Shop NextFab members in our 2021 NextFab Holiday Gift Guide Learn More

Updated Message to Our Community

NextFab President Evan Malone

Dear Friends,

Since late June, all three NextFab locations have been open for business. If you’ve been in, we’re thrilled to have you back, and with your helpful feedback, we’ve dialed in NextFab’s pandemic safety protocols to ensure we can all work safely together. If your passion project or business is on hold until you can come back in, let us know what we can do to help make that happen!

We continue to be vigilant, and continue to refine our protocols as we stay up-to-date on the latest safety information and innovate new ways of making in a shared space safely. You are probably aware of our policies on mask wearing, distancing, sanitation, ventilation improvements, reservations, and occupancy limits. NextFab also has a pandemic safety rapid response team that works to trace possible virus exposures before they can spread.

We have developed new safety measures and techniques specifically for in-person classes, and we have decided to make all classes one-on-one with the instructor for the time being.

Class capacity is limited, so if you already know the basics, please request private training or a certification check, or if you can’t find a session that works for your schedule please request an additional class session. We’ve relaunched many of our software and lecture classes in a new, virtual format, and will continue adding virtual and in-person classes.  We appreciate your patience, and want to ensure that your learning experience is not only safe, but also maintains the high standards that you deserve.

Since we’ve reopened, facility access has been limited to current members to allow focused attention and time to adjust to a new way of working, and only a few new members have been accepted. In lieu of accepting new memberships as open enrollment as we normally would, we launched a New Member Waitlist in late May for interested members to sign up for. As of August 24th, we began welcoming new members in stages, and will continue to do so as our building capacities allow for it. We’ll be taking the time to ensure that each new member understands and adheres to NextFab’s safety protocols, and that everyone can continue to work safely and efficiently as a diverse, committed, and inspiring community of makers.

In the past five months, our collective efforts have allowed us to support PPE fabrication during a time of desperate need, preserve our beloved makerspaces during a time of great upheaval for many local businesses, and reopen successfully.

We now look forward to the shared creative challenges and triumphs ahead of us. From all of us at NextFab, thank you for your continued support and trust that has truly kept us going.

As always, please contact us with any questions.

Evan Malone

Day North Philadelphia South Philadelphia Wilmington
Sunday 12pm – 8pm 10am – 5:30pm Closed
Monday 12pm – 8pm 10am – 5:30pm Closed
Tuesday 12pm – 8pm 8:30am – 9:30pm 8am – 8pm
Wednesday 9am – 5pm 8:30am – 9:30pm 8am – 8pm
Thursday 9am – 5pm 8:30am – 9:30pm 8am – 8pm
Friday Closed 10am – 5:30pm 8am – 6pm
Saturday Closed 10am – 5:30pm 8am – 6pm

NextFab is Open

Welcome back! We are so excited to open our doors to all three of our NextFab locations once again and to welcome back members, new and old. While our spaces might look a little different, the passion we have for our makers and their visions remains the same. Safety has always been at the forefront of NextFab’s mission, and the implementation of the new health and safety standards amongst the COVID-19 pandemic reflects that. Please take a moment to review these new regulations, and thank you for helping keep our spaces safe, healthy and ready for making.

Health and Safety and Coming to NextFab

    • Do Not Enter if you are and/or have been sick or have been caring for someone that has been sick in the past 14 days.
    • Masks that cover the nose and mouth are mandatory for anyone entering NextFab facilities, including all staff and members.
    • We have temporarily put a hold on any visitors entering NextFab, and our spaces are only open to current members, resident companies, staff and clients.
    • Members must swipe their badges in at our main entrance and complete our Daily Check-In Form to certify they meet our health and safety guidelines.
    • All of our buildings have new occupancy limits to comply with recommended social distancing in a confined space. To ensure this limit we have a new individual shop/space reservation calendar for our members and request you practice social distancing of six feet.
    • We’re asking all members to BYO PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) to help reduce the spread including: safety glasses, ear protection, and any other PPE necessary for your safe tool use, and ask you to please not share your PPE with others.
    • Gloves
      • We do not recommend use of gloves unless required for the particular work you are doing. Additionally, gloves should never be worn when working with rotary tools.
    • Please check out our adjusted hours for all three locations (this allows our staff ample time to clean the facilities).

Classes and Working in the Shops

  • All classes are now one-on-one instruction with our staff in our private training format. When you arrive for a class, we will check your temperature at the Front Desk with a contactless thermometer.
  • If you have pre-existing knowledge of some equipment, we encourage you to take a certification check on that machine – you can skip the class and be working on your project sooner. (These will also be one-on-one instruction).
  • We’ve launched virtual classes! All of our software and lecture classes are now virtual. Learn Solidworks, Adobe Illustrator, Intro to Patents and more in the comfort of your own home.
  • If you don’t see a class on the calendar and/or you see an open class that doesn’t have a good time/date for you, request a class here.
  • Reserve your shop space and machine – to help with building capacities and to ensure adequate social distancing, we have separate Reservation Calendars for classes, machines reservation and studio space reservations (reserve studio space at no additional fee).
  • Don’t forget to clean your space when you’re done! This includes wiping down the machines, equipment and any tools you used.
  • Instructors will utilize assistive teaching aids for classes such as camera to iPad streaming, protective barriers, dual keyboard and monitor setup, and sanitization covers for headset mics.
  • All class cancellation fees are waived, but please give us a call if you can’t make it, as soon as you know.
  • Classes, private training, machines and shop reservations are first come, first serve!
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our Education Department here.

Health and Safety

    • We’ve upped our Hygiene and Sanitization at all three locations
      • Rigorous cleaning protocols have been implemented, with all public spaces and surfaces cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
      • Machine Sanitization
        • After members are finished using a machine, we ask that they use the provided disinfectant to wipe down machine controls and high-touch surfaces before moving on.
      • We encourage frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizer and have placed sanitization stations across the buildings with hand sanitizer and disinfectant.
    • HVAC and Ventilation
      • We’ve upgraded our HVAC filters to those with an enhanced microparticle performance rating to capture airborne particles. We have taken care to consider the quality of ventilation and the location of inlets when setting occupancy limits for our studio spaces. Where and when possible, we will allow increased fresh air circulation by opening doors and windows.
    • Increased Cleaning and Sanitization
      • Our staff and janitorial contractors have implemented a rigorous cleaning routine with increased frequency to ensure that high-touch surfaces are cleaned daily with a rated disinfectant.
    • Layout Shifts and Sneeze Barriers
      • We have shifted the layout of equipment and workstations to facilitate social distancing. We have also installed sneeze barriers at various high-contact locations to de risk in-person conversations.

These policies have been developed to ensure a safe working environment with regards to the COVID-19 crisis. Policies are subject to change in response to the rapidly changing situation. We will make efforts to notify you of any changes to policies and procedures, but please contact us here with any questions or concerns prior to entering our facilities.

Product Development Efforts

Product Development 3D Print Example

For the past three months, our NextFab Product Development team, with a special exemption from the Pennsylvania governor has worked from NextFab pivoted normal operations to create personal protective equipment (PPE) for local healthcare organizations. To date they have accomplished:

+ In partnership with nonprofit Open Medical to produce a new origami face mask design that requires no sewing.
+ Created and donated 10,000 masks to local hospitals
+ Working with AA Plasma to create Rapid Disinfection system to sanitize PPE

Download Origami Mask Guidelines and Templates

COVID-19 and NextFab

On March 17th, all NextFab locations closed for business in compliance with Philadelphia’s sanction for all non-essential businesses. Along with other local manufacturers, makers, hospitals, universities and small businesses, NextFab assisted in constructing much needed medical personal protective equipment (PPE). Utilizing our makerspace’s equipment and staff we helped produce masks, face shields and assisted companies in producing essential parts for their medical equipmnet.


NextFab Webinar Series

Online Marketing & Social Media for Your Small Business

Listen Now

Listen to All

Latest News

Updated: March 31, 2021

See the latest NextFab news entries