MINNEAPOLIS & REHOVOT, Israel — Sept. 10, 2014 — Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq:SSYS), a global leader of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions, announced today its partnership with FirstBuild. The partnership combines co-creation and micromanufacturing to build and commercialize the next evolution of various appliances and accessories by leveraging 3D printing, and other advanced manufacturing processes in an open innovation approach to engineering.
GE Appliances, in collaboration with Local Motors, established FirstBuild, a new model for the appliance industry that allows concepts to rapidly reach the marketplace. Individuals design and submit ideas, and a community of home enthusiasts, designers, engineers and makers tests out the ideas and creates the products using Stratasys 3D printing technology. FirstBuild will then manufacture and deliver the next generation of major home appliances to customers.
"The prospects of tapping into the hardware innovation scene are very promising," says Gilad Gans, Stratasys President of North America. "This is an outstanding opportunity to revolutionize the way things are made. This is an open-innovation environment where FirstBuild users will use our cutting-edge technology to accelerate product development phases and create real products."
Stratasys 3D printers will go to work in the FirstBuild Microfactory located in Louisville, Ky., which is where ideas will come to grow into real products. 3D printing along with woodworking, welding and other tools, will be used to test and build the initial products. The microfactory will produce products and sell them through FirstBuild’s website and retail store, located at the microfactory and through traditional retail channels.
“Incorporating Stratasys’ leading additive manufacturing technology into our microfactory capabilities provides an enormous benefit in both product development and production by saving us time, money and resources,” said Natarajan “Venkat” Venkatakrishnan, Director of FirstBuild and Director of Advanced Technologies for GE Appliances. “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 Ltd. (Nasdaq:SSYS), headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Rehovot, Israel, is a leading global provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions. The company's patented FDM®, PolyJet™, and WDM™ 3D Printing technologies produce prototypes and manufactured goods directly from 3D CAD files or other 3D content. Systems include 3D printers for idea development, prototyping and direct digital manufacturing. Stratasys subsidiaries include MakerBot and Solidscape, and the company operates a digital-manufacturing service, comprising RedEye, Harvest Technologies and Solid Concepts. Stratasys has more than 2,500 employees, holds over 600 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents globally, and has received more than 25 awards for its technology and leadership. Online at: www.stratasys.com or http://blog.stratasys.com.
FirstBuild is a global co-creation community backed by GE Appliances, a Haier company that harnesses the brainpower of the maker movement to change the way major home appliances are conceived, designed and manufactured. A physical state-of-the-art microfactory on the University of Louisville campus and online forum, FirstBuild speeds products from mind to market and enables customization through small batch production, without the costs and risks of traditional mass manufacturing. For more information about how to get involved, visit FirstBuild.com.
About GE Appliances
GE Appliances, a Haier company, makes moments that matter for our owners through our passion for making great appliances and providing unparalleled services. Owners have more choices than ever before under the Hotpoint, GE®, Haier, GE Café™, GE Profile™ and Monogram® brands. Our products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners and water filtration systems. For more information visit www.geappliances.com/our-company.