firstbuildHave you ever been standing in your kitchen, operating some appliance, and thought of a better way to do the task? Maybe you’ve come up with a change to the design that would make things easier or more efficient. That is the moment that FirstBuild hopes to capture.

Currently there is a huge gap between having an idea for a home appliance and being able to prototype and test something. Unless you’ve got a top of the line manufacturing facility, you’re probably out of luck. FirstBuild grabs those individuals, gives them the tools they need to try their designs, and helps show them off to the world. You can browse prototypes in their showroom and even purchase items that pass certain criteria on their site.

The FirstBuild microfactory was born out of GE Appliances, names we’ve heard many times in manufacturing. They hope to elevate people from tinkering to producing a product through events and contests both online and through their microfactory.

The next event, called “Mega Hackathon: Hack The Home” will begin on April 10th and allow teams to compete for multiple prizes. The teams will have roughly 24 hours and full use of the shop floor, which includes:

  • 3D printers
  • Laser Cutters
  • Water Jet
  • CNC Mill
  • Bridgeport Mill
  • Toolroom Lathe
  • Sheetmetal cutting, bending, and forming
  • Welding (MIG, TIG, Stick, Plasma, Spot and Oxy/Acetylene)
  • Sanding/Grinding/Sandblast
  • Hand Powertools
  • Drill Press
  • Woodworking (table saw, miter saw, band saw, jointer, planer)
  • Circuit Board Mill
  • Reflow Oven
  • Soldering stations
  • Power Supplies
  • ShopBot
  • HandiBot

Sponsors, including Atmel, Intel, Texas Instruments, and many others will judge the best ideas, which will win a total of $60,000 in cash prizes and hardware.