GE Garages, a moveable feast for tinkerers replete with 3D printers, injection molders, and laser cutters, arrived in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood last weekend. The space is hip and the crowd is cool, but the place is really a high-tech manufacturing skills school. On Saturday afternoon, rapt students watched MakerBots printing miniature plastic Empire State Building replicas, a jerry-rigged Xbox Kinect mesmerized the mathematically inclined (and little kids) by inflating and scrambling colorful balloons based on the random movement of passerby on the sidewalk outside, even a handful of fashionistas lingered while a laser etched their iPhone cases.
The first GE Garage opened at the 2012 SXSW Interactive festival in Austin inside a customized shipping container in March. In New York, the laser cutters and molders moved inside STORY, a downtown brick-and-mortar space that curates and sells merchandise from start-ups and artisans like a gallery, but displays a new theme every month like a magazine. The current issue of STORY is about Making Things.
The New York installation will feature over 40 events ranging from robot workshops to classes with entrepreneurs and designers. MakerBot creator Bre Pettis will talk about 3D printing, designer Rebecca Minkoff about the nexus of laser cutters and fashion, and Pamela Love about making jewelry in 3D.
GE Garages will be part of STORY through October.