Gearbox: The Gym for Creative People

In Innovation
Gearbox staff takes visitors around the premises

With your love for making working things, and that with your own hands, you deserve all the tools you possibly need to see to it that the works of your hands are in good and valuable shape.

But where to get them quite affordably and consistently at that? If you think of a school, it may not simply be possible. What about a garage? It could be, but it is not just a garage you need. You may actually need resources the caliber Gearbox can offer.

“We firmly believe that everyone can learn, design, and build great things no matter where they come from.”

For all with the desire to make

So whether you are a maker, designer, engineer, artist, entrepreneur, student, business person or none of the above, you are welcome at Gearbox.

READ: Kenya’s Gearbox launches Fab lab for digital manufacturing

“If you’ve never touched a power tool in your life, our classes will get you up to speed quickly, and our friendly and patient team will help you feel comfortable using the equipment on your own,” indicates a brochure.

So before can you join other serious builders, think of Gearbox as a gym for creative people, because:

“For a low monthly fee, you get access to over 500, 000 USD worth of machines and equipment to make anything you want.”

User experience

But is it a true story really or is it just vanishing hot air? Nicholas Kimali, an electronics designer and engineer with a private company, has this to say about the regular Gearbox experience:

“Joining Gearbox has helped me research, find and create market opportunities faster than ever before.”

He further says before he acquired the necessary creative and mechanical acumen, he had to become a member before he could access and use all of the tools and equipment at Gearbox without bringing a single of his own.

Initial training

Also, before he could venture to design and make any of his devices of choice, Nicholas says he had to take some essential classes, as Brenda Kirema, the Community Manager, explains:

“We offer two classes everyday on how to use everything from 3D printers to laser cutters, from CNC machines to the PCB mill.”

She says to become a member, one needs to simply sign up online (at for any of the available membership options, as she dutifully describes:

“The 1st Gear is accessed any two days a week, Monday to Friday, 2nd Gear is accessed all day Saturday and Sunday, and any time after 5 pm, Monday to Friday.”

READ: How Digital Nomads are leading the seismic shift in where we work

While the hubbub of activity slows down a bit from the section we are, Brenda says 3rd Gear Subscribers get to access the facilities 7 days a week, while students get to use the advanced self-contained garage one day a week.

Membership privileges

“If you are a member, you get to pay Sh4, 000 per month for first gear, Sh6, 000 for second gear, Sh10, 000 for third gear, while a student parts with Sh1, 000 per month,” adds Brenda.

And as for classes, nonmembers get to part with Sh2, 000 per class for Level 1, Sh3, 000 per class for Level 2, and Sh4, 000 per class for Premium.

On the other hand, class fees for members entail:  Sh500 per class for Level 1, Sh1, 000 per class for Level 2, and Sh4, 000 per class for Premium.


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