LOUISVILLE—General Electric has just decided to locate its first micro-factory, called FirstBuild™, at the University of Louisville Belknap Campus. The company hopes this new type of facility will help remake US manufacturing by utilizing open-source methods and tapping into the expertise of a wide-ranging community of designers, engineers, and hobbyists. GE hopes this will speed innovation by getting new designs off the drawing board quicker and into consumers’ hands.

GE will partner with Local Motors, an open-source hardware innovator, to create this new manufacturing model, which will focus on cooking appliances and open this summer on E. Brandeis Ave. The university will own the building, but it will be a partner, rather than just a landlord. Students will conduct research and get practical training in manufacturing.

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