FAQs

General

What is NextFab?

NextFab is a network of membership-based makerspaces that provide access to tools, technology, education, events, and services for makers of any skill level.

Where are you located?

We currently have 3 locations in Philadelphia, PA and Wilmington, DE.
2025 Washington Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19146
1227 N 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122
503 N. Tatnall Street, Wilmington, DE 19801

How do I take a tour of NextFab?

Just swing by any of our locations during our open tour hours or schedule a tour online here. See tour hours here. For groups larger than 4 people, tours during off-hours, or specialized tours, please schedule a tour time by emailing info@nextfab.com.

Do I have to be a member to visit NextFab?

Nope. Anyone is welcome to take a tour of NextFab, attend events and classes that are open to the public, or to hire Contract Services. Members are also allowed to bring guests for a visit lasting no more than 4 hours. However, in order to use NextFab software, tools, and take the majority of our classes, you must be a member.

Can anyone be a member?

Absolutely! We welcome members of all skill levels – no matter if you have ever used a tool before or not. Our only membership requirement is for age – you must be at least 10 years old for a junior membership, and at least 18 years old for a regular membership.

What services does NextFab offer?

NextFab offers membership, educational classes, hardware incubator and accelerator programs, and professional contract services available for hire. For more information about each of these options, please visit the Discover page.

Do you supply materials for projects?

For certain classes, NextFab will provide materials needed. We also have raw materials for sale, including wood, metal, print media, hardware, etc. Members are always welcome and encouraged to bring in their own materials.

How can I work at NextFab?

Interested in becoming part of the team at NextFab? Check out our current openings on our Careers page.

Membership

How do I become a member?

Joining NextFab is easy! Sign up online under our Join page or in person at any of our locations. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive a welcome email to help guide you through the next steps – orientation, safety training, and classes.

Can I freeze or cancel my membership?

We currently do not offer an option to freeze or pause membership, but you can downgrade your membership to our most affordable option. Membership may be cancelled at any time by contacting member-services@nextfab.com.

Is my membership good for all locations?

Yes! Your membership provides access to all NextFab locations. Just check in at the front desk when you go to a new location for the first time.

Can I change my membership?

Yes, you can change your membership level at any time by contacting us. If you downgrade your membership level in the middle of the month, the changes will take place on the first day of the next billing cycle.

How much does membership cost?

NextFab offers a variety of membership levels at different costs to help you find the option that works best for you. Memberships start at $19 per month, depending on how much access you’re looking for. Learn more on our Join page.

How old do you have to be to be a member?

Regular members must be 18 years of age or older. We also offer junior memberships for kids ages 10-17, but junior members must be accompanied by a parent or other adult member at all times. For more information on junior memberships, see the Join page.

Can I pay month-to-month?

We do not currently offer a month-to-month payment option. We kindly ask you to sign up for autopay and your card will be charged monthly on/from the date of signup. This helps us reduce our accounting costs, allowing us to focus our resources on providing you the best possible facilities, training, and amenities. We appreciate your understanding and support.

Do I need to reserve machine time?

Yes. Members who would like to reserve machine time may do so online. The reservation calendar should only be used by those who have obtained unsupervised access on that particular machine. Please note that based on power consumption, operating costs and maintenance some machines require hourly reservation fees.

Does NextFab have storage for in-progress projects?

Yes. In addition to locker storage, we offer larger storage areas for keeping your works in progress, tools, and materials for a fee. You can rent a storage space on a monthly basis. The fee varies depending on size and any special requirements. For pricing and more details, please contact us at info@nextfab.com.

Can I bring my own tools?

You can bring in your own hand tools if you like. However, you will need to obtain permission from a manager to bring in power tools or anything unusual. If you are looking for a particular tool that we do not have, let us know what tool you want to bring in – we may decide to purchase it for the studio.

Is there anything I can’t use at NextFab?

Members have access to all of the tools at NextFab, provided that they have completed the proper prerequisite classes or demonstrated proficiency. However, certain advanced tools, such as the waterjet, will require assistance from a NextFab staff member. For more information, please ask your shop manager.

Contract Services

When and where are NextFab’s Contract Services available?

NextFab’s Contract Services team is based out of our 2025 Washington Ave location in Philadelphia. Our hours are Monday through Friday 10am-6pm. We will make every effort to respond to your inquiry within one contract service business day.

How do I know if my project is a good fit for NextFab’s Contract Services?

We love a good challenge, so we’re usually looking for projects that are advanced, large scale, or boutique design/production. Check out our portfolio of case studies for a sample of our latest work to see if your idea aligns, and then get a quote here.
We typically do not take on projects where the idea is not clearly defined enough, nor do we do mass production jobs.

What if my project does not qualify as a Contract Services job?

We can still find someone to help you out, even if we don’t take on the job ourselves! We have plenty of members eager to take on projects too. You can also become a member and learn how to create your project yourself.

Do I need to reserve machine time for you to do the work?

Nope! Only reserve machine time if you will be using the machine yourself as a member. For Contract Services projects, we’ll take care of it.

Can both members and non-members hire Contract Services?

Absolutely. Because Contract Services projects are so unique, we work with a wide variety of people on them, including large and small companies, government organizations, and individuals. You do not need to be a member to hire Contract Services, but members are welcome to hire us as well.

Incubator

What type of space do you have available?

We offer three types of spaces at our locations:
Dedicated desks, an ideal low-cost solution for solopreneurs interested in having their own desk, business address, and concierge postal mail service.
Office space for teams in need of  private office space to work on and store projects.
Light fabrication and assembly area, a raw workspace where you can build your products and prototypes.

Will I get 24/7 access to my dedicated desk, office, and/or workspace?

Yes, you will have 24/7 access to your space. Your access to NextFab’s advanced manufacturing equipment and workshops is limited to NextFab’s regular business hours.

Does my company need to be incorporated?

Yes! You should also obtain and keep in force a general liability insurance with a combined single limit of no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence for bodily injury and property damage insuring both NextFab and yourself against liability arising out of use, occupancy, and maintenance of your space at NextFab.

What is NextFab looking for in an incubator applicant?

We are looking for hardware entrepreneurs who are beyond the idea stage, are already making sales, and are looking forward to establishing themselves in their respective fields. Ideally, these individuals will become active members in our community and will collaborate closely with our larger membership base.

Accelerator

What differentiates the RAPID hardware accelerator from other programs?

We are entirely focused on working with hardware startups and our state-of-the-art makerspace facility in South Philadelphia serves as a one stop shop for all their prototyping needs. The selected teams will get funding and gain access to a dedicated desk, the opportunity to meet mentors, experienced advisors, and become part of a community of talented designers, artists, engineers, and entrepreneurs.

What is NextFab looking for in an accelerator applicant?

While we’re open to receiving applications from anyone, our ideal team would have 2 co-founders, a physical prototype, a patented technology, and a good estimate of the market size.

Will you sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?

Applicants and participants in our programs are discouraged from disclosing confidential information about their product(s)/device(s). You are solely responsible for your own intellectual property. We respect the confidentiality of your ideas, but similarly to other organizations in the startup ecosystem that are engaged in reviewing hundreds of business plans and ideas, we do not sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

How many applicants will be accepted for each cohort of the RAPID Hardware Accelerator?

We usually accept 4-5 teams or individuals for each cohort of the RAPID Hardware Accelerator program.

Will I/we get a mentor?

Yes! RAPID participants will be matched with mentors as part of the program.

Do you provide funding?

Yes, we provide seed funding for RAPID participants (up to $25,000 per team). We can provide follow-on capital based on your progress in the program.

Do you take equity?

NextFab’s $25,000 investment will be in the form of an S.A.F.E. instrument or Simple Agreement for Future Equity. Using this type of investment keeps legal costs low allowing for each company to spend more on de-risking their product to attract future investment. In short, no equity will be initially exchanged for entrance into the RAPID program. NextFab’s investment will convert to equity once a company raises an equity round of financing.

Does my company need to be incorporated?

No. However, we have a preference for startups incorporated as Delaware C-Corporations.

Where is the RAPID program going to take place?

All events will take place at NextFab’s main location at 2025 Washington Ave.