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Post date: Mar 30, 2011 9:38:16 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In the tech-obsessed South of Market neighborhood that digital sensations like Twitter and Zynga call home, a newfangled workshop for would-be inventors blends a startup sensibility with the area's historic manufacturing roots to give geeks a chance to get out from behind the keyboard.

Modeled after gyms, TechShop is attracting members who pay as little as $100 a month to use industrial strength equipment to invent whatever they can imagine.

"Everybody on the planet has ideas for things they want to make," says TechShop founder Jim Newton, who wants to bring TechShops to cities across the country.

The 17,000-square-foot workshop is nestled in the middle of what was once an industrial hub where ironworks forged equipment for the Gold Rush and later ships during war time.