This Is The Lab Inside Microsoft Where Its Next Generation Of Game-Changing Gadgets Are Being Crafted

microsoft model shopVincent Jesus, Microsoft’s Model Shop chief.

Microsoft has thousands of employees working on thousands of projects around the world. 

None of them, however, may be as fun, or as cool, as the projects being worked on in the Model Shop, Microsoft’s lab where it is prototyping and building its next generation of hardware products. 

For years, the team at the model shop was just building keyboards and mice. Then, it started cranking out Xboxes. Now, it’s making the Surface tablet, and much more. 

We were in Redmond, Washington at Microsoft’s headquarters recently, and we got a tour of the space. 

The Model Shop is down a hallway, tucked in one of the dozens of buildings on Microsoft's main Redmond campus.

Here's the man who runs the operation, Vincent Jesus. He was wearing flip-flops the day we visited.

This is a small sample of some the prototyping and design work Jesus and his team have done for Microsoft.

Microsoft's designers come to the model shop with ideas of what they want to make, and the designers at the model shop craft 3D models. It's easier to figure out what works and what doesn't using 3D printed models.

Here's an overview of the space. It's relatively small, but it's growing quickly.

The model shop has been around since 1996. Originally it was in a basement, now it has all this space.

Jesus says he's looking to double his staff this year as Microsoft goes deeper with hardware.

The model shop is a very playful office space. One person decorated his space with a car.

As you enter the shop, there are shelves displaying some of the stuff made inside the shop.

Here's a boxed Surface, Microsoft's first ever PC.

Piles of mouses, as well as their 3D printed prototypes.

Some other fun stuff.

A digital camo version of the Xbox, as well as some prototypes of the arc mouse.

More 3D printed stuff.

It's not all fun and games. There's safety manuals, too.

The reason for safety manuals? There's danger behind some of these doors!

Wear safety goggles when near the green laser.

Just off of the main floor space, there's big machinery where Jesus and his crew can work on hardware designs.

Remember shop class in grade school? Imagine doing that full time as your job...

Here's one more look back at one of the rooms with machines in it.

On the other side of the space, Jesus has a bunch of 3D printers.

The Model Shop spends $150,000 a year on resin for its big 3D printers.

It takes about four hours to print out a Xbox controller.

They used a brain scan to produce this 3D model of a skull with a brain in it.

Here's another look at the brain.

This is the only room we were barred from. Apparently, some of the prototypes for Microsoft's next wave of gadgets were out in the open behind that door.

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