TechShop Members Make Their Way To the White House Maker Faire

TechShop Members Make Their Way To the White House Maker Faire


Several lucky souls from TechShop are also attending the White House Maker Faire, including founder Jim Newton. President Obama spoke today at TechShop Pittsburgh in advance of the faire, addressing American manufacturing and how the maker movement and STEAM education fits into it.

“When we make stuff in America, then R&D is done here,” said the President. “There are ripple effects, if you make a product here … you’re also getting suppliers, advertisers, there’s just a whole set of positive spinoffs.”

In this spirit, Obama lauded some of the projects built at TechShop, and these following five makers and companies-by-makers will be on display at the White House on the National Day of Making.

Embrace Warmer
Embrace Infant Warmer_white background
The famous blanket, designed to replace expensive electric incubators, helps warm hypothermic infants — especially premature infants — using phase change material, kind of like what’s in some modern energy efficient buildings.

Like Embrace, Solepower has won design awards. It features a battery pack that can be implanted in, or attached to, a shoe and converts kinetic energy into juice.

John Lawton

A veteran who became a TechShop member through a veterans program, Lawton makes high-end industrial furniture, combining old-school craftsmanship with modern tools like CNC mills, laser cutters, and water jets.


Joe Ryan

Ryan also joined TechShop through the Veterans Affairs. Though he lives in Iowa, he is a member of TechShop Detroit, and even teaches classes there, like how to make organic shapes from sheet metal.



Marc Roth

Roth is the founder of Learning Shelter, a San Francisco-based non-profit, and someone who discovered TechShop through a flyer — at a shelter. He began teaching classes, and eventually crowdfunded Learning Shelter, which provides housing and TechShop education for four homeless people.



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Nathan Hurst is an editor at Make. He loves anything having to do with science or bicycling. He tweets as @nathanbhurst.

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