GE Affiliate, FirstBuild, Will Use Crowdsourcing and Stratasys 3D Printing to Invent Next Generation of Home Appliances

GE Appliances’ FirstBuild using Stratasys 3D printing technology to revolutionize the way things are made

MINNEAPOLIS & REHOVOT, Israel — (BUSINESS WIRE) — September 17, 2014Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS), a global leader of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions, announced today its partnership with FirstBuild, a GE affiliate. The partnership combines co-creation and micro-manufacturing to build and commercialize the next evolution of various GE appliances and accessories by leveraging 3D printing, and other advanced manufacturing processes in an open innovation approach to engineering.

FirstBuild is using the latest 3D printing technology from Stratasys, allowing concepts to reach the ...

FirstBuild is using the latest 3D printing technology from Stratasys, allowing concepts to reach the appliance industry marketplace at a rapid rate. Photo courtesy of FirstBuild

GE Appliances, a subsidiary of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) in collaboration with Local Motors, established FirstBuild, a new model for the appliance industry aimed to allow 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 with the help of Stratasys 3D printing technology. FirstBuild will then manufacture and deliver the next generation of major home appliances to customers.

"We believe that the prospects of tapping into the hardware innovation scene are very promising," says Gilad Gans, President of Stratasys North America. "This is an outstanding opportunity to help revolutionize the way things are made. 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."

Stratasys 3D Printers will go to work in the FirstBuild micro-factory located in Louisville, Kentucky, which is where ideas may 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 micro-factory will produce products and sell them through FirstBuild’s website and retail store located at the micro-factory, and through traditional retail channels.

“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,” 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.” Watch Venkat discuss the 3D printing systems that FirstBuild uses in its goal to rapidly produce a new generation of home appliances.

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, a partnership between GE and Local Motors, the open-source hardware innovator, harnesses the expertise and creativity of an online and offline global community that is dedicated to conceiving, engineering and building the next generation of major home appliances. It enables engineers, designers, scientists and home enthusiasts to participate in the development of breakthrough appliances and solve deep engineering challenges. Participants will identify market needs, directly participate in the product development and watch via social media as ideas speed from mind to market at the FirstBuild Microfactory in Louisville, Ky. To learn more about FirstBuild, visit: http://www.FirstBuild.com/.

FDM, Stratasys and Objet are registered trademarks, and Fused Deposition Modeling and PolyJet are trademarks of Stratasys Ltd. and or its subsidiaries or affiliates.

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