GE affiliate FirstBuild have entered into a collaboration with Stratasys to develop new home appliances using 3D printing and crowdsourcing.
FirstBuild was established by GE Appliances and their collaborative partner, Local Motors, to accelerate the time taken for concept-to-market of products. In this concept, individual persons provided ideas or designs that are then tested by a community of engineers, designers and home enthusiasts. The approved design is created using Stratasys 3D printing technology and then produced by FirstBuild for sale to customers.
The collaboration is to take place in FirstBuild’s Louisville micro-factory. The ideas will be developed, and the initial products will be created using 3D printing, woodworking, and other fabrication methods. These products will be then be manufactured in the micro-factory. FirstBuild will sell the finished goods through retail channels, their retail store and their website.
Natarajan “Venkat” Venkatakrishnan, who is GE Appliances’ Director of Advanced Technologies and also the Director of FirstBuild, commented:
“Incorporating Stratasys’ leading additive manufacturing technology into our micro-factory capabilities provides an enormous benefit in both product development and production by saving us time, money and resources.
“It will also give the University of Louisville engineering students and others who work on this equipment at FirstBuild a significant advantage as they pursue jobs in technical fields.”
Stratasys North America’s President, Gilad Gans, thinks that the collaboration will totally change the way that products are manufactured.
This is an open-innovation environment where FirstBuild users will be able to use our cutting-edge technology to accelerate product development phases and create real products.
President of Stratasys North America