NextFab Blog

Geeking Out: How We Made the 2015 Geekadelphia Trophies

Posted by Anders Uhl

Sep 10, 2015 11:50:04 AM


"I knew the minute I held this award that it wasn't going to be just a piece of decoration for my room (although, it does look awesome with the lights and all). It would demand responsibility." - Ather Sharif, 2015 Geek of the Year

Topics: electronics, 3d, 2d, design, shopbot, corian

Skate Park Meets Conceptual Art

Posted by Anders Uhl

Jul 24, 2015 10:11:01 AM


 If you've passed by Paine's Park recently you have likely noticed the two large gray structures that have taken residence there. The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program's outdoor exhibition  Open Source: Engaging Audiences in Public Space, comissioned British artist Jonathan Monk to create the two skateable sculptures. The sculptures reference artist Sol Lewitt's installations in the nearby Anne d'Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden, Pyramid  and Steps.

Topics: shopbot

Making a Tiny, 3D-Scanned Sculpture Larger Than Life

Posted by Anders Uhl

Jun 29, 2015 9:04:58 AM

Poseidon with Brandon Boulden

Visitors to NextFab's Washington Avenue 3D room may have noticed an enormous head of Poseidon, just above the entry,  presiding over the 3D printers and lasers.  The sculpture is the work of NextFab's own Brandon Boulden, Manager of Laser Processes, 3D Imaging & 3D Printing.

Topics: 3d, nextengine, 3d-scanning, shopbot

3D Printing David Pogue's Face

Posted by Angie Hilem

Oct 3, 2014 11:44:40 AM

Want to see the cool things David Pogue, technology columnist for Yahoo Tech, CBS News, and Scientific American, did on his recent visit to NextFab?

Watch this short video by Kurtis Sensenig for a glimpse of the fun we had.

We used a 3D scanner to scan David's face and create a 3D computer file. Then, we incorporated a digital CNC, which means computer numerical control, system. Our ShopBot, which is a CNC router, carved out a replica of his visage from high-density foam. The same 3D file was used to create a 3D printed model of his face!



Topics: 3d-modeling, 3d-scanning, 3d-printing, shopbot, cnc, Video

American Medium Kickstarter!

Posted by Yulia Novozhilova

Feb 19, 2014 3:40:00 PM

After two years of exhibitions, American Medium is opening a permanent Gallery and Production House in Brooklyn, NY. And they need your help!



Topics: shopbot, kickstarter, cnc

ShopBot Class 2/18 Taught By Lewis

Posted by admin

Feb 20, 2012 5:47:00 PM

Thank you everyone who attended the ShopBot Class on Saturday. It was a great turn out. The class was full!! I hope everyone had as much fun as I did.

Taught by our ShopBot Master Lewis Colburn. He talks a lot with his hands.

In this class, the students get hands-on training on how to operate the ShopBot (CNC router).

As a part of the training, you get to run the machine to cut out some cool shapes using the ShopBot.

I guess everyone passed the test. I hope you all come back soon to use the ShopBot for your own project!!!

Topics: lewis, Uncategorized, nextfab-studio, shopbot, nextfab, cnc-mill, cnc

"The Helm"

Posted by admin

Jan 6, 2012 6:19:41 PM

I took on a challenge to create a pirate ship steering wheel. I wanted to give land lovers the powerful feeling of a captain steering their ship. Though this project is ongoing and ever changing, “The Helm” has been installed twice, each time adding additional pieces to further push the illusion of steering a ship on land.

The next step for “The Helm” will be to create bone structures (carved out of foam) to fill in the rectangular wooden ligatures. “The Helm” also has slots to insert lights to encourage people walking by to play with it.

I designed the wheel in Rhino and then brought the design to the ShopBot CNC Router. The base of the wheel was layered with different patterns to allow knobs to be lamented in. The knobs were also created by laminating wood together and milling them out on the ShopBot. The base of “The Helm” was designed to look as if it were the deck of a pirate ship. I made sure that the base had enough structural integrity to allow people to stand on it and also hold the wheel’s weight. The wheel is attached to the vertical bracing of the deck with two block pillows. A 1” steel rod, held on by shaft collars extends through “The Helm” and both block pillows.


Topics: project, Uncategorized, shopbot, nextfab

Weekly Staff Picks, October 22, 2011

Posted by admin

Oct 23, 2011 3:14:42 PM

Our Staff Picks for this week include woodworking, CNC, PhotoShop instruction and fashion.   We hope you enjoy them.

When to use Opacity versus Fill in PhotoShop   For all you photoshop geeks I must share this one, because for many years, I just couldn’t tell the difference. Why would they even put it there? Now I know!!! - Yulia

Scintillating CNC Zonahedral Structures: The Zome from Robert Bell   “The Zome is a creation of Rob Bell…and is one of the most ingenious structures of modern geometric times.   The complex, fluid shapes are designed in SketchUp, cut out flat [on a ShopBot], and put together with nothing but time, sweat, sandwich breaks and large mallets.” - Alex

Expanding Round Table   This is a video of a round table that expands.   This is extremely creative woodworking. - Brandon

Master hat designer Elvis Pompilio goes 3D printing   3D printed high fashion hat.   This is something that could not have been made with traditional methods.   Yes, it is THAT awesome. - Alex

Carbon Fiber Porsche 911   This maker takes a modern car and improves upon it by replacing the steel body with a carbon fiber one. - Gregg

Topics: porsche, carbon-fiber, photoshop, 3d-printing, Uncategorized, woodworking, shopbot, nextfab, cnc

Edaphic Effects—PEG office of landscape + architecture

Posted by admin

Oct 14, 2011 7:51:00 PM

A beautiful model by Keith VanDerSys.

Thanks for the comment Keith! 

The model is direct milled plaster using a 3-axis mill. Surface profile slope determined mill path contour spacing. NextFab milled the model. They are a fabulous open membership prototyping center in Philadelphia—highly recommended. 

Topics: grasshopper, model, rhino, Uncategorized, shopbot, nextfab

ShopBot CNC Router Part II

Posted by admin

Aug 12, 2011 12:00:00 PM

Hi, I’m Mevin. I’m a high school student at George Washington High School. I’m an intern at NextFab Studio and I’ll be taking class and blogging about my experience. If you have any questions, email me at

The goals of ShopBot CNC Router Part I are to learn the basics of the software used for the ShopBot. Now in ShopBot CNC Router Part II, the goals are to get to know the ShopBot machine and tell the software to produce G-code and tell the ShopBot carve a rosette. Myself and the 2 other students waited 10 minutes for a student to show up. 10 minutes later, the student didn’t show up and instructor Lewis, tall with a curled mustache started the class.

Lewis taught us about the moving commands for the ShopBot such as command “M2”which is a G-code (computer programming language used mainly in automation) that moved the X and Y axis of the ShopBot. We were taught how to remove and change the Ball Nose Bit (The item used cut and carve the model.) We all changed the bit. First, I loosened the vacuum skirt causing it to release and go down. Then, I loosened the collet with 2 wrenches, and then removed the Ball Nose bit and replaced it with a different bit. Finally, I placed the collet back in the machine and lifted and tightened the vacuum skirt. The next step was to hold the board so it can be carved.

Lewis told us the old method of holding the cutting board in the ShopBot was by screwing the board to the ShopBot bed. This had a lot of problems, like the cutter would break from hitting the screws and it took a lot of time to screw the wood down. I asked Lewis, “how does that new vacuum method for holding the cutting board work?”. So, there’s an orange vacuum cleaner to the left and its connected with pipes to the ShopBot bed. You turn on the vacuum and it sucks through the bed. We took our board and screwed it to a larger board and we put it on the bed which sucked the board tight.

Next Lewis had each of us open the rosette file. He asked one of the students, Lee, to move to [6,6] of the x and y axis (the coordinate point where the rosette model was located). We opened the file and on the screen I watched G-code being produced and watched the Rosette amazingly being carved by the ShopBot. When the rosette was being carved, a dust collector (pretty much a giant noisy vacuum) was loud and sucked up the dust of the wood.

After the rosette was created, I got to hold it and I was amazed about how accurate the ShopBot was, because the piece was exactly like the design I saw on the computer.

The students signed off at the front desk and are now able to make a design and use the ShopBot by themselves.

Topics: intern, Uncategorized, shopbot, nextfab


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 Numerically Controlled (CNC) machinery, innovation and imagination.



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