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NextFab Studio Launches, opens Science Center to the community

University City Science Center is setting up NextFab Studio, a members-only space the size of a successful corporation's headquarters gym, on the first floor of its new 3711 Market Street building, for people who don't have their own 3-D printers, laser cutters, digital embroiderers and other cool tools, but know what they'd do with them if they did.

The studio - it opens 5 pm next Friday Jan. 22 - will charge $100/month for members of the public, $75 for students. There'll be corporate rates, too.

The Studio will offer classes "on the design and engineering of new products," will build models on a contract basis for start-up firms and local companies, and will expose start-up and would-be entrepreneurs to one another and the local professeriate, in hopes of nurturing the local start-up tech-business community. Specialized materials cost extra, says Evan Malone PhD, who'll run the studio and head the staff charged with making sure no one (and no equipment) gets hurt.

Malone says NextFab will partner with Breadboard, the Esther Klein Gallery's Science Center-based program to boost "exhibits that explore the intersection of art, science and technology," in order to "bring in a more diverse range of members." I suspect that means art-oriented girls, to keep the tech guys interested, and vice versa.

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Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing