NextFab Blog

Weekly Staff Picks June 3, 2012

Posted by admin

Jun 3, 2012 10:20:15 AM

Tiny Chip Inserted in the Sole of a Shoe Can Charge the Wearer’s Cell Phone   Say what?   Charge your cell phone as you walk?   It’s the future, indeed. - Christine

Paradoxical gears have a complex shape with multiple lobes that exert pressure on the lobes of meshing gears, allowing for some interesting behavior.   These gears are often called “paradoxical gears” due to the fact that in some configurations, all of the gears rotate in the same direction (it’s easier to see in the videos than to explain in words).   The original design is credited to a Renault engineer named Mercier (the gears were needed for the torque-limiting Mercier differential).   Perhaps the most impressive thing is that such complex shapes were designed before the advent of modern CAD/CAM, most likely through the solving of some very complex equations.   [Bonus link - print your own paradoxical gears!] - Alex

Progressive Cavity Pump   An interesting wikipedia article about a type of pump most people may not have heard of.   The design uses two fairly complex shapes, one which rotates eccentrically inside of the other one.   This particular design is useful for applications which require either a consistent flow rate, or liquids/slurries that require low levels of shear stress. - Alex

The Return of the Vacuum Tube   The New Vacuum Tubes. - Gregg

Colossal   A cathedral made of lights - Brandon

Topics: gears, nfs, alternative-energy, vacuum-tube, Uncategorized, cell-phone, nextfab, pump, led

E-Textile Class 2/18-19 by Christine & Ross

Posted by admin

Feb 21, 2012 4:54:00 PM

Thank you everyone for attending the E-Textile class! We covered a LOT of material. I personally found this class so exciting! I loved the idea of technology and fashion coming together in one form.

Here I would like to share a couple of things covered in the class…

To start, we covered basic electronics to make sure everyone was on the same page, and then we jumped into creating “SOFT” circuits. We “sewed” the circuit using conductive thread and conductive fabric—they are made with a base material such as cotton or polyester, and various conductive metals (copper, silver etc…). During the class, we all got a chance to create a simple LED lighting circuit with a switch built in, all made out of “soft” materials.

It worked!! Yay!!

The second part of this class was to learn Arduino. Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. It is becoming very popular among tech enthusiasts and the DIY/maker community.

In this class, we used the Lilypad which is a microcontroller board designed for wearables and e-textiles. It can be sewn to fabric and similarly connected to power supplies, sensors and actuators with conductive thread.

We got to program the Lilypad to turn on the LEDs. Everyone brought in their own projects they are currently working on. That was fantastic.

Great work, folks!! We would love to hear about the projects you are working on using the techniques and knowledge you learned from the class. Please send us some updates. If you have any questions regarding what you learned in the class or related to any projects you are currently working on, we would love to help. Please feel free to contact us.

Topics: electronics, lilypad, arduino, Uncategorized, nextbad-studio, nextfab, led, fashion, e-textile

Weekly Staff Picks, February 19th, 2012

Posted by admin

Feb 19, 2012 10:01:00 AM

Here are our Staff Picks for this week. We hope you enjoy them!

The Iron Giant, the “50”   Alcoa restores the largest forging press in the world- built in 1955, still functional, and the only machine that can make the large structural forged parts needed by the aerospace industry and the space program. - Lewis

A washing machine self destructs, pretty self explanatory. “Will it blend” on steroids!” - Seth

Extreme Sheep LED Art   This one is just for fun, though it does have LEDs. - Brandon

The World’s Oldest Science Experiment   Billed as the world’s oldest running science experiment, live via webcam - “In 1927 Professor Parnell heated a sample of pitch and poured it into a glass funnel with a sealed stem. Three years were allowed for the pitch to settle, and in 1930 the sealed stem was cut. From that date on the pitch has slowly dripped out of the funnel - so slowly that now, 80 years later, the ninth drop is only just forming.” - Alex

The Center City Jazz Festival   “On April 28, the Center City Jazz Festival is set to showcase great new jazz in an exciting, youthful, energetic environment, and introduce a new crop of the Philadelphia area’s best up-and-coming artists to both jazz aficionados and the jazz curious…The music will range from hard-bop to groove and from sultry songstresses to hot Latin jazz — so organize a group of your friends, catch a show or two or three, have a drink, and enjoy some of the best music you haven’t yet heard.” - Alex

Topics: forge-press, music, Uncategorized, nextfab, led, science-experiment

NextFlag! (E-textiles teaser)

Posted by admin

Oct 7, 2011 12:02:00 PM

Since I’ve been working on expanding our textile capabilities, I decided to jump into a small project, incorporating a variety of techniques.

This mini “NextFlag” was embroidered and sewn using our Brother Innov-is 2800D sewing and digital embroidery machine. 

I knew I wanted to include a soft circuit, so I started playing with conductive thread, LEDs, and soft switches. 

This soft switch acts as a button in the soft circuit. How it works: I used a small piece of conductive fabric, with conductive thread on each end of a piece of foam with a hole cut out of the center. When you press on the switch, the conductive fabric and thread touch, closing the circuit, and turning the LED on. 

To finish the project, I made a little stand out of some scrap oak and a dowel. This was a lot of fun! We are currently developing an e-textiles workshop using some of these elements and more advanced projects!

Topics: project, e-textiles, digital-embroidery, philadelphia, circuit, Uncategorized, nextfab, textiles, led

Super Awesome Birthday Cake

Posted by admin

Feb 3, 2011 9:37:00 AM

OK. This is one of those things you say WOW when see it. My friend Boris, who is getting his masters in Electrical Engineering at Drexel, is celebrating his birthday today. His girlfriend Marcella made this cake for him and posted the picture of it on facebook. Those are programmable LEDs set to green blink :D. I thought it is so cool, that I decided to share (with permission, of course!). Happy birthday, Boris!!!

Topics: Uncategorized, led, awesome, cake


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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