Drexel's new 10,000-square-foot Center for Functional Fabrics opens today - Technical.ly Philly

Creative

Sep. 25, 2019 1:32 pm

Drexel’s new 10,000-square-foot Center for Functional Fabrics opens today

The space is meant to be a research and development hub "where industry and academia can come together," Director Genevieve Dion said.
Center for Functional Fabrics Director Genevieve Dion in the space.

Center for Functional Fabrics Director Genevieve Dion in the space.

(Photo courtesy of Drexel University)

Drexel University is debuting its new Center for Functional Fabrics, a project that’s been in the works for several years and aims to draw researchers and creators from various fields.

Housed at 3101 Market St., the 10,000 square feet of mixed-use lab, teaching and event space is funded by the state and federal government as part of Drexel’s involvement in the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America initiative, according to a release.

The center can be used to create textile technology, as well as methods for integrating them into industrial garment manufacturing processes and modules to help retrain the workforce for working with these new technologies, the university said.

Genevieve Dion, the center’s director, said that Drexel is a fitting host for the center, as it’s a “comprehensive campus” with multiple disciples that can use the center. But while the center is housed at the university, it’s not exclusively for students — rather, it’s meant to be a research and development hub “where industry and academia can come together,” she told Technical.ly.

The center is outfitted with textile manufacturing equipment, weaving and looming machines, as well as technology such as a 3D printer. Much of the equipment was purchased from a $1.5 million grant from Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Dion said.

A variety of projects involving work such as smart fabric sensors and textile energy storage are underway. Two projects, a smart fabric belly band and the Capacitive Touch Sensor, are platform technologies that are becoming robust enough as concepts that it’s not difficult to imagine how people could use them practically, the director said.

The goal for the center is to be able to work collaboratively with companies or agencies like the Department of Defense that are interested in developing and scaling functional textile projects to manufacture or make available to consumers.

Advertisement

“Were very excited,” Dion said. “There’s not that many fabric discovery centers — in fact, we’re the first one outside the state of Massachusetts.”

Dion has been working with functional fabrics for the last decade, and originally worked at a smaller version of the center at the university’s ExCITe Center. About four years ago, Drexel was awarded the grant and began work on the new 10,000-square-foot space.

The center had a soft opening a few weeks ago, but officially opened Wednesday.

“We’re looking to engage, collaborate and innovate,” Dion said.

Companies: Drexel University
-30-
CONTRIBUTE TO THE
JOURNALISM FUND

Already a contributor? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

Success in life sciences begets more success: What Philly leaders say about the industry’s growth

On the Market: Manage Bryn Mawr College’s new makerspace

Here’s the tech powering Temple’s stunning new library

SPONSORED

Philly

How ShopRunner’s mentorship program is pushing its employees to think beyond their fields

Philadelphia

Guru Technologies

Senior Software Engineer, Back End

Apply Now

Philadelphia

Guru Technologies

Senior Data Scientist

Apply Now

Philadelphia

Guru Technologies

Lead Product Designer

Apply Now

Leeway’s new Art and Technology grantee is creating gender-affirming garments

USciences just announced an MBA program for the business of cannabis

Expanding and empowering: How NextFab evolved over a decade

SPONSORED

Philly

How Relay is helping enterprise clients get proactive about customer engagement

King of Prussia, PA

Deacom

Technical Writer

Apply Now

Chesterbrook, PA

Deacom

Entry Level Software Developer

Apply Now

Philadelphia, PA

Macquarie

Technical Lead – Asset Management Software

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Philadelphia

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!