FirstBuild, a microfactory created by
, will expand into India, the company announced Tuesday. FirstBuild will work with a prototyping center and makerspace called T-Works in Hyderabad, India to open a location in early 2019, according to a release from GE Appliances. FirstBuild employees will work with T-Works' designers, programmers, students, craftsman and makers.
In 2014, GE Appliances opened a microfactory/makerspace in Louisville, Kentucky, called FirstBuild, where designers and engineers can work on offbeat projects that could eventually be available for small-scale distribution. That space has given birth to such projects as the
Paragon Induction Cooktop
Opal Nugget Ice
Maker and the forthcoming Forge Clear Ice System.
The India location will be the second international expansion for FirstBuild. The microfactory worked with Shanghai Tech University, Jiao Tong University and the University of Michigan to open a Center of Excellence in Shanghai, China in 2017. The facility focuses on electronic hardware, artificial intelligence and design hardware.
FirstBuild's expansion shows that there is success in the concept of creating a collaborative and small environment within a bigger company to invent unique products that can gain a small-scale following. We've seen a similar idea within
and its WLabs offshoot, which has created the Zera food recycler.