GE Garages is a skill-building center powered by TechShop and developed in partnership with Skillshare, Quirky, Make and Inventables to serve as an advanced manufacturing lab for technologists, entrepreneurs and every day Americans. The innovation and manufacturing center aims to spark interest and engagement for modern making from prototyping inventions to modern manufacturing-based technologies through hands-on experiences with 3D printers, CNC mills, a laser cutter, injection molder, and through special classes in the space. Join us to learn about the future of making and try your hand at it!


The Chicago location will be at 401 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

Kicking-off in Austin, TX at SXSW12, the GE Garages first launched as mobile pop-ups traveling to Houston and San Francisco during Q2 and then Virginia Tech, Boston, and NYC in the Fall of 2012. In 2013 GE Garages traveled to Washington DC, Cleveland and now Chicago!

Top Messages

GE Garages are skill-building innovation and manufacturing centers, developed to spark interest and engagement in jobs that have led America through a variety of innovative high-points. From prototyping inventions and new products to creating manufacturing-based solutions to solve tough problems, the new centers will invest in the education of our employees and communities.

GE Garages is a free space where aspiring builders of all levels can go to develop new skills and learn about modern manufacturing technologies.

GE Garages offers a first-of-its-kind opportunity to learn about the invention and manufacturing processes, receive support in product building, participate in hands-on maker workshops, conduct trainings on high-tech prototyping equipment and learn from guest speakers.

GE Garages is part of GE Works, which focuses on what’s working in the U.S. and solutions.

Partner Information & Press Contacts


Quirky is a social development company that brings two brand new consumer products to market each week through its online collaborative platform. Quirky’s community of over 180,000 members weigh in on every aspect of product development from sketch to store. Quirky shares its revenue with influencers who help bring each product to life. Since its launch in 2009, Quirky has collaboratively developed over 200 new products. National retail partnerships include Apple, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, Barnes & Noble, OfficeMax and many others.

Tiffany Markofsky


TechShop, Inc. is the first membership based, do-it-yourself (DIY) workshop and fabrication studio, providing access to a vibrant community of highly creative people and more than $1million worth of high-quality machines, tools, and software. Based in Northern California with plans to expand nationally, TechShop offers hands on training for people of all skill levels to get them started using TechShop's tools and equipment. TechShop’s classes are the perfect way for Artist, Entrepreneurs, Hobbyist, and Makers of all ages to acquire the needed talents to build their dreams. From CNC prototyping tools to industrial sewing and textiles equipment, laser cutting and electronics, to welding and machine shop equipment.

Carrie Motamedi


Inventables is the “Designers Hardware Store” that sells materials in small shapes and sizes for desktop fabrication. Inventables understands that it is often harder for designers, architects and students to source materials in smaller sizes and quantities for their new micro-production runs. Through the Inventables website, it sells equipment and supplies in small quantities for purchase with a credit card. Inventables’ selection ranges from over 100 colors of acrylic sheets to 3D printers and desktop CNC machines. Custom manufacturers, product designers, researchers, artists and inventors purchase from their selection of over 30,000 products.

Zach Kaplan


SparkFun is an online retail store that sells the bits and pieces to make your electronics projects possible. No matter what your vision is, our products and resources are designed to make the world of electronics more accessible to the average person. In addition to products, SparkFun offers classes and online tutorials designed to help educate individuals in the wonderful world of embedded electronics. SparkFun’s ever-growing product catalog boasts over 3,500 components and widgets is designed to help you unleash your inner inventor.

Lara Bourdreaux


Skillshare is a community marketplace to learn anything from anyone. Our mission is to transform education by empowering teaching and democratizing learning. We believe that everyone has something they want to learn and something they can teach to others. This means our communities are really the greatest universities. Our platform helps make the exchange of knowledge easy, enriching, and fun.

Abigail Besdin


Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries—including the last 16 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects—use Autodesk software to design, visualize, and simulate their ideas before they’re ever built or created. From blockbuster visual effects and buildings that create their own energy to electric cars and the batteries that power them, the work of our 3D software customers is everywhere you look.

Jennifer Gentrup

What's Inside

Workstations at the Garages will be fully-equipped to give visitors the ability to realize their ideas in wood, plastic, textiles, sheet metal and various other materials.

Visitors will be able to learn on and have access to the following equipment:

  • CNC Mill – Builds CAD designed objects by cutting away from pieces of wood, acrylic, aluminum, stainless steel, titanium and other materials.
  • Laser Cutter –Cut or engrave a wide range of materials based on a CAD file input into the laser cutter
  • 3D Printer –  Rapid prototype and print 3D plastic objects designed in CAD
  • Injection Molder –Compressed, liquefied plastic injected into a metal mold rapidly creates small plastic parts
  • Vinyl Cutter –Precisely cuts images into a sheet or a piece of vinyl to create packaging, signage or graphics.