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Business development / Makerspaces

NextFab to open new makerspace at Kensington’s Impact Hub

Consider it an inspired re-use of a space that has not been open to the public since 3rd Ward suddenly shut down last fall.

NextFab is expanding its footprint northward.

The Washington Avenue makerspace is opening a second outpost on the first floor of Impact Hub, the massive Kensington coworking space. NextFab’s new 3,500-square-foot space, previously 3rd Ward’s makerspace (woodshop, jewelry lab and more), had not been open to the public since 3rd Ward abruptly shut down last fall.

NextFab had long wanted to have a presence in the Kensington/Northern Liberties/Fishtown neighborhoods, said NextFab CEO Evan Malone through a spokeswoman, and the opportunity to collaborate with Impact Hub made it the right time to open a new space.

The new spot, which has yet to be named, will soft launch Dec. 5.

It will feature similar resources to NextFab’s flagship, like those for 3D printing, laser cutting and computer-aided design, and some unique setups, too, like a jewelry lab. NextFab hired a jewelry-focused staffer to teach the craft and run that area, Malone said.

NextFab is renting the space from Impact Hub and it also purchased some of 3rd Ward’s old equipment. NextFab will have two staffers at the new location to start.

In terms of what NextFab and Impact Hub members will get access to, details are still being worked out, Malone said. In December, NextFab members will be able to use the NextFab/Impact Hub space.

The collaboration feels like a natural one for Impact Hub, a coworking space that essentially inherited a sprawling, three-story building from 3rd Ward. What to do with all that extra space and equipment? Partner with someone who’s done the makerspace thing before.

NextFab will join fellow metalworking spaces The Sculpture Gym and The Carbon Collective in the neighborhood.

(Also, no photos yet but we’ll be sure to share as soon as we get them.)

Impact Hub

Another part of the building’s ground floor, in May 2013, before 3rd Ward’s launch. (Photo by Nathaniel Hamilton/for NewsWorks)

Companies: Impact Hub Philly / NextFab
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