NextFab Blog

Steelborn Choppers: Waterjet-Cut Brake Rotors

Posted by Christine

Sep 30, 2014 2:55:00 PM



Steelborn Choppers makes motorcycles. Glorious, hand-built, one-of-a-kind motorcycles. Operating out of Brooklyn, NY, the company gives intense attention to details of each bike:

Steelborn Choppers are rolling metal creations powered by American V twin engines.
Hours of dedication are spent to design and then to precisely fabricate & refine each part.
Absolutely no compromises are made when it comes to quality and the length of time it takes for each build.
It's all "one part at a time, one bike at a time" with a "total hands-on" philosophy that goes into the craft of each individual custom bike. (via)

Topics: adobe-illustrator, 2d, waterjet, cad, 2012, nextfab, digital-fabrication, fabrication, custom-fabrication, choppers, Steelborn Choppers

Woodworking Contest Winners

Posted by Angie Hilem

Jun 16, 2014 4:33:00 PM

Two weeks ago, we put out a call to nominate woodworkers for a chance to win a 3 month membership to NextFab. During this time, we've had the pleasure to review many amazing candidates.

Topics: woodworking, cnc-milling, nextfab, woodwork, fabrication, contest, lathe, free

Project Highlights: Recycled material coffee table

Posted by admin

Jun 8, 2013 8:26:00 AM

Hello everyone!

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.

Coffee table built from material that had been re-claimed and intended to be re-purposed. 


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?


Topics: Uncategorized, nextfab, fabrication, salvage, custom-fabrication


Posted by admin

Apr 13, 2013 5:09:00 PM


Today, NextFab’s weld-master, Steve Webb, and his apprentice Jason Browne, provided a demonstration of rapid-sculpting of bike frames for a group of Philadelphians considering entering mobile sculptures into the upcoming Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby.

Here’s Steve’s play-by-play of the welding demonstration:

"After showing our visitors around the metal shop, we gave them an option of whether to make a tricycle or a parallel bike. They voted for the tricycle because it was more complex and would give them a chance to view a wider range of techniques. We took three bicycles to start with and we put them up on the welding table and lined them up and clamped them upright, in parallel. We pulled the one to the front to make a tricycle arrangement with our guests telling us how far forward to place the front frame.  We cut the fourth bicycle frame apart with the oxy-acetylene torch and we took several pieces off of it for leaders to attach the front bike to the two parallel back bikes, and put these aside for later. Next, we cut a piece of square box tubing to go between the seat tubes of the second two bikes to hold them upright and apart from each other. We demonstrated how to MIG weld them by grinding off the paint first and then welding the corners. We demonstrated how to use a pneumatic die grinder to grind "fish mouths" into the two round tubes so they fit right against the side of another tube, just like a pipe fitter would do, and then showed how to weld around those joints. We took the assembled tricycle frame off the table and set it on the floor. We made sure that the front frame’s pedals were clear so when people pedal their heels would not get caught.  With that, and just a bit of reassembly, the trike frame is ready to ride. And that was it!"

Steve teaches welding and metal shop classes and is the organizer of NextFab’s welding club. You can often find Steve buzzing around the metal shop.

Zoom in on pictures to see the full slideshow.

Topics: philadelphia, Uncategorized, nextfab-studio, nextfab, kinetic-sculpture-derby, fabrication, kensington


Posted by admin

Nov 1, 2011 4:27:23 PM


Enter our facebook sweepstakes to win hand-made hi-fi speakers! Click through for details!

Topics: sweepstakes, prototype, prize, facebook, philadelphia, maker, Uncategorized, nextfab-studio, give-away, hand-made, fabrication, speakers, win

Digital Embroidery Workshop with Artist Shelley Spector

Posted by admin

Oct 11, 2011 4:54:00 PM

Since May of this year, Philadelphia sculptor, Shelley Spector has been Breadboard’s Artist in Residence at NextFab Studio. Using fabric cut from secondhand clothing and wood cast off from NextFab’s commercial projects, she has developed a colorful new body of work of digitally embroidered images in laser cut frames.

These new works, which will be featured in an upcoming solo exhibition at the Esther Klein Gallery beginning February 2012, are the inspiration for a public workshop, which will take place on Saturday, October 29th from 1-4PM at NextFab Studio, 3711 Market Street, Philadelphia.

Workshop participants will get to work side by side with Spector to create a piece using the digital sewing machine, (affectionately named Gwen) and the laser cutter (also known as Speedy). Each participant will get a take away piece of art designed by Spector that they will fabricate under the supervision of the artist and NextFab’s tech experts.

This free workshop includes a preview of Spector’s newest work and a tour of NextFab’s state of the art facilities. It is open to all on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is necessary - space is limited.

Spector is an artist, curator, editor and teacher. She has been working for more than 20 years, creating works of various media that most recently explore themes of money, relationships, tools of measurement and the environment. Her work has been exhibited at Philadelphia Museum of Art, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, Gallery Joe, Fleisher Art Memorial Challenge Exhibition and The Print Center in Philadelphia, PA, and Delaware Center For Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, DE. She is represented by the Bridgette Mayer Gallery, where she has an upcoming show in January 2013.

Topics: workshop, project, sewing, philadelphia, laser, Uncategorized, breadboard, nextfab, art, laser-cutter, embroidery, fabrication, tech

Safety Glasses Holder 5000

Posted by admin

Sep 29, 2011 7:08:00 PM

Sounds of plastic clattering on the floor got you down?

Tired of losing eyes day in and day out for lack of proper eye wear?

Unable to balance the stresses of a hectic work day AND balancing safety glasses on a poorly designed rack?

Then NextFab has a solution for you.

We would like to introduce to you…the Safety Glasses Holder 5000! (pictured below)


NOW in BLUE!!!

Disclaimer: Safety glasses holder should not be used to protect eyes from flying bits or saucers. Do not wear holder on top of head. Holder may be used as a floatation device in case of a water landing. Offer not valid where prohibited. Terms and conditions may apply.

This piece is the first of what we can assume to be many well designed and crafted projects from one of our newest employees, Carter Banks. Carter will be posting shortly to introduce himself and tell a little bit about the experience of making everyone’s lives here just a little better. Stay tuned for more improvements and witty remarks as more fun and interesting changes take place around the studio.

Topics: project, laser, acrylic, Uncategorized, trotec, nextfab, fabrication, safety

Inspired by Member's Tritium Keychain Project

Posted by admin

Aug 14, 2011 12:30:00 PM

I’ve been following the project of one of our members who’s made a brass keychain fob with a tritium vail inside so it can be found in the dark.   He’s finished his Mark 2 version and here are some pictures.

I have been inspired to make a few for myself.   I think it will be a good first project for me to learn more about the Lathe and Mill we have.   I differences I envision are just artistic, the basic design is just fine.   I will keep track of the process and post my progress.

Topics: project, mill, brass, Uncategorized, keychain-fob, machining, member, tritium, fabrication


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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