NextFab Blog

Cork Fabric

Posted by admin

Aug 6, 2012 7:32:55 PM

We recently got our hands on a new material from Inventables: cork fabric.

The cork sheets are pieced together in a pattern with a textile backing that makes it easy to sew and laser cut.

Come in and talk to us about what other materials we’ve been playing with or test something of your own!

Topics: cork, cork-fabric, inventables, new-materials, Uncategorized, nextfab-studio, laser-cutting, nextfab, textiles

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

Digital Embroidery Workshop with Shelley Spector

Posted by admin

Mar 8, 2012 2:50:52 PM

Breadboard resident artist Shelley Spector held another digital embroidery workshop this past weekend at NextFab! Shelley has been here working on our laser cutters and our digital embroidery machine, leading up to her exhibit Dreck Groove, on display now at the Esther Klein Art Gallery. If you haven’t been over to see her work at EKG yet, it will be up until March 30th. It’s not one you want to miss!

The workshop started at the gallery, where Shelley greeted attendees and discussed her work. Afterward, everyone came to NextFab and Shelley dove into the details of the processes she used for her work.

The workshop was split into small groups and they rotated through 4 stations: a tour of NextFab’s machinery and facility, sewing with the digital embroidery machine, laser cutting, and the digital embroidery software.

Everyone in the workshop was able to make and take home their own “Gone” watch, a piece designed by Spector for the workshop.

Thank you to Shelley for holding the workshop and to everyone who came! If you missed it, sign up for our digital embroidery classes and catch up!

Topics: digital-embroidery, philadelphia, workshops, Uncategorized, nextfab-studio, breadboard, shelley-spector, laser-cutting, nextfab, textiles, laser-cutter, ekg, resident-artist

Digital Embroidery Software Upgrade!

Posted by admin

Feb 10, 2012 4:11:00 PM

We recently upgraded our digital embroidery software to PE-Design NEXT, which allows us to import vector files directly into embroidery files! No more painful tracing over your illustrator files or artwork.

I imported the skyline and type from Illustrator, and then I offset the lines in PE-Design NEXT.

There are also some other great new features, such as the stem stitch, candlewicking stitch, offset line functions, floral pattern generation, mirror copy, circle copy, built in fonts, easy font editing, and more!

The graphics have improved quite a bit as well, catching up to modern technology (no longer looks like it’s from 1992) AND it’s a lot easier to navigate thanks to the new user interface.

See for yourself, and sign up for classes here: Classes

Topics: brother, digital-embroidery, philadelphia, fabric, fiber, Uncategorized, nextfab-studio, embroidery-stitches, nextfab, textiles, embroidery-software, pe-design-next, embroidery, software-upgrade

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

E-Textiles Workshop

Posted by admin

Nov 26, 2011 11:46:47 AM

We live in a world where you can order groceries to your doorstep, know what your friend in Taiwan is up to… and wear your electronics!

Want to learn about the world of e-textiles and start your own high-tech wardrobe?

Inspired by Leah Buechley, inventor of the Lilypad Arduino and director of MIT’s High-Low Tech research group, we are hosting a 2-day workshop that will teach you everything you need to know in order to make your own wearable electronics!

  • Day One, 12/10, 1:00PM - 5:00PM: We will learn about e-textiles materials and methods including: soft circuits, power, voltage, resistance, hand-sewing vs. machine sewing, conductive fabric, conductive thread, sewing LEDs, switches, sensors, plus examples of what you can do with these tools!

  • Day Two, 12/11, 1:00PM - 5:00PM: We will start with an intro to programming with Lilypad Arduino, and then we will work on individual projects. 

Find out more information and register here: E-Textiles 101.

Topics: workshop, electronics, e-textiles, lilypad, conductive-fabric, lilypad-arduino, arduino, Uncategorized, nextfab-studio, leah-buechley, e-textiles-workshop, wearable-electronics, nextfab, textiles, high-low-tech

Shelley Spector's Digital Embroidery Workshop

Posted by admin

Nov 4, 2011 12:01:00 PM

This past Saturday we held a digital embroidery workshop run by Breadboard resident artist Shelley Spector. Even with the slushy, snowy, winter-in-October weather, we had a brave bunch of souls show up for a more intimate, in-depth, workshop. Attendees learned about the basics of digital embroidery and a bit of laser cutting, and were able to take home what they made with us!

They were first introduced to digital embroidery through a show & tell discussion with pieces Shelley has been working on here. 

Then, Shelley dove into some of the details of the embroidery software we have and how to create digital stitch data using it. 

Shelley prepared a piece for workshop attendees to make and take home she calls “Gone Watch.” 

After looking at samples and learning about how the software works, Shelley continued with how to hoop fabric for embroidery. 

Everyone chose their own colors for fabric, thread, material for the watch faces and then took turns hooping the fabric, embroidering the watch bands, and laser cutting the watch faces!

When the band was cut out around the edges and the face laser cut, they were ready to be put together!

Everyone left with their own personalized “Gone Watch” that they made.

Check out our flickr to see more pictures from the workshop!

Thank you to Shelley Spector for putting this together and to everyone who came! If you missed it, don’t worry; we may have another workshop sometime soon, and our regular digital embroidery classes are being offered frequently. Sign up here!

Topics: philadlephia, sewing, digital-embroidery, fabric, laser-cut, Uncategorized, fabric-watch, breadboard, shelley-spector, nextfab, textiles, embroidery-workshop, embroidery

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


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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