com