NextFab Blog

Crossing our fingers for CreativeMornings Philadelphia...

Posted by Rachel Kotkoskie

Dec 17, 2013 3:09:00 PM

Sharon McMullen, Alisha Hettinger, and Andrew Gormley have applied to bring an official Creative Mornings chapter to Philadelphia.


Topics: philadelphia

Yards Tap Handle Throwdown at NextFab

Posted by admin

Jul 10, 2013 3:35:49 PM



Do you have what it takes to Throwdown?

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.  


Delicious Inspiration! 

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.


Topics: philadelphia, designphiladelphia, yards, Uncategorized, nextfab-studio, nextfab

Join the Shovelution: From a Rapid Prototype to Shark Tank

Posted by admin

May 3, 2013 10:11:00 AM

We’re eight days from the ABC Shark Tank talent search!

In a little over a week NextFab will be teeming with inventors, entrepreneurs, and creators all vying for a chance to be on the hit television show Shark Tank.

We had our first of two Shark Tank related events this past Tuesday. We offered entrepreneurs a chance to test their elevator pitch to a panel of celebrity business experts from Wharton Business School, Philly StartUp Leaders, and IP / Business law specialists. Each presenter was given valuable feedback on business stategy, financing, and negotiation.

NextFab member Howie Rosenshine participated in this event and presented his ingenious Shovelution! Howie was gracious enough to speak to us about his experience in front of the mock sharks.


1. How was your experience overall at the mock Shark Tank event?

There is no substitute for standing in front of real live stone faced strangers while trying to pitch your idea, particularly if you don’t do this sort of thing often.  So that was quite valuable for me.

2. Do you feel prepared to give your big pitch on May 11th?

Not really, but I certainly do need to practice loosening up and probably speaking up as well.

3. What advice can you share with other presenters?

You should always present ideas, bullets, whatever in groups of three, because people remember best in groups of three.  If you have sub items, then arrange them in groups of three as well, etc.

This may take some practice, but it is worth it.  It is a simple and effective communications technique.

Remember, three only.

4. How did your idea evolve from shovel to shovelution?

The patent for my auxiliary handle for a shovel was issued in 1995, and it took about a year for the patent office to process it before issuing it.  And I certainly spent a number of years during the process of invention and creating and submitting the patent application. I can’t remember how many exactly…my memory isn’t what it never was.

5. What part did NextFab play in the development of your prototype and finished item?

Before NextFab, I knew nothing about 3D CAD, 3D printing or injection molding.  

Tomorrow, I am having 2000 custom injection molded pieces delivered for the Shovelution.  I did the CAD for those pieces, the 3D printing of the various prototypes on the Stratasys and the modifications necessary for a successful mold run (first try).


6. On a scale of 1 to 10 how nervous are you for the 11th?

I’m pretty nervous, typically.

7. On a scale of 1 to 10 how excited are you for the 11th?

I don’t get excited, typically.

8. Any last tips, tricks, or pointers you can share?

Sure, you know how they say you should picture your audience naked to stop from being nervous during your presentation.  Well let’s say there are 3 people you are presenting to for the Shark tank pitch.  If you take even 10 seconds for each judge/listener you’ve already blown 1/2 of your allotted time.

So my advice is to skip the naked reconstruction, and use the full 60 seconds for your pitch.

You can always linger afterwards.

Also, can you give us a little bio on you. What makes Howie tick! I mean besides the fact you’re hilariously funny.

I have undergraduate and graduate degrees, in Molecular Biology and Computer Science, from Penn State and Penn, respectively.   I spent much of my career at Sun Microsystems (which was purchased by Oracle a few years back) as a software and/or systems engineer, until Oracle decided that I needed a change of scenery.

At heart I am a problem solver.  It feels the same to me whether I’m solving a software problem, a hardware problem, a mechanical problem etc.  That’s not to say I’m equally good at all of them, or in fact to imply that I’m any good at any of them at all. But that is how I perceive the world.



Topics: philadelphia, 3d-printing, Uncategorized, nextfab-studio, injection-molding, 3d-cad, shark-tank, rapid-prototype, rapid-prototyping

Thank you note to all Shark Tank practice run judges!

Posted by admin

May 3, 2013 10:10:57 AM

The “practice” session “Get Ready To Swim With The Sharks” with celebrity business experts from Wharton Business School, Philly StartUp Leaders, and IP/business law specialists was a huge success.

A HUGE thank you to all of our judges:

John E. Burrows, Wharton School of Business

Jack May, Wharton School of Business

Douglas Cox, Wharton School of Business

Tracy Blumenfeld, RapidTrails, Wharton School of Business

Patricia Owens, J.P. Morgan, Wharton School of Business

Leslie Mitts, Wharton School of Business

Lawrence Gelburd, Wharton School of Business

Patrick FitzGerald, Wharton School of Business

Bob Moul, Philly Startup Leaders

Wayne Kimmel , Artists & Instigators

Francis TaneyStevens & Lee

Peter Bressler, Bressler Group

Terry Hicks, Ben Franklin Technology Partners

Brad Denenberg, Seed Philly

Look out for our next test run “Test Your Elevator Pitch with Ben Franklin Tech Partners" coming up this Saturday, which is by the way a completely sold out event!


Topics: philadelphia, Uncategorized, nextfab-studio, shark-tank


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

Learn Grasshopper: Flexible Geometry through Visual Coding

Posted by admin

Apr 4, 2013 10:34:00 AM



NextFab Studio will be offering a two day Grasshopper workshop with artist and designer Chris Landau.
This two day course will cover the basics of Grasshopper, including practical applications like preparing geometry for prototyping and touch on artistic aspects of this powerful software.
This workshop is open to NextFab’s members and non-members. A working knowledge of Rhino is strongly recommended. Space is limited.

You can find out more information HERE.

Topics: workshop, grasshopper, philadelphia, olin, Uncategorized, nextfab-studio, nextfab

New Grommet Press!

Posted by admin

Jul 19, 2012 3:44:00 PM

Check out our new tool, the Stimpson 405 Bench Press.

The press boasts a heavy-duty aluminum frame, interchangeable tools, and high quality results that parallel work done by large automatic machines. It works well with most fabrics and vinyls, and is great for projects that call for setting eyelets, grommets, washers, and snaps.

Topics: tools, philadelphia, sign-making, Uncategorized, nextfab-studio, nextfab, textiles, diy

A New Co-working space in Center City Philadelphia

Posted by admin

May 26, 2012 4:17:26 PM

A New Co-working space in Center City Philadelphia

Topics: philly, philadelphia, space, center-city, indy-hall, Uncategorized, cooworking, nextfab-studio, networking, nextfab

Philadelphia Woodworks Grand Opening: Sunday, April 22nd

Posted by admin

Apr 18, 2012 12:51:02 PM

Philadelphia Woodworks Grand Opening: Sunday, April 22nd 2pm – 7pm

Professional Grade Members Woodshop for Hobbyists, Artists and DIY Enthusiasts

4/3/2012, Philadelphia, PA. Philadelphia Woodworks Members Workshop (, a “collaborative for woodworkers” developed by first‐time entrepreneur Michael Vogel, opened its doors on March 1, 2012. Located in Manayunk with convenient off‐street parking, Philadelphia Woodworks is a community workshop where woodworkers of all levels finally have easy and affordable access to professional‐grade tools, expert training, on‐site lumber, storage facilities and a woodworkers supply store. Members craft their membership to their needs, availability and skill level. The Grand Opening of the facility, which also includes an art and furniture gallery, will be on Sunday, April 22, 2012 starting at 2pm, at which point Philadelphia Woodworks’ Founding Membership program (and membership discounts) closes.

The 8,000 sq. ft. members shop boasts over $100,000 in tools and equipment; the lumber yard and woodworkers supply store is fully stocked with both domestic and exotic hardwoods as well as a full range of project supplies. The lumber yard also features an exclusive collection of one‐of‐a‐kind reclaimed and salvaged materials from Provenance Mill Works.

Membership options range from unlimited access during open business hours (6 days per week) to pay‐per‐use access. For Michael and his team, the safety of members and those around them is paramount. Members, once safety certified on each tool, have full access to cabinet tablesaws, planers, jointers, bandsaws, drill presses, miter saws, lathes, power sanders, router tables, hand tools, woodworking library and hands‐on samples of fine joinery, all maintained daily by Philadelphia Woodworks staff.


As an undergraduate architecture student, Michael developed a hobby for woodworking at UPenn’s professional‐ grade woodshop that, with graduation, joining the work force and living in a small Center City house, ground to a disappointing halt. Even if he’d had the space to set up a home shop, the cost of equipment, maintenance and the absence of knowledgeable woodworkers around him all kept Michael from creating his own shop. And without any furniture‐grade communal woodshops in the area, there really was no place that Michael could pursue his passion for woodworking. That was until he left a 10‐year career in the business world to create one.

Michael explains his concept this way: “Your work, your projects, our shop – just imagine what you can build! We are part of the collaborative economy that is providing consumers unique ways to share and co‐op products and services, save money and enhance their lifestyles by offering members what they could otherwise not afford or maintain on their own. Many people dream of a hobby in woodworking but can’t realize that dream because of the financial commitment for even basic equipment, much of which goes unused for the bulk of its life. We have invested in the highest quality and safest equipment available, put it all under one roof with supervision and guidance, and then opened it to shared users—people who appreciate fine craftsmanship and want to master it for themselves. Our members’ primary responsibilities are to have fun, to be creative and to be safe.”

The Grand Opening will be held on Sunday, April 22, 2012 starting at 2pm. Activities will include woodworking demonstrations from renowned local furniture makers and artists, drawings and prizes, tours of the shop and full access to Michael and his staff for questions. A reception will follow at 5pm. Sponsors of the event are all local and include The Center for Art in Wood, Paul Downs Cabinet Makers, Woodcraft of Downingtown, Penn State Industries and The Independence Seaport Museum.

A press day for photos, videos, tours and interviews will be held on Monday, April 16, 2012 from 12pm ‐ 4pm. Recent articles on Philadelphia Woodworks can be found on the company’s website at:‐room/. If attending the press day, please RSVP by email or phone (267‐331‐ 5880;

Photos of Philadelphia Woodworks can be found online at

Topics: event, philadelphia, Uncategorized, woodworking, manayunk


Posted by admin

Mar 29, 2012 5:11:00 PM


Check out this limited edition invite for Ryan Hinkle’s Skyscapes at The Traction Company (4100 Haverford Ave.)  Come to the reception on April 14, 2012, 5:00 - 8:00 PM. Sponsored by NextFab Studio.

Topics: traction-company, philadelphia, art-exhibition, Uncategorized, skyscapes, ryan-hinkle


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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