Photo: Holly Quinn
The NextFab makerspace near 5th and Tatnall has been making an impact on the Wilmington tech community since its grand opening just last summer.
All kinds of things, from the Wilmington Green Box kiosk to Dew Point Brewing’s tap handles to our own 2017 Delaware Innovation Awards were crafted at the spot. The makerspace launched a successful youth program, teamed up with Hagley for an event celebrating the history of making, and hosted fellowships that have led to inventions like ICE.MADE.CLEAR.
A partnership with Delaware College of Art & Design (DCAD) seems only natural. And, on Wednesday, it became official.
“With this partnership, we’ll be able to provide students of DCAD each year with increased access to advanced tools such as CNC machines and 3D printers, as well as expert training from out technical staff,” said Eric Kaplan, Philadelphia-based NextFab’s head of sales and marketing.
John Hawkins, president of DCAD, and Carrie Gray of the Wilmington Renaissance Corp/Creative District Wilmington also spoke briefly after Kaplan made the announcement, followed by Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki.
“This is the kind of thing you want to see in your city,” said Purzycki. “I have a sense that we’re on the verge of really transforming this whole part of the city. And I think in some measure it’s because we’re all starting to feel pretty optimistic of the prospects for the city.”
Eventually, DCAD students will have direct access to NextFab. At this point, DCAD’s Director of Communications Susan Coulby says, access limited to professors and other DCAD employees, so they can get a feel for the space and create new lesson plans.
“We hope to start bringing in students in Fall of 2018,” said Coulby. They’ll start with “field trips” with professors and eventually become members.
The first course offered via the partnership will be 3D animation with 3D printing, a next-level animation course that goes beyond the more standard 3D digital animation currently offered at DCAD.
In addition to the partnership, Mayor Purzycki spoke about other Wilmington revitalization efforts, including infrastructure improvements, downtown business growth and efforts to fix up vacant and run down properties in West Center City. See what he had to say here:-30-
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