Philadelphia’s First “Gym” for Innovators Opens at the University City Science Center

 

Philadelphia, PA – (January 11, 2010) –Access to 3D printers has generally been limited to people with deep pockets, like Jay Leno who uses his $15,000 3D printer to manufacture replacement parts for his antique auto collection. That’s changing later this month when Philadelphia’s first “gym” for innovators opens at the University City Science Center. NextFab Studio, a membership-based technology workshop and prototyping center, is unveiling its brand-new facility to the public with an open-house event, Friday, January 22nd, 2010, beginning at 5:00 pm.

 

The 3,600-square-foot facility provides comfortable, clean, and safe workspaces equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters, digital embroiderers and other cutting-edge tools (see http://www.nextfabstudio.com/equipment). Expert instructors and a diverse community of collaborators are on hand to help inventors, artists and innovators problem-solve and achieve their vision.

 

“The mission of NextFab Studio is to build on Philadelphia’s history and culture of innovation and manufacturing by giving Philadelphia citizens, businesses and educational institutions an opportunity to learn about and use the latest product design and prototyping technologies for themselves,” says Evan Malone, PhD, the founder of NextFab Studio.

 

NextFab Studio will accept members beginning Saturday, January 23rd. Memberships will be available for individuals, students, corporations, and institutions, with rates and details available at http://www.nextfabstudio.com/membership. “One of the unique benefits of being a member of NextFab Studio,” Malone notes, “is the opportunity it provides to brainstorm with innovators from an enormous diversity of backgrounds, with everything you need to test out an idea at your fingertips.”

 

NextFab Studio operates in partnership with the Science Center’s nonprofit Breadboard program to bring the arts and technology educational and innovation opportunities to the broader community. Breadboard is a hybrid program that explores intersections between contemporary art, design, science and technology. Expanding on 30-plus years of Esther Klein Gallery programming, Breadboard’s mission is to convene communities around creative applications of technology. Breadboard manages two venues located at the University City Science Center: the Esther Klein Gallery at 3600 Market Street and the Breadboard Community Space at 3711 Market Street.

 

“The Science Center exists at the intersection of innovation and entrepreneurship,” says University City Science Center President and CEO Stephen S. Tang, PhD. “NextFab – and its partnership with Breadboard – offers us the opportunity to broaden our scope and get involved in cutting-edge rapid prototyping as well as help build an entrepreneurial community. For the past 30 years, the Science Center’s Esther Klein Gallery has explored the intersection of art, science and technology. The addition of NextFab and Breadboard will allow us to expand the scope of this exploration.”

 

The Klein Gallery is hosting an opening reception on Jan. 22 for its newest exhibit Brower Propulsion Laboratory: BPL- 003, Moranic Mission To Montana. A series of documents, artifacts, and spacecraft will be on view at the Esther Klein Gallery (EKG) from January 22nd through March 21st, 2010, with an opening reception on Friday, January 22nd from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Gallery at 3600 Market Street. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information and exhibit updates, visit breadboardphilly.org

 

About the Science Center
The University City Science Center accelerates technology commercialization, regional economic development, and the market availability of life-enhancing scientific breakthroughs by bringing together innovations, scientists, entrepreneurs, funding, laboratory facilities, and business services. Established in 1963 and headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, the Science Center was the first, and remains the largest, urban research park in the United States. Graduate organizations and current residents of the University City Science Center’s Port business incubators have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. For more information about the Science Center, go to www.sciencecenter.org.