GE-MakerBot and TechShop Join GE’s Collaborative Innovation Strategy

  • MakerBot will partner with FirstBuild on open innovation challenges, using 3D printing to design parts that will enhance the convenience and functionality of major appliances 
  • TechShop and FirstBuild will partner to challenge TechShop community members to co-create on the FirstBuild website; winning products will receive a lump-sum award for their TechShop location

Washington D.C.—June 18, 2014—As part of a continuing effort to partner with other forward-leaning manufacturing companies and communities, GE (NYSE:GE) today announced two new partnerships with MakerBot and TechShop that will harness the global brain of the maker community to bring innovative, new products to market faster.

“GE continues to foster collaborative relationships to drive innovation through cutting-edge manufacturing models and partnerships that are redefining how ground-breaking products are made,” said Kevin Nolan, vice president of technology for GE Appliances.

Building on the partnership with Local Motors announced earlier this year, the new partnerships with MakerBot and TechShop will enhance GE’s collaboration with engineers and makers, providing additional opportunities to engage this community as they develop the next generation of major home appliances through FirstBuild, an online co-creation and micromanufacturing community.

GE's new micro kitchen is one of the projects MakerBot and TechShop will help FirstBuild design and engineer.   (Photo courtesy of GE)

GE’s new micro kitchen is one of the projects MakerBot and TechShop will help FirstBuild design and engineer. (Photo courtesy of GE)

In addition to this summer’s upcoming co-creation challenges, FirstBuild has two co-creation challenges currently in progress.

  • Micro kitchen: To help solve a growing problem in major metropolitan areas where rapid urbanization is driving the size of homes and kitchens down, FirstBuild is challenging its global community to design and engineer a micro kitchen that maintains the style and functionality of a traditional kitchen with a significantly smaller footprint
  • Indoor grilling: FirstBuild is asking makers, designers and aspiring chefs to take the weather out of the equation and engineer the ultimate indoor grill

Once the winning designs have been selected by the FirstBuild community, the global community will harness its collective brain power to determine the engineering specifications. A limited quantity of the products will be made by the FirstBuild microfactory1 in Louisville, Kentucky, and the most popular products can potentially scale up to mass production, affecting millions of homes and leading to royalties for the FirstBuild community members who have made the most significant contributions.

The products will be sold on site at the FirstBuild store or can be ordered online at Retail pricing will be announced when the products become available later this year.  To learn more about all the challenges, visit

1Microfactory, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of GE, and FirstBuild is a registered trademark of Microfactory, Inc.

About GE
GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company’s website at

About GE Appliances
GE Appliances is at the forefront of building innovative, energy-efficient appliances that improve people’s lives.  GE Appliances’ products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners, water filtration systems and water heaters.  General Electric (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better.  For more information on GE Appliances, visit

About Local Motors
From bytes-to-bits, the Local Motors platform empowers anyone to design, build, and sell the world’s coolest machines. The platform combines global co-creation and local micro-manufacturing to bring hardware innovations to market at unprecedented speed. The Company stewards a global co-creation community, comprised of enthusiasts, designers, engineers, and makers, and operates a growing global network of microfactories, where innovators create amazing products and consumers come to marvel and shop. For more information about Local Motors, visit

About MakerBot
MakerBot, a subsidiary of Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS), is a global leader in the desktop 3D printing industry and is leading the Next Industrial Revolution by setting the standards in reliable and affordable desktop 3D printing.  Founded in 2009, MakerBot sells desktop 3D printers to innovative and industry-leading customers worldwide, including engineers, architects, designers, educators and consumers. The MakerBot® 3D Ecosystem drives accessibility and rapid adoption of 3D printing and includes, the MakerBot Digitizer™ Desktop 3D Scanner, the MakerBot Replicator® line of Desktop 3D Printers, MakerBot Desktop, MakerBot Mobile, MakerBot PrintShop, the MakerBot MakerCare Protection Plan, the MakerBot Retail Stores and strategic partnerships with top-tier brands.  MakerBot has been honored with many accolades, including Popular Mechanics’ “Overall Winner” for best 3D printer, Time’s “Best Inventions of 2012,” Popular Mechanics’ “Editor’s Choice Award,” Popular Science’s “Product of the Year,” Fast Company’s “One of the World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Consumer Electronics” and many more.  Join the Next Industrial Revolution by following MakerBot at

About TechShop, Inc.
Founded in October 2006, TechShop is a membership-based, do-it-yourself (DIY) workshop and fabrication studio providing access to a vibrant community of creative people and more than $1 million worth of high quality machines, tools and software. TechShop offers classes, workshops, instruction and meet-ups for people of all ages and skill levels. TechShop is based in San Jose, Calif., with locations nationwide.

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