NextFab Blog

Weekly Staff Picks June 10, 2012

Posted by admin

Jun 10, 2012 10:11:44 AM

Here are our Weekly Staff Picks for this week.

3D Scan Your Head and use it as a Chess Piece   An example of using the new technology for 3D scanning by Autodesk 123D. - WanTing

Tim Cook’s US Manufacturing Reality Distortion Field   Interesting article discussing whether Apple can’t (or won’t) do more manufacturing in the US. Normally, people cite China’s subsidized labor wages and favorable tax policies are cited as the major reasons, but the author make some convincing counter-examples:

I’ll leave the subject with one last counter-argument to this tale of how woefully inadequate US manufacturing is to the task.   Take a look at Germany.   By all accounts it should be far less competitive than the US in manufacturing.   Taxes are worse.  Regulations are worse.  Wages are higher.  Yet, Germany’s manufacturing economy thrives.” - Alex

Mechanical Principles (1930) by Ralph Steiner   It’s like the movie Metropolis, but with gears! - Seth

Roominate: Make It Yours   Customizable dollhouse toy for lil’ gals. - Christine

Tron News   Listen to two full albums of Draft Punk songs, remixed as Nintendo soundtracks. - Brandon

Topics: nfs, mechanical-principles, 3d-scanning, apple, 3d-printing, Uncategorized, nintendo, dollhouse, nextfab, tim-cook, mechanisms, chess

Weekly Staff Picks May 27, 2012

Posted by admin

May 27, 2012 10:20:00 AM

Here are our Staff Picks for this week.   Sciences and art converge again.   

Bio Computer   Using a PC’s waist heat to help wheatgrass germinate.   Thinking inside the box. - Gregg

Superplastic Forming Aluminum   Short video showing a process called superplastic forming - in this case of aluminum.   Essentially, the material is heated to a high temperature, allowing it to be formed with methods typically used on plastics.   In the video, the aluminum sheet is heated to about 900F before being formed over a tooling die.   The pressure is applied from above with a bladder filled with compressed nitrogen. - Alex

FreshFiber   Really cool iPhone/iPad cases. All the products are 3D printed in Nylon, allowing for personalizations like including your name. - Alex

f.lux   Software to help you feel comfortable in front of your computer. - Brandon

Topics: horticulture, nfs, 3d-printing, Uncategorized, superplastic, software, nextfab, metal-forming

Build-Your-Own-3D-Printer Workshop

Posted by admin

May 21, 2012 6:29:00 PM

Want your own desktop 3D printer? We will give you a kit + teach you how to put it together, tune it, and to print parts! 

2-days workshop : 7/28-29, 8/11-12, or 8/25-26 (SAT&SUN)

SPACE LIMITED. Reserve your seats now!

In this class, you will be building a MendelMax 1.5, the most advanced version of the RepRap 3D printer. Since many parts of the RepRap are made from plastic, they can be printed on a RepRap, meaning the RepRap self-replicates by making a kit of itself - a kit that anyone can assemble given time and some additional materials. It also means that - if you’ve got a RepRap - not only you can print out all sorts of fun stuff, you can also print all the plastic parts needed to make another RepRap for a friend, or use the knowledge to fix it, repair it, and 3D-print upgrades!!

PLUS: each 3D printer will come with a free licence of MOI v2, easy to use 3D modeling software. (a $295 value

We CARE about quality: we have built many 3D printer kits, and have concluded that this is the BEST value currently available, in terms of price, build volume, rigidity, precision. Each class will be limited to 7 kits to ensure everyone gets the attention you need.

All of our instructors from Hive76 have been working in this field since the beginning. We are passionate about 3D printing and commited to spreading the knowledge to everyone! 

During this class, you will build it, tune it, learn the software, and test print, all in one workshop! At the end of the workshop, you will walk out the door with a working 3D printer!  It’s a pretty time/labor intensive process, so get yourself ready! 

Day 1 : 10:00AM - 1:00PM Assembling Hardware 

            (Break: Lunch provided) 

            1:30PM - 9:00PM  Wiring Electronics

Day 2 : 10:00AM - 1:00PM  Software + Machine Tuning

            (Break: Lunch provided) 

            1:30PM - 8:00PM   3D Printing 

What to bring: 

- A laptop + powercord (OS X 10.6+ and Ubuntu 11.04+ are recommended for robotics control and 3D printing. Windows should work but due to the variability in Windows systems you may have some hurdles to getting the proper software installed. You will need Python v2.7+, the Arduino environment, and a few other bits.)

- Enthusiasm and a passion for learning and helping others learn.

- Bring your friends! (3 Students MAX per kit):  Bring a friend, a parent, your kids, anyone else you want to help you build your kit and learn all of its inner workings and how to fix it!

For more information please email

About the instructors:

Jordan is a founding member of Hive76 in Philadelphia and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. His research in the department of Bioengineering combines chemistry and rapid prototyping to direct cultured human cells to form more complex organizations of living vessels and tissues. Jordan has been in the 3D maker community since the beginning. He developed the MakerBot heated build platform at Hive76 and uses his MendelMax every day in the lab for biomedical research.

Christopher Thompson

Chris is a designer and digital artist in Philadelphia and a member of Hive76. He produces Creative Commons Licensed, digitally generated art and has designed and produced a few products such as the Math Clock and Meatcards. Chris is also a 3D printing aficionado and co-developed a new hobbed bolt for RepRap extruders which you will get as part of your MendelMax 1.5 Kit!

Topics: workshop, desktop, mendel, 3d-printing, reprap, opensource, Uncategorized, kit, mendelmax, hive76, nextfab

Weekly Staff Picks, April 15, 2012

Posted by admin

Apr 15, 2012 10:09:39 AM

Here are our Weekly Staff Picks for April 15, 2012

Thoughts on Code and Art   Interesting commentary about algorithms in art and architecture from Marius Watz. - Stephanie

The Power Pot   A kickstarter project selling a pot which produces electricity while boiling water/tea/etc. - Alex

The Flat Clock   Great web interface that allows you to design and order a customized wall clock.   Based on the options you have control over, it looks like the geometry for the clock face is being generated in the background by some sort of automated Grasshopper script running in Rhino.   When I showed this to Evan, he mentioned that it’s quite similar to Nervous System’s Cell Cycle 3D web application, which does something similar for 3D printable jewelry. - Alex

Sound you can Touch   3D print a custom iPhone case with your favorite sound from SoundCloud.   $25 for one. - WanTing

An Engineer’s Guide to Cats   A well thought out and thorough video guide to cats for engineers, by engineers. - Seth

Topics: iphone, nfs, algorithum, 3d-printing, Uncategorized, clock, engineer, cats, nextfab, power-generation

Weekly Staff Picks, April 1, 2012

Posted by admin

Apr 1, 2012 10:30:00 AM

Here are our Staff Picks for this April Fool’s Day.   We hope you enjoy them.

Heavy Equipment Playground   Hey, kinda reminds me of us. - Carter

NoLab Super 8 Digital Video Cartridge      “The Kodak Super 8 system is a brilliant film format that inspired thousands of wonderfully well made Super 8 cinema cameras.   Unfortunately, the proprietary film cartridges are no longer in production and existing supplies are quickly diminishing…Give new life to your Super 8 camera with the Nolab Digital Super 8 Cartridge.   Shoot 720p HD video with any Super 8 camera.” - Alex

Shake Shack Philly Unveils Wall of Green   “…the Union Square Hospitality Group has erected a living “wall of green” filled with planters containing lush foliage until the construction ends later this summer” - Alex

Motorcycle drifting vs Automobile Drifting Video   Lots of tire smoke.   Pretty amazing vehicular control. - Adam

Two Photon Polymerisation   Miniature, High Speed 3D printing. - Brandon

Urban Nomads   Portable emergency housing, cooking, camping, medical and event structures, trailers and cases.   Very interesting. In German, though the info section has an English translation. - Rachel

Topics: emergency-housing, 3d-printing, heavy-equipment, gardening, Uncategorized, motorcycling, super-8, temporary-housing, nextfab, drifting, cnc

Weekly Staff Picks, March 18, 2012

Posted by admin

Mar 18, 2012 12:08:00 PM

Plastic-Eating-Fungi - A fungus was recently discovered in the amazon which can anaerobically break down polyurethane. -Alex

Mini CNC Drawing Platform -Hopefully we can get one of these little guys soon. Workshop, anyone? -Seth

Takanori Aiba’s Amazing Bonzai Tree Castles - This is an incredible fusion of Bonsai and model making. These are beautiful. -Gregg

100% Recyclable Air-Free Tires - Recyclable non pneumatic tire/wheel combination. -Brandon

3D Printed Alphabet ProjectFor each of the letters ‘A’ through ‘Z’, the designers selected a typeface beginning with that character, which is used in the sculptural work. Each piece encapsulates a bit of the history of the typeface: the ‘J’ adopts the form of a metro system map, because its fontface ‘johnston’ was originally designed for the london underground; the ‘C’ is composed of ‘courier’ typewriter keys, used in 1950s typewriters. For the project we used two of our in house printers to complete the project which include a dimensions Uprint and a ZCorp 450. Both machines have similar build volumes with the UPrint creating the parts in ABS and the ZCorp in their powder-based material.” -Alex

Topics: 3d-printing, sustainability, Uncategorized, nextfab-studio, product-design, design, fungi, bonzai-tree-art, nextfab, digital-fabrication, cnc, sculpture

Weekly Staff Picks, March 11, 2012

Posted by admin

Mar 11, 2012 10:27:24 AM

Here are out Picks for this week. Open Source, CNC, 3D Printing and Music are our topics this week. We hope you enjoy them!

Ceramic Rapid Prototyping at BGSU   This may be old news to everyone else, but I’d never seen 3-D printing of ceramic material and was really impressed.- Diana

24/192 Music Downloads   “A great article on sampling and digital music for the newbie to established audiophile, and even those who do any sort of analogue to digital data acquisition.” - Seth

Firewire Surfboards   From Jim Wright: “They have an interactive website where a user can input their personal desired board dimensions.   The website then designs the board (using Siemens NX). With credit card info, the order passes to a CNC machine, where the board is shaped with automatically-created tool paths.   It’s seriously cool stuff.     ShapeLogic created the custom interface for the website and API for NX.”- Alex

Haas Automation produces its 125,000th CNC machine.   “Today’s VF-1 is easily 10 times the machine as its 1988 namesake, yet its base price is only $45,995, or about $24,190 in 1988 dollars.   The VF-1 still has travels of 20” x 16” x 20”, but now features a 30-hp (peak) spindle with a high-performance vector drive, speeds to 8100 rpm standard, brushless servos on all axes, 1000-ipm rapids, a 20-tool ATC, and the Haas control, which now features 1 MB of program memory (8 times the 1988 figure) and provides processing speeds up to 1000 blocks per second (or 50 times faster than in 1988).   And that’s the base model machine.” - Alex

Open3PD   Open Source not so open? - Brandon

Topics: ceramics, nfs, surfing, 3d-printing, music, open-source, Uncategorized, cnc

NextFab on Philly Daily News!

Posted by admin

Feb 29, 2012 5:07:00 PM


An article featuring NextFab was published on Philly Daily News today!

"Stoking the creative fires: NextFab & its kind give the communal-workshop a high-tech makeover"

Topics: philly, hacker, jon-takiff, 3d-printing, maker, Uncategorized, science-center, news, nextfab, daily-news, tech

Weekly Staff Picks, February 26th, 2012

Posted by admin

Feb 26, 2012 10:07:00 AM

Here we are again.   We’ve got some interesting new links for you this week.   

Maya Pedal   Simple and beautiful, a developing county teaches us something with fresh perspective. - Seth

New York Pay Phones Became Guerrilla Libraries   A cool project about urban hacking made by a student in Columbia University. - Wan Ting

The Drip Table   This is a cool idea about wood furniture that takes advantage of smaller, younger trees. - Gregg

Artificial Blood Vessels Created on a 3D Printer   3D printing blood vessels…I’m pumped! - Matt

The World’s Thinnest Pane of Glass   Scientists making graphene accidentally made the worlds thinnest pane of glass.   According to materials science, this is the thinnest that glass can be, making the glass “2-dimensional”. - Alex

Aquarium   An Aquarium inside a Phone Booth. - Brandon

Topics: alternative-energy, libraries, 3d-printing, Uncategorized, aquarium, furniture, nextfab, science, renewable-resources, pedal-power

Weekly Staff Picks, December 11, 2011

Posted by admin

Dec 11, 2011 1:26:00 PM

Here are our staff favorite links from this week.   Once again we have articles from art and science sources.   We hope you enjoy them.

Solidsmack   Little robot figurines printed on Z-Corp printers.   The coolest part is the Web interface they have for building and customizing your own robot. - Alex

Endless Forms allows you to design shapes using artificial evolution.  The shapes are supposedly 3d printable from a downloaded file.   Note that the display works best with WebGL installed.   Try using the Google Chrome browser. - Evan

Miniature V12 engine at and   This is the smallest working V12 engine in the world according to this article.  Very cool video shows the engine being assembled and then running. - Gregg   Very interesting skateboard art made from the laminated fragments of skateboard decks. - Brandon

Spray On Fabric Think of the possibilities.   (Looks a bit like Tyvec to me. - ed.) - Brandon

Topics: engine-model, z-corp, 3d-printing, Uncategorized, v12, spray-on-fabric, nextfab, textiles, models, skateboard


About this blog

Welcome to the NextFab Blog, where we discuss the ideas changing the world as we know it. Step inside the revolutionary world of 3D Printing technology, traditional and Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) machinery, innovation and imagination.



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