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FirstBuild Microfactory Opens in Kentucky

The facility allows community members to customize consumer products and produce solutions for engineering solutions with small-batch production.

Community members in Louisville, KY, now have access to the FirstBuild Microfactory, which allows consumers to customize everyday products for their lifestyle needs and design products to solve engineering challenges and fast-track innovation to market. The factory opened on July 24.

The Microfactory, according to the company, enables small-batch production and allows products to get to market without the cost and risk of traditional manufacturing. The facility, created in partnership with GE Appliances, features an electronics prototyping center, laser cutter and hardware components.

The products created at the Microfactory will be available online within the coming months, according to the company. Some of these products include:

  • Smart Pitcher: A water dispenser that is stored inside a fresh food compartment and has the ability to refill itself when placed under the level-sensing dispenser.
  • LineCook: An oven that scans a barcode of prepared foods and automatically sets the cooking method, time and temperature.
  • Easy-Slide Oven Door: A dual oven with an ergonomically designed door that allows users to retrieve dishes without reaching into the oven’s cavity.
“Partnering with a global co-creation community and using micromanufacturing to develop new products are unprecedented in the appliance industry. There certainly isn’t a ‘how-to’ guide for us to follow,” said Kevin Nolan, vice president of technology at GE Appliances. “Shifting to a market and community-driven innovation strategy will help determine which products we reserve for customization and which are appropriate to transfer to our larger-scale production facilities.”

For more information, visit FirstBuild and GE Appliances.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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