Jan 12, 2015 8:00:00 AM
Aug 14, 2013 9:22:22 AM
It’s no secret that the Free Library of Philadelphia does more than just lend books — the library’s 54 branches host GED classes, author events, Scrabble tournaments, and an annual book festival, among other events. This summer, it’s also one of 108 sites nationwide to host a Maker Corps program, which aims to expose youth and families to maker-oriented projects with the goal of increasing creative problem-solving skills, confidence, and leadership skills. The program and its umbrella organization Maker Education Initiative were founded in part by the people responsible for MAKE Magazine, so that should give an inkling to the kind of projects they’ll be working on.
The Free Library’s group operates under the moniker Maker Jawn (with a logo that doesn’t get nearly enough facetime) and they were also one of 16 organizations nationwide to win a grant from the Project:Connect Summer Youth Programming Competition. NextFab is especially proud of the Maker Jawn folks since one of them is former employee Ryan Barnes, who came to NextFab through Drexel’s Co-op program. Since Ryan spent his time here working on electronics projects and helping to organize our kid-oriented Maker Field Day at the Franklin Institute, we’re thrilled his new project combines these interests.
Maker Jawn’s Project:Connect project helps youth at five Free Library locations design and create electronic, paper-based message cards that will be combined into an interactive electronic mosaic mural, but the Maker Corps hosts all sorts of other projects throughout the summer, such as a balloon zipline, e-textiles and marionette puppets. The project culminates Saturday, Aug. 17 when the digital and physical mural will be displayed as part of the city-wide Philadelphia Maker Celebration.
Photo credit: makerjawn.org
Jul 30, 2013 5:04:25 PM
The Free Library of Philadelphia is hosting a city-wide maker celebration on Saturday, Aug. 17 and there’s only two days left to get your entry in! Fifty entrants will be selected and given half of an eight-foot table to display their creations, along with a $50 Visa gift card. The Philadelphia Maker Celebration ties in with the Free Library’s Maker Corps, who are spending the summer working with youth in five Free Library branches to create an interactive, electronic mosaic mural that will be displayed at this festival.
Jul 29, 2013 8:44:00 PM
NextFab member and artist Jeanne Jaffe has utilized much of NextFab’s tools, equipment, and expertise in her art installations.
Little Red Riding Hood as a Crime Scene
In June 2011, Jaffe reconfigured the fable of Little Red Riding Hood as a psychic crime scene set in the Pine Grove section of the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, located in Roxborough, Philadelphia. She explained her intent was to examine civilizations’ crimes against nature, reversing the roles of victim and victimizer and commenting on human greed.
"For this installation, I modeled a pair of small legs that I had cast in resin. At NextFab, I scanned them, enlarged them, and used the CNC router to make them about 4 feet tall out of laminated MDF board."
T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets
Jaffe exhibited an interactive sound and motion installation at Philadelphia’s Marginal Utility Gallery last fall, working with NextFab’s Ross Kessler to incorporate Arduino, sensors, and other electronics into the work.
Jaffe is currently working at NextFab on a new project about Nikola Tesla that will be exhibited at Rowan University Gallery in Glassboro, N.J. in spring 2015.
Jul 18, 2013 2:30:00 PM
Photos from the game day, by Sean Carpenter.
Jul 10, 2013 3:35:49 PM
Two of the best things in life: making things with your hands and great beer. We’ve found a way to combine both into one glorious competition! Philadelphia’s own NextFab Studio and Yards Brewing Company are teaming up for the Tap Handle Throwdown! This contest, which is part of the 2013 DesignPhiladelphia Festival, is designed to show off the creativity of beer fans across this great city as you compete to design and build a unique tap handle worthy of dispensing Yard’s finest to the awestruck drinkers at bars all across Philadelphia.
Your winning tap handle would not only garner the adoration of your fellow Philadelphians but you can win some pretty awesome stuff along with it: a gift card from Yards, an afternoon at the Yards tasting room, and six month NextFab membership for starters.
You can find out everything and anything you need to about the throwdown here.
To get everyone in the right mindset for creating their tap handle masterpiece we will be holding this month’s NextFabulous Social at the Yard’s Tasting Room. There will be tours of the brewery, beer tastings, and happy hour specials. Everyone is invited to belly up to the bar and learn more about Philadelphia’s favorite craft brewery.
The beer will be flowing Thursday July 18th from 6pm to 9pm. You can rsvp for the event here.
Jun 23, 2013 4:43:00 PM
Do you need a space to hold meetings? If you are a NextFab member we have a great solution for you.
We are now offering our members the ability to reserve the NextFab conference room that is conveniently located above reception and next to our classroom. The 15’ x 26’ conference room can be reserved by members in two hour blocks for $100. We also have breakfast and lunch catering available for an additional fee.
The conference room is outfitted with a HD projector and screen, speakerphone, WiFi, 4’ x 16’ conference table, seating for 25, and a side table for refreshments and demonstrations.
The reservations schedule can be found here. Reservations must be made in advance and must be approved by management.
Jun 8, 2013 8:26:00 AM
My name is Connor McGoey. I am an industrial designer and I work at NextFab as a technical supervisor. Here is one of my personal projects I’ve recently completed at NextFab.
The legs were salvaged from a discarded kitchen/dining room table. I used a chop saw to cut the legs to a desired length. I then marked and cut out notches for mounting the legs to the side of the table using a combination square for measurement. The marked cuts were cut using the band saw with use of the fence to achieve a strait cut. The legs were attached using wood glue and brad nails.
The body of the table is constructed of chipboard commonly used in exterior building construction prior to insulation and siding. The 1/2” piece of chipboard was cut to lengths using the Sawstop table saw. Construction of the body table was assembled using wood glue and 1” brad nails. Lastly the table top/window frame was sanded using and palm sander with an 80 grit sanding pad to remove decades of old paint. The top was mounted using hinges at the rear as well tension hinges mounted on the left and right hand exterior sides to prevent the lid from slamming shut. The piece will be finished with a nature nut oil to provide the lowest possible impact to the environment in it’s continuation toward it’s next life cycle.
What are you working on?
May 25, 2013 10:55:42 AM
For the past four years NextFab has hosted Philadelphia Futures’ robotics team. The team consists of six students who have the opportunity to learn science and engineering principles through the design and fabrication of a submersible vehicle. From the end of January to the end of April, students visit NextFab once a week to work with our staff of engineers on their project. Students get one-on-one instruction on principles such as buoyancy, drag, surface area, velocity, and torque. Students also learn proper engineering design technique, and learn the process of designing a prototype, fabricating a prototype, and refining that prototype to create a finished product.
This year the team did very well in the competition, which was held at Drexel University’s pool on the 27th of April. This year’s competition consisted of two events: an obstacle course, and a ring-removal challenge. Team “Sedna Inc.” was able to remove five out of the twelve rings, and came in second place in their obstacle course heat – just a minute behind the fastest time. The team came in second place in both the spirit and sportsmanship categories, and received an honorable mention in the engineering notebook category.
Of the students in Philadelphia Future’s Sponsor A Scholar (SAS) program, 100% of seniors graduated in 2012, and 94% were accepted into college. Two students from last year’s team will be attending Drexel in the fall.
May 6, 2013 9:12:00 PM
Before jumping in with the sharks, some of the most ambitious Shark Tank contestants stood in front of another fearsome group, our panel of expert judges. This week a handful of entrepreneurs and inventors had a chance to practice their pitch for a panel of expert judges from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA. Equipped with valuable feedback, a stronger spirit and some with VIP passes awarded by our judges the future Shark Tank contestants are well on the road to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.
Photos by BFTP. More photos from this set are here.
A HUGE thanks to this amazing group of judges:
Jim Betlyon (serial entrepreneur, investor)
Herb Cohen (CEO, Executive Leaders Radio)
Steve Harris (Principal, MidCoast Capital)
Mike Krupit (seasoned entrepreneur)
Jeff Mack (Exec. Managing Director, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank)
Katherine O’Neill (Exec. Director, Jumpstart NJ)
Michael Pearson (President, Union Packaging)
Larry Portnoff (Co-founder, 4 Walls)
Adam Schran (CEO, Ascentive, LLC)
Ellen Thompson (Co-founder, 4 Walls)
Terry Hicks (BFTP)
Ellen Weber (Robin Hood Ventures)
Eric Gray ( President, 2i Pictures)
And the next step for all contestants is a 1-minute pitch to a member of the Casting Team from ABC. The best pitches will be selected for a more in-depth video interview with producers later in the day, and the chance to be on the show.
Good Luck Everybody!