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How FirstBuild Works

Got an idea of something you’d like to see made? Share it! Have an opinion on one of the products we’re working on? Make it known!

At FirstBuild, we invent new products for passionate communities through a process we call co-creation. That means we’ll share product ideas with you at the earliest stages, and bake your feedback into the final result.

Blacksmithing at FirstBuild

How a product comes to life


Every project starts with an idea—it might even be from you! We constantly review ideas and share them to gauge community interest. At this stage, we’re wondering: Does anyone care?


Once we’ve found an idea people love, we get to making! We create prototypes, continue to share and get your feedback. At this stage, we’re wondering: Should this project continue?


Once we’ve iterated a bunch, proven the prototype and found a community that cares, then we can offer it for sale! At this stage, we’re wondering: What does this product’s future look like?

How to Get Involved


Join the discussion on the products you’re interested in most, and be part of the community that brings them to life. View our inventions

Share An Idea

We regularly review idea submissions and encourage our community to collaborate with each other. Submit An Idea

Beta Test

Love an idea? Follow your favorite prototypes and watch for opportunities to apply to be one of its first purchasers for a unique co-creation experience.

Stay Up To Date

We share FirstBuild’s product concepts at their earliest stages so we can co-create what’s next. Subscribe to our newsletter or YouTube to see our latest inventions.

Come Make With Us

FirstBuild’s makerspace is open to the community. Come make your own prototype or personal project!

How To Make

Community members can get free access to FirstBuild’s Makerspace and equipment during community hours. Membership is free but tool reservations are required.

Reserve A Tool

Learn To Make

Our in-house artisans teach the water jet, ShopBot, and more. After successful completion of the class, participants can schedule a craftsman certification.

Sign Up For A Class

Get Craftsman Certified

Individuals with experience and knowledge of the equipment in our shop can receive sign-off and earn a craftsman badge for access to our equipment.

Become Certified

Who Can Co-Create?

Anyone! Most FirstBuilders who submit an idea, share feedback or back a FirstBuild product are simply interested in seeing new inventions come to life!

Those who become closely involved in product development may receive compensation in the form of recognition, products, monetary payments or special access to tools and resources. Check out the FAQs below for details.

About FirstBuild

FirstBuild invents what’s next for the home through co-creation between our
global community and our in-house team of world-class engineers and design
experts. We rapidly take product concepts from mind to market through our
hands-on, open and interactive process.

FirstBuild allows anyone to join in on bringing new products to life through our
online co-creation platforms. Our product concepts are introduced to consumers
at the earliest stages via YouTube and This allows us to create
products rapidly, with community feedback already built in.

We also open our doors to the local community and invite anyone to come in and
make alongside us. Come visit our free makerspace in Louisville, Kentucky, or
reserve equipment and come make it here.

Many people who have a great product idea don’t know how to bring it to life, or don’t have the time or access to resources to make it happen. 

FirstBuild allows anyone to engage directly with the FirstBuild team and its global co-creation community to share new product ideas or share feedback on the ideas of others. 

There is no requirement to come to us with a product concept or engineering know-how. We’re just as excited to have community members contribute valuable feedback to the ideas that our team is working on or interact with other community members. We’re proud to be at that intersection between passionate communities and developing products people love.

FirstBuild operates under a Creative Commons License, which allows for the free and open exchange of ideas. See our full terms and conditions for details: Terms and Conditions

Should FirstBuild work with you to commercialize one of your ideas, recognition may include promotion, access to FirstBuild resources, or in select cases, monetary compensation.

At FirstBuild, community members who contribute significantly to a product throughout its development cycle may qualify for some form of compensation, from promotion to access to FirstBuild resources or, in select cases, monetary compensation.

To earn monetary compensation, community members must either be a project leader or key contributors.

Project leaders evolve an idea to a concept by consistently driving progress in solving the challenges at hand. There can be only one leader per concept. Project leaders may receive an initial award up to $1,000 per concept plus .5% royalty of feature sales per concept. 

Feature sales are defined as (feature cost / product cost) X FirstBuild product sales, or up to full FirstBuild product sales for entirely novel projects.

An example: Suja comes up with an entirely new idea and leads the concept through development to a novel sellable product which retails for $200 (she earns 0.5% * $200 = $1/unit sold). The product sells 20,000 units per year when mass-produced. Suja will receive $1,000 initially and a royalty of $20,000 per year for not more than 3 years.

Key contributors contribute at least one key and novel aspect of a project that is visible in the product specification. Key contributors may receive an initial award of up to $500 per concept plus .25% of feature sales per concept. 

Feature sales are defined as (feature cost / product cost) X FirstBuild product sales, or up to full FirstBuild product sales for entirely novel projects.

An example: Ty solely contributes a key idea (led by a concept leader) to a new $20 handle to a refrigerator with parts costs of $1,000 that sells for $1,200.

The Feature Sales would be ($20 / $1000) * $1,200 = $24/unit, with Ty receiving 0.25% of these sales. The refrigerator sells 90,000 units per year in production. Ty’s earnings would be $500 initially and an annual royalty of $5,400 for not more than 3 years.

Initial awards and royalties are awarded upon the sale of a product. Royalties will continue for a period of three years beyond the date of sale of the first product.

In addition, FirstBuild may hold contests or challenges that have specific prizes attached.

Compensation is granted for a non-exclusive perpetual paid up license to make, have made, use, import, offer to sell and sell Home Appliance Products, and parts, components, systems, sub-systems, assemblies or sub-assemblies for same.

Some ideas get to the prototype stage and are shared on Sign up for notifications about the ones that interest you most to receive exclusive updates and product announcements, including any potential purchase opportunities.

At FirstBuild, we’re focused on inventing what’s next for the home. That means we’re on the lookout for novel concepts and interesting problems to solve—but not likely interested in pursuing already-patented ideas. 

If you have an idea you plan to patent, please do not share it here. This is a public, accessible forum. Please review our terms before submitting.

For help managing your account, including any requests to delete your account, email

Our products are varied, but they all have one thing in common: a passionate community that wants to co-create with us to develop products people love. 

When we find an idea with potential, we first go through a process to understand what’s already available, and where the opportunity to innovate exists. Our team meets regularly to review ideas from the community and surface them to the engineering team. From there, we may make a prototype is a great way to be able to show proof of concept and start co-creating with our community. This happens in multiple ways: sharing for feedback in person, asking for feedback on or on YouTube, or accepting applications to be one of the product’s first purchasers and beta testers. Your comments, likes, input and interest fuels FirstBuild’s commitment to a product—and may lead to its launch.

FirstBuild is tasked with bringing 12 products or features to life every year. We do this while involving the community at every stage of the product’s lifecycle so products have consumer feedback and demand baked in prior to launch. When a product is ready to scale at mass, it may get picked up by our parent company, GE Appliances, a Haier Company. The FirstBuild community’s reaction and support of a project—from YouTube comments all the way to crowdfund backers—heavily influences the path a product takes. 

For Opal support, email For support on all other products, email

About the FirstBuild Makerspace

Yes. There is no admission or joining fee to use FirstBuild’s Makerspace. Anyone
ages 18 and older or 13-17 with a parent may come use our Louisville, KY,
makerspace. Some equipment, such as the water jet or ShopBot, has a fee
associated with use. Material such as acrylic, 3-D filament, wood and metal, is
also available for sale. Equipment in the Artisan Shop is limited to those who have
earned Craftsman Certification.

Please note that items made by community members at FirstBuild may not be
sold. See our terms & conditions for more information.

You can reserve FirstBuild tools and equipment at Reserve Makerspace Tools or Reserve Shop Equipment.

Yes! Bring your own projects, and we’ll provide the access to tools, workspace and the community of fellow makers. 

Our makerspace and shop are staffed during community hours: Monday through Friday 5 p.m.-8 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

During these times, you can access FirstBuild’s tools and find a community of other makers. However, we are not a design or engineering consultancy.

FirstBuild’s Makerspace is open to anyone age 18 and older or 13-17 with a parent present.

To use the equipment in the shop, you must go through our craftsman certification. 

Reservations are recommended for Makerspace and Shop equipment.

Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required to access FirstBuild’s Makerspace and Shop. No sleeveless shirts or tank tops, either. Safety first, people!