How to use TechShop to launch your business

If you’ve ever wanted to build your own product, but didn’t know where to start then you need to check out TechShop.

I interviewed Michael Madsen who designed and built his own 4 bay iPad charger thanks in part to the tools and skills available through TechShop. His product also doubles as a synching device, letting you update multiple devices at simultaneously.

His product is available through Madsonline. Michael is currently running a Kickstarter Project to launch his 2 bay charger.


It’s really nice if you’ve got one place where you can charge. Sort of like having a place to put all your keys. You just put your device in here, listen for the chirp, and you can charge multiple devices at the same time. Every one of them there is independent and it will charge them all simultaneously. If you wanted to get four iPads ready for your class, you could do that. You don’t have to wait, it’s not sequential. You can do that right away and they can all charge at the same time.

There is one other feature, one more thing, as Steve Jobs would say, with my charger and the syncing charger. You just plus this in to your data host and you can sync all four devices at the same time in iTunes. Tech shop is helping you, why? I happened to have a lot of capital to do this. I started a tech shop in Menlo Park. I started about a year and a half ago. I sold about 170 and it’s just starting to get traction. They’re in seven countries, Australia, even one in Pakistan. Build them right there in that mess. There’s control in the building process. I have total control of understanding how things are made and I make them here in the United States.

What I tried to do was not do things that are linear but do things that have form and function. It’s a really clean industrial design with form and function. Imagine a bunch of different materials using acrylic and anodized aluminum. I’m using foam, I’m using bent rays. I’m using LAD’s which give you charge status. Circuit board gives you syncing as well as charging on every port. Here at the tech shop the primary machine I use right now is the laser cutter. That enabled me to make a lot of prototypes in a lot of places. Because this connector, the Apple connector has to be about six and a half, seven millimeters from the back rest. It also has to be at a 10 degree angle, so that when you put this in it fits easily and then it comes back on. You can put it in a bunch of different configurations of cases and phones. By using the laser cutter I was able to play around with dimensions and get that dimension right.

The next machine that I use the most is the laser cutter. Because with that machine I can take it 10 degrees in and make this connector holder 10 degrees so that when you put it in, it leans back against this back rest.

Previous post:

Next post: